Being a Packer fan was not easy for me when I was younger.
Surrounded by Bears fans in the middle of Bear country, the grief I would receive in the early 90's was constant. Their franchise was on the up, while the Packers had not yet begun their renaissance under the leadership of Bob Harlan and Ron Wolf. Every time the Packers would win, which was a rarity before 1992, it was relayed to me that it was out of sheer luck that they managed to win. It was a consistent mantra for the first 15 years or so of my life.
When they played the Bears, it was even worse. From 1985-1992, the Packers were a less than stellar 3-13 against their hated rivals, and every loss was a guaranteed week (or 2, sometimes 3) of "you suck" comments coming from friends who happened to be Bears fans. If there is an opposite of fun, this was it.
Being the good sport that I am, friendly wagers were a common occurrence during Packer/Bear week. Even when I thought there was little chance the Packers would win, there was no way I would not make this bet. Not agreeing to make a bet was like admitting the Packers would lose even before the game had been played. Many a time my hard earned $4.25/hour would go to paying off one of these friendly wagers, and there is one in particular I will never forget.
My girlfriend at the time (a die hard Bears fan) and I made a wager in October 1992 about the game that was to be played in Chicago. She naturally picked the Bears, and I naturally picked the Packers. The pay off was simple-lunch at McDonald's. The way I saw it, even if I lost and had to buy her lunch, it was something I would have probably done anyways, so it would not have been a big deal.
Sadly, the Packers lost 30-10. So it was time to pay up. Which I did. Kind of.
The grief I was getting over this loss from her was award winning. She was already well versed in her "Packers suck" lingo, and did not hold back in her celebrating. I remember thinking "Even from you?" I could not catch a break.
Well, revenge would be mine. Kind of.
After dropping her off at home after school and hanging out for a while, we talked about what to do for the afternoon, since neither of us had to work. She mentioned going to McDonald's, primarily for the purpose of paying off the bet we made. At first it seemed like a good idea-until the inevitable hazing about the loss started up again.
Growing increasingly more irritated by the minute, I stood up and handed her $5 or so and said "Have a nice meal" or something to that effect, and left her house. As I was leaving, the look on her face was one of shock and anger. Even so, I left, finding out later that she walked 4 blocks to the McDonald's by her house and enjoyed a nice meal, by herself.
While she was eating, I was going home. In retrospect, I'm thankful this was in the days before cell phones, and I hadn't yet jumped on the beeper craze that was sweeping the nation. I can only imagine the barrage of calls and beeps that would have been headed in my direction as a result of my action.
At least she can't say I welched on the bet.
Needless to say, the wagers between her and I about the Packers and Bears came to an end after that game. I'm still not sure if it's because the Packers started to play the Bears better after that game, or how I handled the bet. I like to think it's because she realized even of they lose a game, the Packers always win.
Which of course, they do.
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