Sunday, January 24, 2010

Forget "Good-Bye", in Wisconsin it's "Go Saints"

I've noticed something interesting while walking around this past week. I live in Milwaukee Wisconsin, and that means I live in the land of the Packers, and Packer fans worshiped God and Brett Favre, and not necessarily in that order.

Then came the summer of 2007 and the first retirement, and in turn the first return from retirement. Cheeseheads were split, but many sided with Favre. They blamed the Packers brass for not welcoming back the hero that they'd followed for 16 years. Eventually Favre was traded to the Jets, and after a lack luster year in New York retired again.

That's when things started to turn for Packer fans, the rumblings got louder and louder, thier hero was angling to play for the rival Vikings. And when it was official, most Packer fans disowned Favre. Throughout the past season they've not only cheered for the Packers to win, but every week they've cheered for the worst possible situations to befall the once loved Favre.

This brings me to what I heard around Milwaukee this past week. Nearly everyone i came in contact with ended the conversation the same way. in place of "later", "Talk to you soon", and "i'll call you" everyone said "go Saints".

That's how much Packer fans don't want Favre to succeed tonight, that's how much they want to see Favre crumble, they've actually changed their vernacular to suit their hatred of the old man.

"I just don't want to see him win in that purple jersey...i didn't like it when he was in New York, but now that he's a Viking he's dead to me", that was what an employee at a local grocery store told me when i was shopping this morning and she's wasn't the first to tell me that. Oh and of course when i was walking away she said, "have a good day and go Saints!"

I can't believe how the mighty have fallen in Wisconsin. What fans don't realize is that rivalries in the current sports landscape, aside from maybe Yankees v. Redsox, are fan made. Players don't buy into them as much as fans do. I don't fault Favre, he wanted to play for a winner and when he looked around the Packers locker room, he didn't think they were gong to be able to compete (Aaron Rodgers has shown that he was wrong) and the same thing happened with the Jets. It's amazing to see how quickly Packer fans have turned on him, how quickly they've gone from loving his "good old boy" act to despising it, and believe me it's always been an act.

So if the Vikings win today and the Old Gun Slinger leads them to the Super Bowl, I imagine that everyone in the state of wisconsin will be replacing Good-bye with "Go Colts" or "Go Jets"