Gaffes worth half a laugh
Many wonder how it is that a little, forgotten town on the frozen banks of Lake Michigan could become the official first city of football. Most major league football towns are huge mothers like Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, but the one tiny dollop on the sports map is Green Bay. How so? Let me tell you the story:
Once upon a time someone for some strange, mysterious reason a sport was invented called football that is played in winter in the cold and snow. One thing Green Bay specializes in are snow and cold. As a matter of fact Wisconsin is a major exporter of cold and snow which is why you see so many cars loaded up with it coming over the Illinois border even in the late spring. This made it a natural choice for a football team. Green Bay is actually a misleading name for the town, though. A more accurate title would be ‘Brownish-green Bay with A Few Plastic Bottles and Dead Salmon Floating In It’.
So the denizens of the town wanted a football team. It had to have a name that matched the land, something homey, something Wisconsin. Natural possibilities were the Green Bay Dead Sturgeons, the Wisconsin Milk Machines, the Door County Corn Dogs, the Leftses and Lutefisks, but ultimately the name ‘Packers’ stuck. Why? Because packing those corn fed boys into those tight uniforms reminded them of those slabs of beef hanging in their packing houses that they turned into sausage and put in those tight little plastic packages, so the name stuck. If the shoe fits, wear it they say.
Their team had to be more than solid as a rock and tough. In Wisconsin it is easy to be solid as a rock and tough when you’re frozen through and through. Although they had snow, cold, toughness, solidness and gooey, slippery playing fields to boot, the bosses in Green Bay knew they had to have more to be winners. So they put their evil minds together to come up with a team that was as powerful as a nuclear blast. They went out into the fields and grabbed the biggest farm boys. They went into the logging camps and shackled the meanest lumber jacks. They went out to the Great Lakes and collared the sailors who ate the most spinach and their buddy names Bluto too. They went into the woods and caught the orneriest bears, shaved them and put uniforms on them. In short, they assembled the meanest, ugliest, hairiest football players that God ever had the misfortune to look down upon.
But this still wasn’t good enough, they had to be harder still. They made them swim naked in Lake Michigan in winter. They fed them only dried silage in the winters for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They made them run for miles in the humid Wisconsin summers wearing their winter coats. They had them jog through tough Milwaukee neighborhoods wearing Sesame Street pajamas. Then, the ultimate test of toughness, they had them jog through south side Chicago areas wearing their full Packer outfits. (Out of mercy, knowing that even in the ghettos Chicagoans are staunch Bears fans, they did allow them to run really fast.)
They became tough as nails.
They became rough as lava.
They became almost as indestructitble as Bruce Willis in any of the Die Hard movies.
They became PACKERS!
They had become so tough that even Arnold Schwarzenegger would break his teeth trying to bite them. BUT IT STILL WASN’T ENOUGH! They took 50 of them at a time and locked them in a large, empty barn without food or water for a week until only 10 were left alive and uneaten and then let them out and put a uniform on them. It took a while, but eventually they assembled 40. And they were a TEAM!
Of course the real clincher was hiring Vince Lombardi who was really a former Marine Corps Special Services black belt CIA operative ninja SWAT officer demolitions expert Yoga teacher and not to mention a personal friend of James Bond, but no one was supposed to know that. He would train the boys with such exercises as having tractors run over them (with plows attached), pouring concrete on their feet and dropping them in Lake Michigan with just a screwdriver to free themselves with and having them tackling semi’s coming down the Interstates from Minnesota.
Lombardi is highly revered in Wisconsin. After his death he was made the patron saint of football – well, at least here in Wisconsin (and canonized by the Catholics AND the Lutherans both). We don’t care if the Pope doesn’t agree with it. Stories are told that he stands next to St. Paul by the gates of heaven and takes advance orders for seasons tickets. I am sure that someday he will be as much the subject of legend much as is Paul Bunyan, Robin Hood and God to future generations. In fact the FBI has already uncovered plans by Wisconsin Loyalists to add his visage to Mt. Rushmore by using dynamite.
So, being good as all Wisconsiners are raised to be simply because we don’t know any better, we will one day all go to heaven to meet our hero Lombardi. Well, almost all of us. The Wisconsin Bureau of Investigation has found that a lot of Milwaukeeans secretly root for the Vikings. They are researching this information seriously and, but this is not necessary as they will all surely be going to Hell anyway along with all the Bears fans in the U.S. as well.