I am, by my own admission, a freak of a fan. I am a homer, I never pick against the Packers, and I am overly superstitious. Case in point, I have owned the same pair of green underwear and worn them every game for more years than I can count on one hand. Yes, I do wash them. (I did recently buy a new pair of green underwear and tested them during the San Fran game, but have been too scared to risk it again). I know that it doesn’t matter to the Packers or the outcome of the game, what I wear, where I watch the game, or who I watch the game with. I know this. But believing it is another question.
This morning on twitter I was in a discussion about fan confidence going into this Sunday’s game. The homer me will always say, Packers all the way baby. The football fan that has watched the Packers play their last four must win games, feels pretty confident that the Packers are nearly unstoppable. The superstitious girl remembers how I felt waking up NFC Championship Sunday in January 2008 and truth be told, that is the memory that is haunting me right now.
Due to an unceremonious break up, I was sleeping on a friend’s couch at the time. Let me tell you, nothing heals a heart faster than your team making it to the NFC Championship game and staying up on those post break-up sleepless nights with a glass of wine and watching packers.com videos. It might sound funny, but breaking up threw my football watching into a precarious position. I no longer had my desktop computer set up, I no longer had my bar buddy who accompanied me to the local bar to watch the games, I no longer had someone in my corner cheering on my team with me.
So instead I became that girl at the bar. In a city, Cincinnati, where winning doesn’t usually come easy and a lot of people are bitter, where I had only been living for five months, I found myself searching for bars each game day in my Ahman Green Jersey, Packers hoodie and with my trusty packers glove. I was the girl who sat at the end of the bar, drank tall miller lites, and probably talked a lot of smack.
An excerpt from my then livejournal:
Man upon seeing my sweatshirt: Packers suck.
Me: Really? How many wins do you have? I have eleven.
Man: Oh, no. I…..so do you like grey haired men?
Me: No. Except for Brett Favre.
But eventually I found a “home”. The Buffalo Wild Wings in Rookwood was to become my haven. One of the bartenders was a Packers fan, and the other was good looking. Figured I couldn’t go wrong. Spent the glorious snow globe game there, in my new Favre jersey, had a bar tab of only $5 (I had eaten and been drinking all day :) ), and was lovingly referred to as “Favre” by all the people around me.
So I woke up the morning of that fateful NFC Championship game torn. My dear friends who were putting me up until my new single girl apartment was ready were having a playoff party at their parent’s house. They bought me macaroni and cheese and a cheese pizza. They bought miller lite and one was wearing an old school Favre jersey. So I sat there that morning deciding between my friends, new friends who were clearly trying above and beyond to help me, or my new bar, the lucky viewing site of the Seattle game.
I chose the friends. Because in the end, real life matters more. And while I don’t regret my decision, there is a part of me will always feel like the Rookwood BW’s was where I was supposed to watch the NFC Championship game.
So when someone asks me how I feel about Sunday’s game, while yes, my thoughts are full of rivalry talk and confident homerisms, I also remember the girl who felt like the slightest decision that I made would have an impact, and that my friends, is a heavy thought to bear.
So this Sunday you will find me as you have every game day this season: on a chair perched in front of my big screen, wearing the exact same outfit, the exact same hair tie, next to the exact same set up with my glove and mini helmet.
Trust me. I fully believe that the Packers will win. It’s the Bears for Pete’s sake. But trust me; I’m also not taking any chances.
P.S. If you are ever the awful ex in this story, please do not call the girl moments before her team kicks off for the right to go to the Super Bowl and PLEASE, for the love of all things good and holy, do not call when her team loses to offer condolences. That’s just wrong.