Saturday, January 14, 2012

Privacy, Integrity Still Have Meaning in Green Bay

I'd like to preface this by offering the Philbin family my sincerest condolences. I cannot imagine laying one of my children to rest and I hope they can find some peace in this time of loss. I hope Michael Philbin rests in peace.

As just about every Packer fan knows, Michael Philbin's funeral was yesterday. Joe Philbin had asked "for continued respect and privacy for our family as we deal with our loss." Well, it seems not everyone honored their request. I knew there had been a few cameras outside the church and I guess that's fine as people are interested in who attended. I'm ok with that as it doesn't really invade the family's privacy.

It appears the NY Daily News didn't think anything of the Philbin's request. They sent a writer to the service. But he did more than write about the comings and goings. No, he wrote an article about what was said and who said it. He wrote about who cried and when. He wrote about what should have been a private memorial. I'm offended that someone would think this is news. I'm not going to even say the name of the author because that would give him more credence than he deserves. This is something that paparazzi would do, it's not true journalism.

I would like to personally thank the Green Bay Media for honoring the Philbin's request for privacy. So thank you Jason Wilde and Rob Demovsky and Kareem Copeland and Ty Dunne and Tom Siverstein and Mike Vandermause and Bob McGinn and Chris Jenkins and Pete Dougherty for having the integrity to honor a man's request. Thank you to all the national media who chose to stay away to let a family mourn. It means a lot to see that personal requests like that still mean something to people, whether an event is newsworthy or not. That's what makes Green Bay different (and in my opinion better) from places like New York.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Memories of a Son's First game

Hunter and I with @ThadCollins. Great to see good friends!
Sorry for the time elasped between posts. Life has been busy over the holidays. Before I get into my thoughts on the playoff game, I'm going to talk a bit about taking my son Hunter to his first Packers game, the loss in Kansas City

Hunter and I had a great time visiting Kansas City. We stayed with a good friend of mine in KC and enjoyed everything right up until the game ended.   During the game Hunter had some good banter with the Chiefs fan about Kyle Orton and their team. A couple of the fans around us commented on how much he knew about the Packers and even the Chiefs. He was going on about their draft needs and how next year should be a good year because they get Jamaal Charles back. It was rewarding for me to listen to him be so knowledgeable about another team. I barely knew who the Packers starting QB was when I was 9 let alone who was on IR for the other team.

Tommy C and the tats  preparing for a kickoff return
As the game went on our concern grew. But the score stayed close and I just kept thinking that the offense would wake up. Then halftime came and I assumed Coach McCarthy would light a fire under everyone's rear ends and the 2nd half would be similar to the Falcons game. The Packers would take control and it would end up being the blowout we expected. Even at the end, as Rodgers ran for the last TD, we assumed the Packers were going to win. The D would get the ball back, march right down the field and score. But it never happened.

When it was over I looked over at Hunter. He had his cheesehead down over his eyes and I could tell some tears had been shed. We walked out of the stadium and walked the mile to get back to the car. We talked about how it made us both sad that the Packers wouldn't be able to have a perfect season this year. Hunter said he wasn't sad the Pack lost the game he went to. He was sad that they didn't have a shot at history anymore.

What flavor do you want? "Blue"
We talked for a while on the 8 hour drive home about how keeping the Lombardi trophy in Green Bay was more important than the perfect season and how it was better to lose now than in the playoffs. About how the game could be a wake up call for the defense (still waiting on that one).

A couple days after the game, I asked Hunter what he remembered about our trip because I was worried the loss would sour the memory of his first live game. So what did he remember? The taste of the cotton candy. Mason Crosby hitting a 60 yard field goal in warmups. How close Rodgers was when he scored that rushing touchdown ("We could see the look on his face daddy!").  He remembers my friend's dog Dexter's eyes having different colors and an inflatable mattress that was deflated by the time we woke up ("But it was still comfy next to you Dad"). Getting to stay up till 11 at night playing Madden ("Don't worry Dad, I won't tell mom"). Looking back, I think the loss lingered more for me than Hunter. I should have known better. As we walked into the house after the game Hunter said, "It's ok they lost this game Daddy, they can be perfect next year."