With no Packers, will you even watch the Super Bowl?
All this week, OnMilwaukee.com's Doug Russell will be reporting from the Media Center at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
INDIANAPOLIS – Sports fans live on the edge with their teams.
One year ago, everyone in the state of Wisconsin got swept up in Packers fever. Even non-sports fans could not escape the excitement that others were feeling. Whether it was the grocery store that allowed checkers to wear green and gold sweatshirts and jerseys, or the relentless, non-stop news coverage of everything that was going on in Dallas, the Packers were ubiquitous. In other words, the Packers were, either directly or indirectly, literally everywhere.
After a 15-1 regular season and a quarterback that statistically had the greatest year of any other at his position in the history of the game, most Packers fans were giddy at the prospect of a Super Bowl that was less than half of day's drive from home, because of course Green Bay was a shoo-in, right?
Then again, we all know about the best laid plans, right? If it were a "normal" year, of course Packerland would be all in on the Super Bowl. After all, Packers fans are still football fans, right? Maybe next year they will be just a little bit better, right?
Maybe not. In an interesting look inside human nature, because of the still-bitter disappointment fans in Wisconsin are feeling, viewership in Packers Country is not the given that it normally is.
"I couldn't care less about the match-up, this will be for commercials viewing only this year," according to Milwaukee resident David Rein.
West Bend resident Jason Roos agrees. "It's the only time of the year the commercials aren't fast-forwarded," he says. "As a Packers fan it will be tough to watch. Giants beat us to get in so can't root for them. Patriots are like an evil empire so can't root for them. Maybe there will be a new discount double check commercial that will sadly remind me of this season."
The again, Roos adds that he still isn't over the Brewers loss in the NLCS, either.
The actual match-up is a compelling one Sunday here in Indianapolis, with plentiful storylines. Eli could win a championship in Peyton's house, which would give the little brother twice as many rings as his elder sibling. Also, if Eli beats Brady head-to-head again, what does that say about Eli's legacy? Does he now become the signature quarterback of the NFL?
If Brady and the Patriots win, is that vindication for their loss four years ago when New York ended New England's quest for perfection? Furthermore, Brady's four Super Bowl championships would tie him with one of his boyhood heroes, Joe Montana. Two weeks ago we learned that Brady was sitting in the Candlestick park stands as a 4-year-old boy when Montana found Dwight Clark in the back of the end zone in the 1981 NFC Championship Game in a play that has since been simply been referred to as "The Catch."
But none of that matters to many Green Bay fans, whose football season was over the evening of Jan. 15.
"The football season ended with the Packers loss," reports Waterford's Jeff Clarksen. "The game will be on to watch the commercials. I'll probably spend the game playing 'Words With Friends' on my iPad until the commercials start."
There are even some Packers fans who claim to be so sick about their loss in the Division round that they would just assume the game not even be played.
"Unless the good year blimp crashes on the field taking both teams out, I will not watch," according to Nick Poblocki of Sussex.
"The match-up is disgusting," according to New Berlin's Ryan Baudhuin. "I will YouTube the commercials. Not interested in the game one bit."
For some, there isn't even a rooting interest in this game. After all, for Packers fans, if it isn't Green Bay then why should I have a stake in the outcome, right?
Interestingly, there appear to be reasons among fans to root both for and against the Giants based not upon New York as a team, but rather based on how they fared against the Packers.
"The whole feeling of that the Packers should still have beaten the Giants is there again," according to Greenfield's Bill Schmid. "And I don't really understand how Packers fans can root for the team that knocked them out."
The again, "if the Giants don't win," Milwaukee resident Tim Johnson counters, "how will you feel about the Packers choking against a team that didn't win the whole thing?"
Of course, in the wake of a devastating Packers loss, it is understandable that the wound would still be fresh. Watching the pomp and circumstance all this week leading up to Sunday's kickoff may only reinforce where Green Bay was last year, and how expected a return trip to the Super Bowl was this year.
And while one cannot simply assume that Packers fans shattered by their loss to the Giants won't follow through with their plans to something other than watch the game, the Nielsen Ratings may prove otherwise. After all, every year, the Super Bowl is the most watched television program in the country. Last year's game was the most-watched television program in U.S. history.
However, apparently there are at least a few fans in Wisconsin and certainly some in Pittsburgh as well, that might not help the Giants and Patriots break that record this Sunday.
i don't like Brady, but he's a pretty tough quarterback who's never done a "soccer dive" in his life. little known fact: the "soccer dive" was actually invented by NFL punters in the 70s.
I'm only going to watch in hopes of seeing Brady get clocked...or watch him do one of his "soccer dives" trying to get a flag thrown. Hey...what about that ProBowl? What an exciting game! What a waste of time...they should select the pro bowl players...assemble them for a group photo...and eliminate the farce of playing a game.
Great article again Doug. It's easy, you cannot consider yourself a "football fan" if you do not watch this game. This is the greatest game of the year for football fans, because it's all you have really. The BCS has helped in that with college. If you watch it for the commercials, then you are just a fan of entertainment, but not a football fan. You can be a fan of the Packers, fine. But don't kid yourself about being a fan of the game. See you in August. As mentioned, there are great story lines, and two great teams, whether you hate them or not. I have a personal disrespect for Peyton Manning, so I would love to see his doofy little brother add a ring to his collection. I'm upset that they beat the Packers, but the better team won that Sunday.
for the record, the Pats haven't won a Super Bowl in 7 years, and last played in one 4 years ago. On Jan 15, I think I told my buddies that I wasn't watching another playoff game. The football fan in me prevailed, and of course I'm watching the Super Bowl..
If it were any other two teams in the league playing in the Super Bowl, I would probably watch it. But I am so god awful sick of both of the Pats (who seem to be in EVERY Super Bowl) and the Giants (I never was an Eli fan) that I will most likely take a pass on the game myself this year. Just don't care.
Show me the other 2 Talkbacks
7 comments about this article.
Post a comment / write a review.
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.