I have never given a good goddamn about football, but as a graduate of the University of Madison I surprised myself by actually wanting the Packers to win. I suppose I'm a bit of an honorary cheesehead, or as I prefer to think of myself an honorary badger. The badger is featured on the state seal of Wisconsin, below the state motto, "Forward." That's a good motto, and goes well with New York's, which is "Excelsior." Ever onward, ever upward, that is my own personal motto.
They take their football seriously in Wisconsin; the university bookstore sold those cheese-wedge hats. But at eighteen, having never lived anywhere but Manhattan, I really knew I was in a different world when I saw the following taped to someone's dorm-room door:
Who art in Lambeau,
Hallowed be thine arm.
Thy bowl will come,
It will be won.
In Phoenix as it is in Lambeau.
And give us this Sunday,
Our weekly win.
And give us many touchdown passes.
But do not let others pass against us.
Lead us not into frustration,
But deliver us to the valley of the sun.
For thine is the MVP, the best of the NFC,
and the glory of the Cheeseheads,
now and forever.
Go get 'em. Amen.
Well, they got 'em. Didn't need Favre, either. And I still don't give a good goddamn about football (or the Lord's Prayer, for that matter -- Jews prefer baseball), but I like Wisconsin, and the nice blond Catholic kids I met there, and all the references they make to it on Mystery Science Theater 3000. "This whole movie is like a promotional film for UW-Stout."