Sunday, January 20, 2008

Action-Reaction: January 20, 2008

Ah, so Axn-Rxn is back after a one week hiatus. Stupid exams. Anyway, it's 10:47 AM ET and I'm sitting in my room (complete disaster area) thinking about a lot of stuff. I cannot get The Mars Volta show out of my head (I'll try to post a review soon). I'm trying to get my plans together for today (Lots of football involved). I'm trying to figure out what I got on my exams (84 on AP Euro is all I know). I'm listening to In Defense of the Genre by Say Anything (totally sucky album, …Is a Real Boy absolutely pwns it). I'm gonna listen to something else now (Hold up). Minus The Bear will work for now. I'm also dreading having to finish taking the Christmas tree down today before my friend comes over to watch the New England-San Diego game, and then I'm skipping a track party to go over to my friend's house (his dad is the biggest Packer fan I have ever met) to watch the Green Bay-New York game. And on top of this, there really is not any news out there. So I'll make a compromise with you guys. I'll just put the one newsworthy bit I have, then talk a bit about the two games today and the significance of the weekend. So deal.

Action: Unranked Maryland Terrapins upset #1 North Carolina IN Chapel Hill.
Reaction: I don't know if they burned any cars in College Park or not. Anyway, I am not a Terps fan at all. My parents initially told me that I was not allowed to go there for college (stupid party schools), but of course, they have pulled a John Kerry (flip-flop) and said I could go there because it has one of the top journalism programs in the mid-Atlantic. Forget that, I am getting out the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. ANYWAY, I watched the last 1:22 of this game and it was quite exciting. Now, I said I wasn't a Terps fan, but that does not mean I won't root for them, especially when they are playing North Carolina or Duke (GOAT, the basketball gods are going to strike you down for liking both). I'm like all people that grew up in Maryland. I have that tiny connection to UMD, because it represents my state (which I hate), right? So when I turned it on and Maryland was down 78-76 with 1:22 left, I was praying for a victory. Bambale Osby looks like a kid at my school. Anyway (again), I have no clue why Hansbrough took that three at the end. I know he had a great look, but couldn't they have at least gotten it to Ellington? He's probably a better shooter with a bad look than Hansbrough is with a good look. Well, we'll never know.

I was talking to my friend last night afterwards, and he said that was Maryland's defining win for the year and that win could put them into the tournament. We'll have to wait and see. In my opinion, the Maryland program has been on the downhill after their National Championship. Williams is a great coach and all, but the recruiting is not there. The only good recruit I know they're getting next year is Sean Mosely of St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. I don't know his rank or anything (GOAT, want to give me some help?), but I saw him play against my school and he was great. He's got great size and a great shot for a guard. He was being guarded by our forwards and just owned up on them. He did dog it occasionally, but once the ball came to him, he lit it up. He could be up for a bit of a wakeup call in college, but he still looked great.

Anyway, that's the only viable news tidbit for the day, so I decided I'd do just a bit of writing about this weekend.

The following section will be re-posted in PackerNation, so by the way, so I ain't plagiarizing.

The air is electric today. I don't think I have been this pumped up for a game in a long, long time. Why? Well, in case you live under a rock, my Packers are in the NFC Championship Game. I'm not going to go too in-depth into the game because of superstition, but yeah, I'll just talk. I have been waiting a long time for this. I was merely four years old when the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI. My family was living in a one-floor rancher, a half-hour from everywhere in Southern Maryland. My grandparents were visiting from Oregon, and we were having a great family time watching the Super Bowl. Now, I had developed a love-affair with the Packers earlier that year. I was an impressionable young child. Something about watching that Favor dude in the #4 jersey just captivated me. There was something about those green jerseys and yellow helmets and the cheeseheads and the frozen tundra and the name Lambeau just had me. I remember making fun of my aunt two weeks before the Super Bowl after the Packers had just finished off the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship Game because she had a Kerry Collins, Carolina Panthers travel bag. I mocked her endlessly, but she put up with me. I was just that kind of child. So the game rolled around and I was the only one in the household rooting for the Packers. I barely remember anything about the game except for Desmond Howard sprinting past Adam Viniateri into the endzone. That play still gets me to this day. The image that stays with me to this day is Favre running around on the field, helmet held high, after throwing the touchdown pass to Andre Rison in the first quarter. The Packers went on to win, and I was a Packers fan for life.

Now, the summer of 1997 was a summer of change for me. My family moved from Southern Maryland up to a little town (now a huge-a** area ripe with urban sprawl) because my dad had taken a job at a little Catholic high school. My sister went through there and now I am currently going through there. In the fall of 1997, I started kindergarten and became more aware of my surroundings. I started clipping box scores out of newspapers (WTF?) and saving them. I cut anything out of the paper that remotely had to do with the Pack Attack. I watched all their games. My mood was devastated if they lost. My life started to depend on them. I got my first Brett Favre jersey from my godfather (sadly, we gave it away later, not realizing the significance of it), and I just started to watch the Packers. Then Super Bowl XXXII came. I had watched the Packers defeat Steve Young and the 49ers the week before in that mud bowl. My sister, three years older than me, much to my horror, was becoming a Broncos fan. We fought many times over this. Anyway, I sat through Super Bowl XXXII. The game just didn't feel right to me. The Packers weren't in their reliable home jerseys (I used to abhor the white road jerseys, but they have grown on me as I now possess one) and the Broncos just looked too good. The game ended. I sat down in our dining room (I was watching it on a little ten-inch TV) and cried. It was painful. I felt like my world was ending.

The 1998 Packers season was another I would like to forget. I myself take full responsibility for their loss in the Wild-Card game to San Francisco, because my benevolent godfather had given me a Steve Young jersey for Christmas (it still remains one of my most prized possessions, because, hey, it's Steve Young). I cried again when Terrell Owens caught that pass in front of Darren Sharper after the blow fumble call on Jerry Rice. I still haven't forgiven you Mr. Rice. As for you Mr. Owens, well, ha, that's another blog for another time. I almost lost one of my good friends, Craig, because of that game. Craig was the first Packer fan I met at my new school and his dad is the biggest Packer fan I know. I'm going to their house tonight to watch the game. Whenever I went over to Craig's house to chill, his dad would pull out some Packers DVD or VHS and we'd just sit and watch it. Sadly, Craig has become a Titans fan. That's another story.

Anyway, 1999-2004 are dark years for me. My interest and obsession with the Packers waned, and I became, gulp, a Ravens fan. Got that out of my system thankfully. I still had my Packers moments. In fourth and fifth grade, when I won back-to-back Geography Bee titles, I was wearing my new Brett Favre jersey. Remarkably, I have had the same Brett Favre road jersey since fourth or fifth grade. It still fits thankfully. In sixth grade, again at a new school, I immediately solidified myself as the number one Packer fan. The summer before and the summer before that (I get years mixed up too much), I had gone to Green Bay and the Packers training camp. Great experiences for me. Anyway, people knew I was a Packers fan, and I liked that they knew. In seventh grade, the Packers started off 0-4, and sadly, I gave up on them. They rallied back to finish 8-8 or 9-7 or something like that. I forget whether or not that was the year that Irv Favre died (might have been my sixth grade year), but I still have a tape of the Raiders game. This summer they showed it on NFL Network when I was out at my grandparents (converted fans now) and I made my cousins sit down and watch it and explained the significance to them.

Now, 2005 is the worst year in recent memory for Packers fans. The 4-12 season. The injuries. Javon Walker, my new second favorite player getting hurt and demanding a trade. Black Monday in Baltimore. I was there, but that's ANOTHER blog for another time. The sad part was I was a diehard that year. That hurt so bad. (It's now 11:47 AM ET. I'm writing a lot.) But I didn't lost faith. I applauded the McCarthy hire and the A.J. Hawk and Greg Jennings selections in the draft. But in 2006, because of the new workload of high school mostly, I was indifferent to their 8-8 season. But then I discovered a little thing called FanNation, and that rekindled my fire. This year has been one of the best ever for me. This is the closest I have followed the Packers EVER and it has paid off. People don't get why I'm skipping a party tonight. They don't get that I am now mentally insane, thanks to #4 of the Green Bay Packers. So now I sit in my yellow room, staring at my Packers pennant, my Lambeau Field panoramic, my Packers sheets (crap, gotta make my bed), my Super Bowl XXXI poster, and my Brett Favre poster.

And I think to myself, "What a wonderful world."

*Brief interruption while I help my mom take the Christmas tree down*

*And we're back*

So I've basically lost my train of thought. It's now 1:04 PM EST. The Packers game starts in five hours and thirty-eight minutes while the Patriots-Chargers game starts in two-and-a-half hours. Minus The Bear is still sustaining me, so I guess that's good. Anyway, I would like to talk a little bit about the significance of this weekend. Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (THREE DAY WEEKEND!). But I just have a little bone to pick about this. I really hate when people call it MLK Day. Say the man's name for God's sake. Show him the respect he deserves. So while all you are out enjoying your day off, show some respect to the man. Use his full name. Don't take a shortcut in a society full of shortcuts.

Ah yes, one last nugget of news:

Action: John Harbaugh has been hired as coach of the Baltimore Ravens.
Reaction: Good luck. You're going to need it.

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