The Official Packers Fan Offseason Survival Guide
by Dan Conklin
July 2, 2012
We've now been 2-1/2 weeks without any real news about the Packers. We have read everything we could about the new draft picks, free agent acquisitions, and undrafted rookie free agents. We refreshed our memories on the promise we saw from last year's training camp surprises and practice squad players. We gobbled up every bit of information available on the OTA practices and minicamp. We have put together our own projected depth charts and opening day rosters. But now...we have 24 days to wait until anything meaningful happens. 24 DAYS!!! God could create 3-1/2 worlds during that time period. Entire wars have been fought in less time. For those of us addicted to Packers information, the next few weeks will be nearly unbearable!
But somehow or other, for our families' sake if for nothing else, we have to find a way to make it through until training camp starts. We can't let ourselves become so irritable or depressed that we ruin our summer and theirs. So to help you through these next few weeks, we bring you the Official Packers Fan Off-season Survival Guide. Suggestions on things that you can do to help pass the time. Because, unlike Adam Sandler in the movie Click, we can't just hit the fast-forward button. We have to survive and thrive until the green-and-gold IV is coursing through our veins once again. Here are some ideas to start with:
1. Watch highlights from all of the previous Super Bowls on Hulu.com.
It's kind of fun to trace the movement of the Lombardi Trophy over the years and to see how the game has evolved, starting with Vince Lombardi's convincing victory over Hank Stram's upstart Kansas City Chiefs, and moving through the years. (One serious flaw in Hulu's coverage is that they don't have the highlights from the Packers' victory over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, but there is still much to be enjoyed.) Besides watching my particular favorites, Super Bowls I, II, and XXXI, it's interesting to compare football back then with football today. To relive moments from yesteryear. To be reminded of the day when fullbacks carried the ball. Or even existed. To see to what extent Tom Landry's Cowboys and Bill Walsh's 49ers changed the way the game is played. And to see players or assistant coaches who have gone on to become great coaches. There is definitely plenty of material to entertain and educate the ardent football fan.
2. Watch old interviews of Packers players on Packers.com.
It's one thing to read articles about players, it's another thing to hear what they have to say directly from their own mouths. For me, it's almost as much fun watching the player interviews after practices and games as it is to watch the games themselves. I said almost...
Through these interviews, you get a feeling for their personalities, and you find yourself becoming more attached to certain players because of it. For example, I have always loved watching interviews with Donald Driver. His infectious personality, sense of humor, and optimism make it obvious why he is such a favorite in the locker room, and (not surprisingly) was able to become a national sensation on Dancing With The Stars.
3. Watch old press conferences on Packers.com.
It's interesting to follow Coach Mike McCarthy and the other coaches over time to see what they have to say about the team on a week-by-week basis. In so doing, you can get more insight into his leadership style, strategy, and growth. Of course, the daily injury reports can seem a little boring at this point in time, but you can use the fast-forward button for that.
4. Read great Packers books off of Paul Chronis's list on Amazon.com.
According to the Jenkins Group, only about 15% of Americans read books on a regular basis. I have to assume that if you're reading this right now, your likelihood of reading may be a little bit higher than that. But if indeed you are or want to become a reader, you can familiarize yourself with Packers history and personalities by reading one of more books from this list. Some of them can be purchased used for as little as $0.01 + shipping, and some may even be found for free on http://books.google.com/ . I remember reading Instant Replay by Jerry Kramer as a kid, and I'm sure that my teacher at the time was just happy that I was reading!
5. Watch Youtube.com highlights of various Packers players or games.
Nothing works faster to build expectation for the coming season than to be reminded of just how good some of the Packers players are. For example, check out this highlight film of Jordy Nelson. If that doesn't get the green blood flowing, what does?
Someone has gone to a lot of work to edit these videos of our favorite Packers players and put them to exciting music, so we owe it to them to watch them, right?
6. Familiarize yourself with the official NFL Rulebook.
OK, I realize this is aimed at the more nerdy types, but it never hurts to know the rules better than the next guy. That way, if you're in a sports bar and an idiot Bears fan starts loudmouthing about a referee call, you can point out the official rule, help him see the error of his way (other that the obvious error of following the wrong team), and demonstrate to everyone in the room what all of us already know: that Packers fans are the most sophisticated, knowledgeable, and level-headed fans in the entire football world.
7. Paint your room or entire house in Packers' colors with Home Depot.
You can have them mix paint to perfectly match the Packers' official colors for your living room, den, master bath, or exterior. It will create more of a sense of paradise and will certainly increase your home value. (DISCLAIMER: Packerpedia recommends that you actually get advice from your realtor as to the actual effect on home value, since there are some areas of the country where, mysteriously, it may actually have a negative effect.)
8. Do something fun and recreational with your family on a Sunday afternoon.
Apart from those weeks when the Packers play on a Monday or Thursday or have a bye week, they're not going to see much of you after September 9th. So it may be a good idea to score some points with them over the next few weeks. Do some things that they like. Have some fun. Get to know them a little better. Let them know that you're multidimensional. As easy as it is to get caught up in all things Packers, it's good to remember that when all is said and done, it's just a game, and family is forever. So make some memories, enjoy your summer, and quietly, in the back of your mind, keep counting down the days until February 3, 2013, when Aaron Rodgers will once again be holding the Lombardi Trophy and planning his trip to Disneyland.Tweet