It's killing me to be living in Chico, CA., right now - hometown of Aaron Rodgers. The Tule Fog has set in, and it's not lifting. This is the weather pattern of dark, gloomy, foggy, air - where sometimes you can't see more than 20 feet ahead of you.
Which seems to reflect my mood right now. I can't go to the gym and work out (too many cheeseheads there). I can't walk the streets without hearing all these people loving the Packers,( even though their "team" has always been the 49ers). I can't turn on the local news without a beaming face smiling at me, talking about " our hometown hero taking the Packers to the Super Bowl." ARG!!!
So I'm reading our local weekly paper, The Chico News and Review, and see the column about Rodgers written by the editor, Bob. That's it! I've had enough! I've got to write him back and tell him like it is! Read my posts these last few weeks, Bob! You have NO idea what it's like for some of us!
Bob then asks me to write a guest commentary for next weeks' paper. So - here it is folks. I doubt anyone here will really care, but at least a few people may see it.
"The Lament of a Bears' fan in Chico, California. In Chico News and Review, Feb. 3, 2011"
While growing up on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950's
and 1960's, my brain was neurologically encoded with an intense passion for the
Chicago Bears and White Sox. I'd sit
shotgun in my father's taxi-cab as a little girl, and listen to the games on the
radio. No matter who was in the back
seat, I watched, listened, and absorbed every emotion exchanged between my
father and his passengers - their cheers,
rants, moans, & groans: about a
coach, a player, and of course, every loss. It was music to my ears - and
Unlike Californians, we had no mountains to go hike, camp,
or ski in. We had no ocean to go surf in, or watch a beautiful sunset from. But
we had our sports teams! Come September,
and the temperature dropped to the 40's, we'd be resigned to another forgetful
season of the White Sox - but now we had: DA BEARS!
Running backs and middle linebackers were our claim to
fame. What else could you do with a
football, in sleet and hail and blizzards?
Gayle Sayers and Dick Butkus represented our great "City with Broad
Shoulders," as no one else could. They
gave us excitement and thrills, regardless of the outcome. This inter-generational loyalty and ferocity
of our teams are true grit at its best: we learned to cheer and exist for every
Sunday from September - December. And then move on. Hope springs eternal, I suppose.
So living in Chico
right now is beyond anything I'd expect you newbie Packer fans to
understand. You've had your thrills with
Rice. And now you've got your hometown
man to cheer for. And I probably would
too, living here over 35 years, & knowing many people with close ties to
the Rodgers family.
BUT! He's a
PACKER! A Cheesehead! The Bears' biggest rival, from the time my
grandfather was making bathtub gin on the west side of Chicago! When Aaron was not drafted by the
49ers, but instead went to the Green and Yellow, my heart was pulled out of
me. My sons were in shock. Words
unbecoming mankind laced the telephone conversations between me and every
member of my huge, extended family in Chicago. My husband could only shake his head and try
to soothe us all.
And now, the gray skies and thick fog not only grace the
town, but also my body. "It's just 6
weeks to spring training," my cousin told me yesterday. "Yes, Allan, but at least you've got an
entire city you can mourn with." Me? I'm stuck in this depressing twilight zone. No cab to ride in with my father. No Joy in Mudville. My Bears went into hibernation much too
early, and I will too. And then I'll TRY to move on. Again.