I want my money back. Is there some place we can go to get a refund?
I clearly remember last February that the Packers won the Super Bowl. Yep, pretty sure. And as I recall, we went through a season of plenty of doubts, with plenty of abuse from Bears fans along the way. Heck, I think the Lions beat us once, too.
It's the Super Bowl season that shouldn't have been, but was. It was the "Holy Cow They Did It!" season that no one really saw coming once the MASH helicopters settled upon Lambeau Field to remove the injured players.
Now, given the complete and utter shock that we won the Lombardi Trophy to begin with, we needed a little time for it to completely settle in. Then, we needed to search and target every Viking and Bear fan who had mocked us over the last few years and return it in spades.
But, we never got the chance. Not really. The Super Bowl win, to many people, seems like a long time ago already. For one brief shining week, the population of Wisconsin and Packer fans around the world stood united in glory, a shared bond that brought together everyone who wore Green and Gold.
Then, in an instant, the world shut it down. First of all, the good folks of Wisconsin were quickly distracted, then completely polarized by a partisan budget plan that pitted the same folks who sat next to each other on the aluminum bleachers in Lambeau only a month before. The conversations in every local diner across the state no longer debated Thompson, McCarthy, and Rodgers, but Walker, Fitzgerald, and absent senators.
The Super Bowl celebration time we Packers fans were owed was being squandered.
Then, a series of very unfortunate events took place around he world, overshadowing the victory. It's hard to feel all that comfortable congratulating yourself on being a Packer fan when you see people in deep suffering: a tsunami in Japan, civil wars in Libya and Yemen...all these things make us step out of our self-absorbing Super Bowl Hangover and spend time debating the merits of nuclear energy versus its dangers.
And then, of course, the ultimate in betrayals: the NFL itself locked itself down, saw a players union decertify, and in the midst of all these very real human events, enact a very public pissing match about how to divide billions of dollars amongst themselves.
Yes, it is disheartening to hear Adrian Peterson describe his situation as "slavery". Not when there are folks making far less than his $10M salary taking hefty pay cuts. When there are Japanese citizens fleeing their country in droves while scientists literally sacrifice their lives in broken-down reactors. When our country has engaged in another foreign war, when the last two have dragged on for going on at least six years.
And in the midst of all of this global chaos, the Packers won a Super Bowl. This is a time we're supposed to be enjoying the fruits of our fanaticism. We're supposed to be smugly reminding everyone that we pick 32nd in the draft and flock to every public appearance a player makes. Only problem is, the players can't make any appearances on behalf of the team. And, there's no Fan Fest to look forward to. Draft Party? None of that, either.
I feel cheated. We're supposed to be celebrating this team, and in a way, ourselves, for being Super Bowl champions. That month or two of pure glee has been preempted by nearly every form of politics and tragedy. Yes, it's selfish. And I know that the events in the world, in real life, are more important than a sport. In many cases, they are affecting the lives of people we know and love, if not our own lives.
But, thinking back to 1996 and the wave of emotion that rode all the way through into the next season, you have to wonder if not only is our own celebration been muted, but the momentum a team might get from an offseason when you finally don't have to think, "Wait until next year". The Packers could be a dynasty team, in all seriousness...but what impact would a delay to the season, much less canceling the season, have on that potential legacy?
This is our time to celebrate, and let all those Viking and Bear fans in the next cubicle get what's been coming to them. I have no doubt that those Viking and Bear fans have to privately chuckle at having the carpet chucked out from under us.