No joy in Mudville

This is the post where I thought I’d be sharing my joy at having finished the I-Cord bind off on my Tir Chonaill last night. With pictures.

Instead it’s the one where I rant about the debacle that was the end of my football game last night.  I’ll return you to your regularly scheduled knitting blog tomorrow, I promise. But today I’m just too mad. And there was, honestly, not a moment’s joy felt in finishing the knitting portion of the blanket. None. Which is a whole ‘nother kinda weird to last night’s game…

Here’s the thing…  I am a die hard Packer fan.  Just like the vast majority of the population of my state. And a good chunk of the rest of the country, too.  Because, lets face it, Wisconsin doesn’t offer that much for us to get fired up about other than football. Sure, the beer, brats and cheese are good, but they are best when enjoyed with football.  Football season makes the first half of the season of doom worth getting through just to get to Sundays to watch the game.  It doesn’t matter if the team wins or loses, we watch them with the sort of glee you usually only see in kids on Christmas morning or the last day of school.  The waiting list for season tickets stretches over 80,000 long.  Every single current season ticket holder could surrender their tickets after last night’s horrendous farce at the hands of the replacement refs and more than half the waiting list would STILL be waiting.  Through the 70s and 80s when the team couldn’t hardly scrape together a win against the local high school club, the stadium still sold out every single week.  And the ticket list did not shrink.

I know because my parents have been on it since the late 60s. And having taken up permanent residence in Florida several years back, they transferred their spot on the waiting list into my name.  I am still #383. And for a brief moment last night, that number brought me joy.  Last night brought the arrival of my annual post card updating my position in line.  I’ve moved up nearly 200 spots in the 5 years since my folks transferred their spot to me. That’s nearly 40 spots per year! HUGE movement for a stadium holding 72,000+, no? I guess if you’re not a Packer fan, you might not really get that. But if you are, well, SERIOUSLY! almost 40 spots per year! That’s epic.  There was a time period during the Farve era where the annual average for surrender was 12 seats. Not 12 spots in line, 12 seats. Tickets are available only in lots of 2 or 4, so that means 3-6 season ticket holders per year gave up their seats. These things cause bigger custody battles than children when marriages dissolve.  You think death brings out the “fun” in dysFUNctional families, add a set of Packer season tickets to the mix and you know what real fun is.  The state sets it’s mood on what happens Sunday afternoon. Or in this case, Monday night.

If you watched the game last night, you know this is not a good thing right now.  Packer Nation is pissed.  And rightly show.  Rodger Goodell best be the most embarrassed man in professional sports this morning.  The replacement refs have had 7 weeks of NFL action to get up to speed but they aren’t getting better. They’re getting worse. A lot worse.  Because we can’t seem to come to a conclusion between the referee’s union and the NFL on compensation packages. And right now I can’t tell you want makes me more angry- the fact that the refs went on strike (sorry, I grew up in a union household and I still don’t understand how refusing to show up and do my job is ever going to net me a better pay check.  I’ve only worked in the private sector. Refusing to do my job is going to get me a spot in the unemployment line, not a bigger paycheck), or the NFL who makes billions of dollars a year and  won’t open the wallet a little to protect the integrity of the sport. But this morning it sure looks like the referee’s union holds all the power right now.  Goodell’s on the verge of losing his fan base completely and the thing of it is, if you have no consumers, you have no billions to quibble over.  Its time to settle this.  it’s time to get the real refs back on the field. Because the replacement refs can’t keep up. They’re deciding the outcome of games and they’re doing it badly.

And yes, I get that it’s just a game. That in 6 months none of this will matter. that there are much greater problems in the world that we need to attend to more than we need to end the lock out of NFL referees.  I even get that it was my own teams complete and utter lack of offensive productivity in the first half that put us in a position where the game could be decided on one really really bad call.  But today is not the day to keep it all in perspective. Today is the day to rant and rave, to follow the Twitter feeds and Facebook posts of my fellow Cheeseheads and, from the looks of it, most of the rest of the sports-following world. Because the only people who think that game ended well are the ones who were handed a win with a big black and white striped bow. The rest of us just need to get it out of our system and vent.

Cuz, damn it, they made me not excited to finish the most epic knit I’ve ever knit! And even more than a blown call handing my team a loss, that’s a disaster beyond all comprehension! Cuz for real…  I steeked! And it didn’t all unravel! Life… So… Not… Fair…

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