This past weekend I didn’t watch the Green Bay Packers.
It’s not because I’m one of those people who grow ulcers and suffer emotional distress when watching the Packers – it was because I was behind the wheel of my Camry in northern Illinois heading toward Decatur (yes, the original home of the Chicago Bears). The mission was to help our daughter move into a new apartment for her senior year in college.
So, as 3 p.m. rolled around and the start of the Packers vs. St. Louis Rams was impending I turned on the radio and set the scan button in search of the game.
That was the easy part because we were well within range of WTMJ in Milwaukee, the flagship of the Packers Radio Network.
But traveling down I-39 at 75 mph (the speed limit in Illinois is 70 mph – oops!), it wasn’t long before that FM signal began to dissipate.
But before the signal went away completely I listened as Aaron Rodgers and company wasted little time in matriculating the football down the field for one touchdown, one touchdown called back, followed by a field goal to take a 10-0 lead.
However, just as the Rams were about to roll into the end zone for their one and only touchdown, we lost the signal.
So it was back to the scan button … to no avail.
Why don’t stations in Illinois carry the only NFL game going on at that particular moment? So what if it’s the Packers and we’re in Illinois?
In addition, as we hurtled south toward Decatur, I figured that we would eventually pick up a St. Louis station that might be carrying the game – again no luck.
Then we tried something that I thought would never work – we switched to AM! Yes, AM.
Who listens to AM anymore?
Well there are plenty of AM stations and when we started scanning that side of the broadcast frequencies, lo and behold we picked up the AM version of WTMJ.
We listened to the second quarter as Scott Tolzien took the quarterbacking helm – a stretch that led to halftime with no more scoring.
Then we lost that signal as we got closer to Decatur.
Frankly, from that point on I was so fatigued from having to filter out the announcers through the white noise that I couldn’t listen anymore. So I shut the radio off and it wasn’t until we got things settled at our daughter’s new apartment that I found time to discover that the Packers had won by that 21-7 score.
It seems about all I missed was the TD catch by WR Jeff Janis, though I also missed the seven sacks by the Packers and the emergence of Jayrone Elliot.
It’s not the way that I prefer to keep track of our team, but for the second preseason game, it sufficed. Listening to Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren was much more pleasing than having to listen to the NFL Network yahoos.
Though I don’t plan on traveling to Illinois every time the Packers play, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to catch at least some of last Saturday’s game and garner a greater understanding as to why nobody listens to AM any more.