My husband is from Wisconsin. This means only one thing: that the Green Bay Packers are an essential part of his existence. Even though he moved to Arizona in 1978. He's told me the story of the Packers many times, how they're a scrappy team, well-loved and cared-for by the town of Green Bay, and how there's a loyalty there that isn't found in other NFL franchises. And I get it, because he's told me this so many times, but I can't help it - when he talks football in any way, my eyes glaze over and I start backing out of the room.
Despite all the years I've spent trying to be a sterling example to my children of a football-despising, yet interesting and involved mother, my children have been converted over to the religion of football and Green Bay Packers mania by my husband. They love it. They even watch it on purpose when he's not home.
Just my luck, the Green Bay Packers will be playing the Cardinals right here in Arizona in January and my husband has the opportunity to buy four tickets to the game. He can't buy three, for just him and the kids. It's a set of four and guess who's the fourth?
When I was a college freshman at the University of Arizona, since I didn't know any better, I thought I thought that's what you did in college: go to the games. So for my first one, I shlepped over to the stadium with my dorm friends, climbed up about a thousand sticky steps to get to a tiny, hard plastic chair with people breathing down my neck behind me, and then watched the game. After a short period of time, I realized that the students sitting above me celebrated successful plays by dumping their beer on the crowd below. I sat there as long as I could take it: my feet stuck to the bleacher, wedged in a seat, with beer raining down on me.
When I got back to my dorm room I made a vow - much like the ones my Holocaust Survivor relatives always made around me my whole life - I said, "Never Again!" For the rest of my college career, I was apparently the only person on campus who didn't go to the games. The dorm would empty out, the campus end up desolate like a ghost town, and I would sit peacefully in my room, the roar from the stadium coming in my window.
Bar Mitzvahzilla and Daughter give me baleful glances. They want me to come. It's a family thing. Of course, they can't go unless I fill that fourth seat. I hem and haw but somehow I know that in January I'll be wedged in a hard plastic stadium seat, my eyes glazed over, my feet stuck to the concrete, with beer raining down on my head.