The Agony of Being a Packers Fan

As I felt the physical pain of my clenched stomach for multiple hours during Sunday’s Packer game, I kept asking myself “am I enjoying this???”

For as long as I can remember, I have been the textbook definition of a “die-hard Packers fan”. But why do we do this to ourselves? I remember how confused I was when I learned that my father-in-law would turn off close games and go for a walk. Why would you do such a thing?! My younger self fed off the adrenaline of close games and the bliss of a comeback win.

Now, I am starting to understand why he would engage in such blasphemy. Sunday’s game gripped me with pain almost from the start and didn’t recede until that ball blissfully sailed through the uprights.

Certainly, I love the highs: the two Packers Super Bowl wins that I watched live. The throw to Jared Cook to beat the Cowboys. Rodgers’ unbelievable Hail Mary wins. Antonio Freeman’s miracle catch and run to beat the Vikings in overtime. The memory of hugs and whoops with friends and family.

But for some reason, the lows stand out even more… the Super Bowl loss. The championship game blunders. The 4th and 26 against the Eagles. The revolting last-minute toss from Young to Owens in the 1998 NFC Wild Card Game.

As my brother-in-law pointed out early in the game, “this game is boring”. I knew what he meant- it was frustrating to see the Packers offense struggling to get going. But, what then are we looking for? It can also be boring when the Packers beat a terrible opponent by 5 touchdowns. I think the answer is that we want the Packers to play well against good opponents. But what then do we want in games like this?

So, did I enjoy Sunday’s game? No, I can admit that I actually did not. Yet somehow my tortured love of the Packers not only endured, but grows ever stronger.

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