Silence is green and golden
After Sunday's NFC Championship game, make that green and golden. The New York Giants' 23-20 overtime upset of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday silenced tens of thousands at Lambeau Field and has ensured some peace of mind for Minnesota Vikings fa...
After Sunday's NFC Championship game, make that green and golden.
The New York Giants' 23-20 overtime upset of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday silenced tens of thousands at Lambeau Field and has ensured some peace of mind for Minnesota Vikings fans the next couple of weeks.
Now we won't have to endure Packermania leading up to the Super Bowl. No green and gold No. 4 jerseys in the workplace. No TV talking heads referring to Brett Favre's "child-like enthusiasm" or the "frozen tundra of Lambeau Field." And no sightings of grown men with yellow cheese on their heads.
Thank you, Giants.
What New York's victory has done is give Vikings fans a six-month respite from obnoxious Packer-backers, and time to heal from their own team's late-season collapse.
Don't get me wrong. Despite being a lifelong Minnesotan who has followed the Vikings since 1973 when Chuck Foreman first began spinning down the Met Stadium field -- the real frozen tundra -- I've never disliked the Packers.
At first, they were too bad to hate. With quarterbacks like Jerry Tagge and David Whitehurst and lovable losing coaches such as Dan Devine and Bart Starr, it was impossible to feel anything but pity for them.
During the Lynn Dickey-James Lofton era, it was fun to watch the Packers engage in 48-47 shootouts. And ever since I covered Favre's first game, a 1992 preseason tilt against Kansas City -- which after a subpar performance he told the media, "After the first [interception], I thought I was going to have to pack up and go home" -- the venerable quarterback has become one of the NFL's most likable players. He plays the game as it's supposed to be played, in any type of weather and with any type of injury. He's one of the NFL's few good role models.
Packers fans are another matter. They are the ants at a picnic, rain at an outdoor wedding and the heckler at a comic show all rolled into one.
When living in Appleton and Madison, I could understand; I was in the heart of Packers country. But here in Duluth, Vikings fans should not have to put up with their behavior. If a referee was present, he'd call a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Green Bay faithful for their taunting ways. And that green and gold color combo? That fashion faux pas would land anyone on Mr. Blackwell's worst-dressed list.
Yes, the Giants did a favor for those of us on this side of the bridge.
That doesn't mean it will be any different next season, especially if the Vikings fade when it matters again. Four Super Bowl losses, a 1998 NFC Championship game loss when they potentially had the best team in NFL history, and recent regular-season dives when they had a chance to qualify for the playoffs -- not to mention off-the-field boat parties and draft gaffes -- mean Minnesota fans have little to boast about when their Packer-backer friends and co-workers start waving their cheeseheads.
But at least it will be a quiet next couple of weeks.
RICK WEEGMAN can be reached at (218) 723-5302, (800) 456-8181 or at email@example.com .