It’s Saturday night and the Green Bay Packers are losing to the San Francisco 49ers. My neck hurts like hell and I’m not sure why—I work from home and I literally haven’t stepped foot outside since Monday—but I’m loaded up on muscle relaxers and I’m shouting awful things at my television.
There’s a Packers fan who lives in my building, and the walls are just thin enough that I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to hear me if I crank up the volume. Then again, I’m on drugs, so it’s incredibly doubtful that he can hear me at all. Regardless, I’m yelling TERRIBLE things at Aaron Rodgers.
These aren’t things I’d ever likely say to his face, although if we happened to run into each other at bar close, I’d be half-tempted to comment on his height because I know he hates it, and the darker the liquor I drink, the bolder I get. He’s not here though, so, for now, it’s just me, the TV, and maybe that stupid neighbor.
(Disclaimer: He’s actually nice from what I can tell, but I’m rather reclusive within the confines of this apartment complex. I don’t really know him, and it’s a lot easier to villainize him as a Packers fan that way.)
At one point, I yell something I’d rather not repeat about Clay Matthews for fear that one or both of my lovely grandmothers might read this very column. I may or may not thrust a rather violent “F-YOU” finger at the TV, as well.
Something tweaks in my neck. More curse words.
I take something to help me fall asleep and doze off comfortably a short time later. It’s barely halftime, but screw you guys, I authored about 300 trivia questions today (the not-so-glorious life of a freelancer) and I’m tired.
I wake up momentarily at the start of the fourth quarter and see that the 49ers are winning and rejoice silently and without motion before falling almost immediately back to sleep. I wake up again to hear Terry Bradshaw talking about Colin Kaepernick and assume San Fran has pulled it off. I could have very easily dreamt that last part, but my suspicions are confirmed the next morning when I check the box score.
49ers 45. Packers 31.
Suck it, Packers fans.
I hate the Packers. Chances are, if you’re reading this website, you do too.
I hate the Packers with no conscience about the seriousness of the word. Mostly, I hate their fans, with their meaty fingers and cheese-block dunce caps. But, because of the adulation they receive from these almost-Canadians, I hate some of their players, too.
That’s because I’m incredibly spiteful. I have no qualms with rooting for complete and utter failure when it serves my own purposes.
Wait a minute. Let me read that back.
I have no qualms with rooting for the complete and utter failure when it serves my own purposes.
Alright, I should probably qualify that. I’m not rooting for Packers fans or players to fail in their personal endeavors. I don’t hope they go bankrupt or wind up with kidney failure. However, when it comes to something as trivial as football, you can damn the torpedoes. I hate them and I hope they fail.
I do all this because I’m a Bears fan, and despite the banality, Bears fans are supposed to hate Packers fans and vice versa. That’s important to note, because too often in this day and age, sports rivalries are filled with niceties.
“That’s a damn good football team,” generic player X will say. “We wish them the best going forward.”
Umm . . . no.
You can respect something and have its mere mention bring your blood to a boil at the same time. I respect splinters, but I hate the damn things. That’s why, if I’m carrying a dresser, I handle it with care.
I understand that in this day and age there is a certain amount of professional courtesy, but as a purist I want to see the hatred boiling over at least two weekends a year.
I have friends who are Packers fans, and for those two weeks our pleasantries are replaced with smut-filled, expletive-laced text message tirades. It’s as much fun as I have all year. And, by funneling all that energy into something as silly as a football game, it lets me be (slightly) less spiteful in other facets of my life.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’d like to see more of the hate we see in the stands on the field. We got a little bit of that this year when Jermichael Finley traded shots with Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher, but even that felt a bit put on. Nowadays, it seems like the Lions garner more vitriol.
There’s nothing wrong with hating the Lions, but they’re not the gold standard of the NFC North right now. The Packers—THE rivals—are.
No, Green Bay getting destroyed by the Niners doesn’t change the fact that the Bears fell flat in 2012, but there’s a satisfaction to be had in it nonetheless.
It’s petty. It feels good.
Even if it’s a pipe dream, I want the Bears to indulge in similarly childish behavior. I want the Bears to hate the Packers the way Jay Cutler hates . . . everything.
I suppose that’s ridiculous, but fanaticism in and of itself is ridiculous. So we might as well take it to the extreme.
Filed under: Editorial