Monday, January 17, 2011

Soldier's Field – Sunday – 3:00 pm EST

The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears play for the NFC Championship and the right to go to the Super bowl.

Those words will be the impetus for heated discussion throughout much of the United States, and will trigger all out brawls on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois. In those two states little else will be talked about this week, and on game day…well, forget about it. Shopping malls will be deserted, church services cancelled (except for special “Let us pray to beat those b*******!” services). Streets will be empty, and anyone daring to place a phone call during the game will be greeted with words from the recipient that will cripple them emotionally for years.

Moderators of internet discussion forums ranging from day care centers to doggy salons will be working overtime imploring posters to “Please keep it clean and no personal insults!” It’s hard to overstate the Packers - Bears rivalry. Anyone unfamiliar with the rivalry (perhaps someone living in Borneo) would think the Wisconsin State motto is “The Bears still suck!” And in Illinois one would believe there must be a state law requiring citizens to mention the “Green Bay Pukers!” at least 5 times daily.

The following post from the official Chicago Bears discussion forum is typical:

I might have to say that this could wind up being the biggest sporting event that Chicago has ever witnessed. I am a big Sox fan and Blackhawks fan and the Championships were great, but this game has the chance to put me into a state of depression that I might not come out of if we were to lose. We have 1 game, not best out of 7. Whatever they (Bears) need to do to win this game, they must do it. Pump extra noise into the stadium, make the field worse than it already is, food poison them (Packers) at the hotel, play unfair and knock a couple of guys out and deal with the fines later. Do whatever it takes to win this game!”

And where will I be on Sunday? Will I be sitting in front of the TV with fellow expats; a beer in one hand, a slice of pizza in the other shouting for my beloved Packers to score? Oh, noooooo. In a moment of pure insanity we scheduled a five day get-away. I’ll be in the jungle near Iquitos Peru, probably saying something like, “Oh look Maribel! - there’s another monkey!” Am I stupid or what?!



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