The calm before the storm

As an outdoorsman, I never leave home without my digital barometer gizmo. In addition to helping me zero in on the big and slippery fishes of Wisconsin, this gadget also serves as a handy weather forecasting device. By keeping an eye on the air pressure, any old fellow can prognosticate the near-term weather with reasonable efficiency. Looking at the last few weeks of the NFL season, that barometer was all over the charts, and now, it appears we have ourselves a dome of high-pressure overhead – The calm before the storm.
Such is the pleasantry of earning a first-round playoff bye. Even if it’s cold as a cucumber out there, the sun is shining and the breeze remains gentle. At least for this week, dear readers. As a review of any barometric data log will reveal, each high-pressure system is inevitably followed by a trough of the low, and low pressure brings storms. Today, sitting in my rocking chair with a warm mug of coffee at my side, I think this team can handle the storms, but a few weeks ago, things weren’t looking so hot. I’m speaking about the Bears game, of course.
Looking back, I am not so worried as I was during the post-game blues. Holiday travel plans forced Mooney and me to listen to the game on the radio-box while traveling through a snow storm in the four-wheel-drive auto-buggy. Right off the bat, I thought we had a good day ahead as we spotted a jeep in the ditch with a Bears cover on its spare wheel. But we ended up seeing lots of folks in the ditch including the Packer's Special Teams unit. I swear. We saw punter Jon Ryan and long snapper Rob Davis stuck in a snow-bank near the four-lane cause-way on Lake Butte de Morts. They appeared to be walking on their hands and wearing their uniforms in-side-out and speaking a strange version of wood-land monster gibberish. Frightened and deflated from the disappointing loss, we motored on, leaving them to sort things out.
A week later I sat down to watch the game with a tinge of anxiety, but the Green and Gold quickly proved the game in Chicago was a mere hiccup. Of course, that hiccup featured some hurricane-force wind-gusts, but let’s not make excuses. Over the last decade plus there has been no better cure for the hiccups than a glass of water drunk upsidedown and a game against the Lions at home. Brett Favre simply dominates that poor, poor team.
Well, here we are then at 13 wins and 3 losses; and I must say, even though I cannot pick the Packers to lose, I am surprised by the season’s total. I don’t think there’s a reasonably fanatic out there that thought this was possible. On a side note, can you really be a reasonable fanatic? (Sure. Why not?) Achieving 13 wins – even in the weaker NFC – is an amazing feat. The turning point in my mind was those two outstanding road victories in Denver and Kansas City. At that point we moved from winning marginally to winning with emphasis. And those wins signaled the nation’s attention. Since that stretch we have had a few good ones and a few stinkers, but regular consumers of Packer’s analysis have now seen what the team is capable of accomplishing when the motor is purring.
I hope you all had a nice holiday season, dear readers, and I do apologize for my prolonged absence – caused in part by strange publishing schedules and erratic visiting schedules on my end. Next week I’ll outline the remaining playoff matchups and give my predictions for the Packer’s second season. (Here’s a hint: I’m feeling good).
Until next week, then.