For fans of the Green Bay Packers accustomed to waking up and carrying on their Mondays after a big win, this was the most difficult first day of the workweek in quite some time.
So many of us expected to be looking toward participating in, if not hosting the National Football Conference’s Championship Game this coming Sunday afternoon.
Not only did the San Francisco 49ers have something to say about that, but the Atlanta Falcons also miraculously ripped the next round from beneath the arrogant feet of the Seattle Seahawks – at least there was a modicum of sweet justice this past weekend.
So, as you settle into your recliner tonight for a Monday Night Football-less evening of watching “The Big Bang Theory,” thinking about the start of Training Camp or maybe even the Free Agency period or the Draft, here are a few nuggets that stuck out for me today as I perused what was being written about the NFL scene.
But before you read on, just remember that we could be fans of the Buffalo Bills, the Miami Dolphins, the Carolina Panthers or God forbid – the Chicago Bears. Yes, the season ended terribly for the Packers, but I would much rather have lost the way the Packers did than to have been crushed by the type of outcome that the Seahawks or Broncos fans endured.
It could be worse, folks. There is a silver lining in all this and the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel …
Here are some of what I saw today:
It was reported this morning by NBC San Diego that 92 fans were kicked out of the Packers vs. 49ers game Saturday night and of them, 29 were arrested – two of them for car burglary – which brings me to the point of what types of “fans” follow specific teams.
One Packers fan, Curt Cozad, a fireman who lives in the Bay Area, attended Saturday’s game and wasn’t impressed at all with many of the fans who he saw around him at Saturday’s game.
Yes, there are Packers fans who get out of hand, but if you’ve ever been to Lambeau Field you know that it’s a great place to take your kids. Not so in San Fran, according to Cozad.
Here’s an account that he emailed to me of his day at Candlestick Park:
Well, it started well. We got to Candlestick around 12 pm after picking up a friend who was also invited to tailgate with Desmond Bishop’s family. We interacted with numerous 49er fans who commented on my fire helmet and friendly banter with us wishing each other good luck in the game.
We have great seats behind the Packers bench at the 15-yard line in Row 2. As is our standard practice when we go to Lambeau, we headed into Candlestick Park right when they opened the gates at a little before 3 pm.
My wife and I utilized the facilities because once we get to our seats we do not leave until the game is over. There were a few 49er fans mingling in the area where our seats were along with several Packer fans including one sitting right next to us.
My typical pre-game ritual is taking pictures of the team and giving them shout-outs when they get close. Fortunately for my wife and I, Davon House and Desmond Bishop made their way over to our seats to say hello.
So, the game starts and BOOM we get a pick six. Total silence around me with the exception of Packer fans celebrating, but not excessively. Well as the game wore on, the alcohol that was consumed was making numerous 49ers fans feel bolder in their distaste for the Packers.
There was one point where one 49er fan started yelling “faggots” at the Packers players. My response to him was “Really, you do realize you are a San Francisco fan?”
That made several people in the section laugh and I think he realized how stupid that comment was.
We were surrounded by several 49er fans. I was rather disappointed in the PackerNation turnout at the game. I know our fans travel well, but all I saw was seas of red and black with a touch of Gold. There was a 49er fan sitting next to me who was consuming alcohol but was actually able to carry on a coherent conversation about the game without drooling on himself or being obnoxious.
There was another 49er fan sitting in front of us that was quietly watching the whole game and wasn’t boisterous or condescending at all. He did not consume any alcohol during the game. He actually came up to me after the game and told me that the Packers were his team in the 60’s, but after moving to California, he started supporting the 49ers.
A little background about the 49er facility, we were San Francisco Giants season ticket holders at Candlestick park for 8 years before they moved to PacBell Park. This was our first time back since the move. I can see why they wanted to build a new stadium.
We were very concerned by the music that the organization played during TV time-outs and before the game. It was nothing but RAP music that you couldn’t understand and was so distorted, it made our ears bleed. I was thinking, “Is this the kind of clientele that the 49ers cater too?”
During the first 3 quarters of the game, there were a few boisterous fans shouting obscenities and vitriol towards the Packers and us Packer fans near by. That was tolerable considering the amount of alcohol they consumed.
Once the game was into the fourth quarter and when Pickett got hurt, another 49er fan started yelling at Pickett calling him a “pussy” and how he’s faking an injury and just basically making an ass of himself. My wife who is definitely not outgoing in any stretch of the imagination bent over and whispered something in his ear. She wouldn’t tell me what she said, but the 49er fan turned to her and apologized.
Once the game was over, we conversed with fellow Packer fans sitting nearby about the loss, while the Stadium emptied. Once we were leaving the Stadium there wasn’t any issues while still in the confines of Candlestick. There was an enormous police and security presence.
We headed back to the tailgate area where the RV’s were parked to say our goodbyes to the Bishops. We stayed there for about 30-45 minutes while traffic was clearing. We parked our car in one of the auxiliary lots outside the fenced area of Candlestick, so we had a little walk to get there.
That’s where the excitement began. There were numerous groups of intoxicated, young, obnoxious, belligerent, 49er “fans” who were confronting us with imitations of Rodgers doing the “discount double check” belt move. They were also kicking beer bottles toward us as we were walking away from the confrontation.
We heard the standard comments of “rotten cheese”, “Packers suck”, to which I calmly replied, “Is that all you got? Please come up with something original” which seemed to stimulate them into wanting to escalate the confrontation. My wife told me to just keep walking, it’s not worth the trouble.
Once we got into our vehicle, we had to sit for about an hour before the traffic started moving in our area. We were in the line to leave and there were several more intoxicated 49er “fans” who were celebrating along side of the vehicles as they were exiting. Once our vehicle got close, they noticed we were wearing Packer gear and started taunting us and surrounding our vehicle. This auxiliary lot had zero police or security presence.
As we started moving, they were attempting to impede our progress towards the exit. I rolled down the window and asked if he was really willing to get run over, because I was about to oblige. He started being a little more aggressive, but one of his friends talked him down and we were able to exit the parking lot.
I’m not sure if I’m used to the way things are conducted at Lambeau and spoiled to think that’s how all NFL franchise fans should act, but we will NEVER attend another game in San Francisco.
We never did see any children in the stands and from what I’ve heard from other 49er fans that children stopped coming when Montana left. If I was associated with the San Francisco 49ers organization I would be embarrassed to know that a good portion of our fan base is made up of wannabe thugs and gang bangers.
This trip just reinforces to me how great our PackerNation fan base is and why other franchise fans are jealous of our organization.
On a lighter note, here is some news about Donald Driver that hit the wire early this morning and touched me, not only because I love Driver for being the great player and team representative through the years, but because he’s just simply a great person and deserves every bit of the recognition he receives.
Here’s a portion of what was posted in the Green Bay Press Gazette:
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver will be honored Wednesday by the Brown County Board, which also will say farewell to one of its own.
Driver, the Packers’ all-time leading receiver, has been invited to attend the meeting of the board, which will recognize him for his contributions to the community. Team and county officials said the event is on Driver’s schedule, but it is not guaranteed that he will attend.
“He has given of himself, given of his time given of his money and he’s been a fan favorite,” said Supervisor Bernie Erickson, a Green Bay supervisor who proposed that the board honor Driver. “And it’s a great opportunity to honor someone while he’s still here.”
How’s that for great?
And for one last observation on this Monday after, this was a post that kind of baffled me. Packers general manager Ted Thompson was quoted describing how he felt about the performance of Colin Kaepernick:
The Packers’ general manager told Yahoo! Sports: “That was unbelievable. He did everything. I mean, I had read the press clippings and seen some of the highlights. But to watch what he did, oh my, that was special.”
Well, I’m glad Ted is reading the press clippings and watching the highlights on the NFL Network … maybe that’s what Dom Capers was watching, too! I mean, wasn’t anyone watching film of this guy? Maybe that’s why he ran for 181 yards and led a 49ers offense that picked up nearly 600 yards.
Next time, Ted, why don’t you try watching the real thing instead of listening to Rich Eisen, Mooch and that idiot Michael Irvin on the NFL Network.
Ok, so that’s all I’ve got to say about that. Enough of this. I’ve got to get back to “The Big Bang Theory.”