Sunday, October 14, 2007

Romancing Green Bay

Rick Reilly wrote an essay for Sports Illustrated about season tickets for the Green Bay Packers. I'm not a fan of Green Bay in particular or the NFL in general,* but the essay made me cry. I'm a sucker, I know. Packers fans, man. They are true romantics.

Evidence? Oh, yeah, I've got evidence. Here are the top three.

1. I love you all day, every day, no matter what, even when you suck: You can't buy a single game ticket for the Packers. It's the whole season or nothing. Not so bad, right? Except it's Green Bay. Football is a winter sport. Lambeau Field is outdoors. Season tickets for this team sounds like a bigger commitment than 'til death do us part. At least if you're married you can snuggle your honey indoors in the winter.

2. I love you now and forever: If you put your name on the Packers Season Ticket Wait List, (What? They capitalize it on their site.) you can have your tickets after the 74,000 people on the list in front of you. By the time you get your tickets, you'll be old. The entire team playing now will be retired. Some kid who's not even born yet will be the quarterback. With all the unknowns between now and 74,000 season tickets from now, people still sign up. They just know. In real life, not Packer Fan World, this would mean we'd marry our kindergarten crushes. Or actually, we'd sign a paper stating that we will marry our kindergarten crushes, but then wait about 35 years to actually do it.

3. I love you so much you're protected in my will: Yes, that's right, Packers Fans, there is a right way and a wrong way to bequeath your tickets. Do it wrong and one of those 74,000 fans on The Packers Season Ticket Wait List might just get your tickets. Gasp! Who can have your tickets when you die? "Blood" relatives, but only out to the first cousin level. (All you once-removeds are out of luck.) See for yourself: Here Be Legalese. So. How many Packers Fans do you think enter into marriages of convenience? (Follow up: How long before I use this storyline in a novel? Not as long as you might like. In other words, dibs!)


(** Obligatory disclaimer: I'm not not a fan because there's anything wrong with Green Bay or the NFL. I just prefer the Steelers if I have to pick a football team and baseball if I'm picking a sport. I'm sure the Packers are lovely and their fans seem wonderful and the NFL has very nice uniforms. Everyone happy? Good.)