More than a game to me

Posted By on August 30, 2012

This weekend marks the unofficial end of summer and that means cooler nights for my cigars on the deck and FOOTBALL!!  Now by football I meanpackvikes the American game where blood and guts are spilled on the gridiron as warriors go to battle every Sunday for a chance to hold the famed Lombardi trophy.  Not the game that every 12 year school girl plays where you have sixty people running up and down the field kicking a volley ball into a net the size of Snookie’s snatch.  Yeah, yeah I know I just pissed off you soccer fans, but you’ll get over it when you come to realize that no matter how many times you claim it’s gonna be bigger than football, it just isn’t.  Give it another 20 years becasue by then the entire country will be completely over run with illegals and then I’m sure your little game of kick ball will be huge.  But until then strap on your brain bucket and holla with me, “Are you ready for some football!”

I like’s me some football more than OchoCinco likes smackin’ up his bitch.  Er, I mean Chad Johnson enjoys pummeling his new wife.  I don’t ever recall hearing stories when I was a kid  of my football hero’s doing the outrageous things these guys get into trouble for now.  I always looked at those men on my bubble gum trading cards as the good guys who worked hard, played by the rules and made sacrifices to be the best so they could play a game they loved.  I don’t remember hold outs and renegotiating contracts or players threatening to not show up for training camp so they buy another Escalade and look like the Shiz-nit on MTV Cribs.  They played and I idolized the greats of the sport for doing so.  Now that I’m older and rounder, I realize that these men all have a bag of faults with more rocks in them than Charlie Browns trick or treat sack.  Drugs, rape, spousal abuse and of course lets not forget murder.  It’s not the same majestic game I recall from countless Sundays with my father as we cheered on our team through the good and bad years.  The good years for my team were very few and far between but I stuck with them like a real fan will do.  The field of honor has become a wasteland for thugs and criminals and I kinda want my childhood game back.tailgate-cigar

It’s not as terrible as I make it sound yet I do look at the gladiators of the game in a different light then I did many years ago.  Like me, these men have faults and chinks in their armor making them less than the perfect hero’s I always imagined them to be.  The game of football is not the only sport littered with problem children and head case athletes who feel above the law yet have the cognitive skills of an eight year old.  It seems that all professional sports have problems with many of their superstars.  The reason why will be reserved for discussion on another day.  For now lets just say that being pampered and told how amazing you are your entire life apparently has some negative affects.  I still have my favorite players and teams and I still enjoy the Sunday ritual of either tailgating at Lambeau Field or preparing a feast for in front of the television in anticipation for a day of pigskin.  That childhood feeling will never go away even if my hero’s of yesterday become tarnished because I know now that football is so much more than the men who play the game.

 Yeah it’s kinda a sentimental thingy going on here but it’s not like I’m reminiscing about lost loves or my Jorney’s Greatest Hits cassette that some a-hole stole from me at a house party, I’m thinking of all the great days I had growing up where football with the family on Sunday was life.  Now recall I said that my team was pretty bad for a lot of those years.  That team is of course the 13 time world champion Green Bay Packers.  We had some rough years being a fan while I was a kid but come Sunday it was brats, hamburgers or hot dogs on the grill with a host of salty snacks and the game on the big 21 inch TV in the family room.  The games were so bad that by halftime I had given up hope of seeing a win so we would gather up all the neighborhood kids and play football in the backyard.  Eventually those skills from yard ball were put to the test in Jr. High where I finally got a chance to play real organized football.  Finally I could suit up in the same type of gear that Eric Dickerson and James Lofton played in.  Now that I was a real football player, Sunday afternoons meant I finally had stories to share with my dad about my games.  The real treat was playing High School football in a small town on Friday nights.  I think besides being the rock God that I am now, playing under the Friday night lights for an entire town with all the future football players watching and looking up to you was the closest I ever felt to fame.  For a brief moment I was that hero of the gridiron that worked hard and played by the rules.

Once the lights dimmed and the crowds left, I could not wait for Sunday football with my dad so we could talk about the previous game and comparestretchg stories of  his glory days on the field while watching our favorite team (usually lose as normal).  This was how I spent my Fall for so many years here in Northern Wisconsin but I’m guessing that many of you guys did the same thing.  That’s why football is more than a game to a fat cat like me, it’s the years of watching with my family and friends while having been apart of the game if at least for a little while.  Sunday is still friends and family day for my wife and I when it comes to getting ready for the kick off.  We tailgate with close friends for the home games and maintain an open door policy for anyone that wants to come watch at home with us when the Pack is on the road.  There is always too much food and never enough beer and that’s just how I like it.

The game has changed and the players may not be the golden idols I once made them out to be, but Football Sunday still means as much to me now as it did when I was a kid all those years ago.  Hey I’m still basically the same height though.  As long as I can laugh and cheer with my buddies over some grilled critter, wash it down with a case or two of cold ones and share stories of our glory days as high school football players, I will always be ready for some football.

Oh yeah, I still talk to my dad at least a couple times during the game.  I guess some things never change and I’m okay with that.

Set, ready, smoke em!

The Cigar Soldier

About the author

The Cigar Soldier is the founding father and President of The Brotherhood of the Leaf, an internet community of cigar enthusiasts and Northeast Wisconsin’s only true membership based cigar club. As the main writer for Cigar Night, his rants can sting, stir or inspire your emotions, as he leaves no topic of enjoying the cigar lifestyle off his hit list.


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