Saturday, February 5, 2011

Finally Some Football

There are a lot of things that are different out here in the Yay compared to back home.  A lot of new things for me to get used to.  No snow, ever.  Being one of the tallest people around generally, unless I happen to be around other Midwestern transplants.  Avoiding getting stuck behind a Prius the way back home we try to avoid getting stuck behind someone with a AAA sticker.  Etc.

By far, the strangest thing I’ve found out here is that there are people who don’t watch football.  Can you believe this?  It’s so crazy, after nearly two years, I still can’t wrap my head around it. 

Not watching football.  I mean, it’s like not going to church.  Oh wait, the people out here don’t do that either.


Back home, a typical Fall Sunday involves starting the day with church service, sitting in the pews with people already wearing their Packers jerseys or decked out in dressy team colors.  On super big games, or after a big win, someone’s likely to offer up the Packers during prayer.  Service ends promptly so everyone get home before kickoff.  -  Our church once had a pastor who would let church run a bit too close to noon.  Church goers were not pleased.  The pastor asked, “What’s more important, God or football?”  But this is a false dichotomy as God is not church and church is not God.  Besides, hadn’t the pastor heard, God’s a Packer’s fan?  He wants to go watch the game, too.

Then it’s home to gather around the game.  Snacks, cheering, jumping, clapping.  Sharing the anguish of a close loss, hugging after a great win.  The laughing, the yelling, the love for the team no matter what.  A warm afternoon filled with sunshine and family and a common bond.

Nothing like that out here.  No one in jerseys.  Service runs long, not that it matters since the games start before church in the morning.  No one even talking about football.  And it’s not just the church setting where it’s odd.

I don’t see regular people in jerseys on the streets.  If any, maybe a few thug-looking folks in downtown Oakland in Raiders gear.  The supermarket has one sign for the Raiders and one for the 49ers and one for Cal football and that’s about it.  Few people at the local sports bar on game day.  Stadiums that aren’t sold out.  So few regular game day football parties that I’ve never heard of one.  And what really struck me as odd, there are no office pools.  No squares to pick, no point spreads, no last numbers of the scores, not even a simple one team over the other.  Nothing.

It’s all so very strange. What do these people do instead?

This Sunday is the biggest Sunday of the year.  It’s a Packer game Sunday, and not just any Packer game Sunday; it’s Superbowl Sunday!  And finally, there’s some football talk.  I even know a few (albeit very few) people having Superbowl parties.  Finally!

People are getting into it, and they’re choosing the right team. ;)  Yesterday, at the Warriors basketball game, there was a guy in a Packers jersey!  (Rodgers’ away jersey.)  Earlier, while I was walking down the stairs at BART with my Packers gym bag, someone walked past and yelled “go pack!”  My local supermarket has a Superbowl display made out of soda can boxes.  Even people at my office are talking football.  It’s all so wonderful.

Packer helmet display at Lucky's


I’d like to add, I’m very grateful for Twitter and the amazing Packers fans and players I follow on there.  They help keep football alive in this alien word called California.


Jeannie said...

And what a game it was! Go PACK!!

MaryRuth said...

Great post, GR and what an awesome game, aina? I can identify with your feelings about CA not being football-cenric like in WI. I guess there are just too many other things going on plus way more people here--sort of like a "parts per million" solution--just not too strong here even though you have two teams in your neighborhood. And I totally sympathize with your description of the thuggy Raider fans--thank goodness they are up north again.
I grew up during the glory days of the Packers in the 60s and yes, I remember the priest giving a very short sermon at the late mass. I also remember going to Holy Hill to watch blacked out Packer games. (Our parish was staffed with Carmelites)
I was in WI all last week--it was off the HOOK! It was total Packer Frenzy interspersed with Blizzard Frenzy.
I became a born-again Packer fan in 1992 when my co-workers (I was living in Hawaii at the time) told me about this new QB--Favre--and how he was so awesome. So I got hooked. When I moved back to CA in 1996, I found myself a Packer bar in my neighborhood and hung out there for the games. That's the beauty--there are Packer fans everywhere!
Now I have NFL Sunday Ticket and I can watch at home in my jammies. Plus my BF HATES going to bars, so this is a good thing. When we first met (after SB XXXII) he was a football hater--I totally converted him and he was more excited yesterday than I was!)
My sis (from WI) and I met up in SF in September to do a little wine country expedition, and we happened to be in SF on Sunday, so we found an awesome Packer bar--Zeke's--and went there (after we had gone to church first at St. Mary's and yes, we were decked out in Packer gear!) It is right by ATT Stadium. You would love it! Everyone was so friendly. We met people from WI that were on vacation and also transplants.
Don't get discouraged! Try "Meetup" or looking at the Packer site to find places to watch. And you know already they will be nice people!
I have been sporting the green and gold this last weekend and also have a car flag, as do some of my friends....we have been getting honks and "go pack" all the time. Even the waiter at my local Mexican restaurant is a Packer fan! He showed me his phone with the Packer logo!

Jeannie said...

MR - I was hoping you'd comment on GR's blog - knowing you're a transplanted Wisconsinite out in CA, as she is, I was sure you could give her some support! Thanks!

goldenrail said...

MR! It's so great to hear from you again. Thanks for all the encouragement. I'll have to find Zeke's for next season (if there is a next season *sniff*).

Sounds like you had a fabulous time in WI. What a perfect time to be there!

Hi Mommy :)