Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Just a few things.
I try to dislike the guy, I really do. He always, always leaves the Lions delicately wiping dust off of their mouthpieces in the NFC North when playoff time rolls around. I try to dislike the fans. They're insane, numerous, and extremely vocal. GO PACK GO, etc.
I just can't do it.
At the end of the day, I just plain like the Green Bay Packers. I like Brett Favre, with his endless litany of brave, rising-above-life's-trials-and-tribulations games. He's sort of the original Curt Schilling in that regard. His father died. The next day he went out an emotional wreck, played, and won. His wife was recently diagnosed with cancer. He took her to her first chemotherapy session, then goes out and plays tonight. He gets injured, he goes out the next week and plays.
I like his ridiculously strong arm, which lets him throw the ball so hard that he's been known to break the fingers of his receivers. He's said that if the ball isn't going to be caught by his own guys he doesn't want anyone on the other team to be able to catch it either.
I like Al Harris, with so much hair coming out the back of his helmet that you can't even see the name on his jersey. I like Ahman Green, and the fact that a guy with the last name 'Green' is the top running back for Green Bay. I like Najeh Davenport stepping up when Green goes out hurt and making his own name known. I like Bubba Franks, who for some obscure reason always seems like the perfect Wisconsin player to me. Maybe it's something in the name. It just makes me think of midwestern towns and wholesome cheeses and Sunday afternoons on the football field.*
I like the Lambeau Leap, where a Packer hoists himself into the stands behind the endzone and into the arms of ecstatic fans. I like the Packers uniforms, with that classic, simple green and yellow design with the crisp, clean, instantly recognizable (first sign of great graphic design) helmet logo. I like Lambeau Field, which may not necessarily get worse weather than Foxboro or Denver or Buffalo, but always seems to have more fans there the worse the weather gets. I even, god help me, like the fans themselves. I get a kick out of the cheeseheads, I admire their tenacity, mild insanity, and the way that they show up in droves at every single Packers game, no matter where in the country it's being played. Dedication-wise, you can definitely draw some parallels to Red Sox fans.
I like how they came back from 1-4 to win 6 straight and set themselves up in a tie at the top of the NFC North. Even if my Big Cats aren't in it, you have to admire them.
So, hey, congrats on 200 consecutive starts, Favre. Lord only knows how you did it. It's one thing to do it in baseball, but it's quite another to do it in a game where people regularly charge at you as hard as they can with the ultimate goal of separating your head from your shoulders.
Also, the Rams looked like last night's dorm food, hastily reheated for tomorrow's lunch, where it's doomed to sit untouched in its steel bin, slowly congealing around the edges until someone finally takes pity on it and throws it out. Did I call that or did I call that?
Doug Mirabelli seems like a cert to resign with the Sox at this point. This is good. If we can manage to secure a guy who's probably good enough to start on some other team, I'll rest a little easier. Of course, it would be much better if we could secure both Mirabelli and Varitek, but this is better than nothing.
The Boston Red Sox are Sports Illustrated's Sportsmen of the Year. Score. Can't wait to pick this one up when it comes out. Hopefully there will be many previously unreleased photos in this issue, since I'm suffering greatly without regular fresh photographic input from the Sox. *twitch*
Oh, and to close the night, I leave you with some AMAZINGLY AMAZING HOLY FREAKING CATS EXCITING NEWS.
JOHN NAVARRE WILL BE STARTING FOR THE CARDINALS IN SUNDAY'S GAME. AGAINST THE LIONS. THIS COMING SUNDAY.
I don't think I can properly articulate how this makes me feel. I always get a little thrill when I see a former Michigan player starting in the NFL, but to see a guy playing that I actually watched in college... OK. Deep breath. Tom Brady is the pride of this school (in the athletic sense, anyways), but he was gone before I got here. I mean, I was at Navarre's senior year Ohio State game. I freaking RUSHED THE SAME FIELD THAT THIS GUY WAS ON AT THE TIME. I stood in those cold metal stands and I cheered him and groaned over him and discussed him with other Michigan students over lunch and dinner and drawing critiques.
And now he's starting. The first Michigan player of MY Michigan era that I will get to see on TV, in an NFL uniform, throwing an NFL football. It's exciting, it's making me painfully happy and irrationally proud. And, my god, his first starting game will be against Detroit, which is probaly the only thing that would have guaranteed that the game would be on in Michigan. Fate? Why yes indeed.
Of course, I think he's going to utterly crash and burn in his first start as an NFL quarterback behind a Cardinals offensive line that isn't exactly magnificent, but whatever. It doesn't matter. If he loses, that means the Lions win, and I'm happy. If he wins, that means our Michigan man wins and the Lions do exactly what we expect of them at this point. It's a win-win situation (about which I will still find some way to be bitter at the end, but a wee bit of my heart will be happy in any event).
Tom Brady chatting with John Navarre before the Cardinals/Patriots game earlier this year. Navarre wasn't playing, but Brady went over to talk to him because Wolverines stick together and Brady is a classy guy whom I love to tiny little blue-and-maize pieces. Patriots won, obviously, but if this picture doesn't warm your heart, make you go "Squee!" and send you off to bed a happy camper, there's something seriously the matter with you.
Or you're an Ohio State fan. In which case I implore you to return to your cabbage-scented state and stop giving the midwest such a bad name.** Thank you, and good night.
*OK, OK, I know that he's from California and went to school in Miami (of Florida, not Ohio), but still. Isn't that just the perfect midwestern name?
**No offense meant to Beth. You didn't go there, so you get the benefit of the doubt. But some things will just never change. :)