The NFL is the most popular sport in America for a lot of reasons, but one of them is chaos. It is hard to rule out more than a few teams when making your preseason playoff predictions. This just isn’t true in other sports. In what NFL city aren’t fans saying, “This could be our year!” (OK, maybe not in Cleveland, Minnesota, Jacksonville, or Indianapolis.)
For the past nine seasons and 11 of the last 12, a team has gone from worst to first within its division. In each season since 1996, at least five teams made the playoffs that didn’t qualify the previous year. The average playoff turnover rate over that span is 50 percent (six teams)!
Continue reading NFL Preview 2012
I could feel the middle-aged woman’s eyes, studying me like I was an animal at the zoo. She shouldn’t have been surprised by what she saw, but she was. I heard her not-so-quietly ask her friend for an explanation. Finally she asked me.
“Excuse me,” she said. “Why are you wearing a cheesehead?”
It was an interesting phrasing of the question. It turns out she meant it in the most literal way possible—she had no idea Green Bay Packers fans wore such a thing or that she was at a Packers bar. Had I never come across a cheesehead, I don’t think I’d know to call it a cheesehead. I’d probably ask, “Why are you wearing a hunk of foam cheese on your head?” but that’s just me.
Continue reading New York Giants Upset Green Bay Packers
I had a feeling Aaron Rodgers would not be playing on Sunday when, on Saturday night, a cab driver told me he had given Rodgers a ride home from the bar the night before. In possession of a ticket for Green Bay’s regular season finale for months, I had been hoping to witness perfection, but the Packers’ Week 15 loss ended that possibility.
At the very least, I figured I’d get to see Rodgers, the frontrunner for the league MVP, flash his patented discount double-check once or twice, even if it wasn’t en route to a 16-0 season. But with the No. 1 seed in hand, Rodgers rested, and a potentially historic game turned into a meaningless one.
As I found out, there’s no such thing as a meaningless game at Lambeau Field.
Continue reading Pilgrimage to Lambeau Field