Learning Lessons From The Skua

By Jerry the Antarctican
Special MPU Correspondent

Due to bandwidth restrictions, satellite times, gin consumption and Mohawk haircuts, I received very little news regarding this week's win over the Frisco 49ers. For instance, I am aware that there was a 30 -24 victory (or something close to that); that Alfred Harris had his knee reconstructed in 10 short seconds and that Aaron Kampman was diagnosed with what appeared to be a season ending sore-hinder.

The later is of course, tough, tough news for both the Green Bay Packers and for dedicated fans of the team. The good news is that there is a solution... start to act like a Skua!

Here at the South Pole the definition of Skua takes on a slightly different but still very similar meaning to the term Skua at McMurdo or Palmer Stations.

At McMurdo and Palmer Stations the term Skua refers to the literal definition: A ravenous, hideously disfigured seabird that will stop at nothing to attack anything in its path. As a matter of fact, Skua attacks at McMurdo have become a sad and dangerous fact of life. Every single day an unsuspecting scientist, fireman or cargo worker has his dreams (and dinner) ripped out of his hands by one of these demons. A tired and weary worker, plate in hand on route to his room will be frozen with fear as a terrible Keeeeaaaawwwww!, Keeeeeeawwwwwww! is heard in the distance. At this point the Skua already has the upper hand. Swooping violently, the Skua uses its acrobatic skills and bright red beak to quickly duck up-and-under the defenseless worker's plate. Within a matter of seconds a traumatized contract worker's exterior is covered in crumbs and feathers and his interior is defeated and violated. His delicious dinner is gone. A Skua has struck again. Like a flash of the Southern Lights, a Skua has flipped another plate and escaped, belly full, under protection of the Antarctic Treaty.

At Pole, an actual Skua cannot survive. Therefore, the human beings have taken their place. Scattered amongst the outbuildings, boxes of frozen food and summer housing units one will find Skua Shacks. These shacks are stocked with anything and everything imaginable. As people wander through the travelers' crossroads that is the Pole they often leave behind goods that although prove invaluable to most, prove worthless to the person leaving them behind, who may be on their way to Tonga, Thailand, or one of many other far off hot places. When this drop of goods is made, the fight is on! Scrappy, greasy, un-bathed humans chase these items with a ferocity unseen on thawed land. The only difference between the Skua and a human in this situation is that the screech of Keeaaawwww! is replaced with "A humidifier!" or with "A bottle of whiskey!"

Skua Shack - Photo courtesy Jerry

Watching the human beings of South Pole Station storm the Skua Shacks with all the fight and fury of the wretched birds for which the shacks are named reminded me of one of the most Skua-like players in the NFL and in Packers history: Chuck Cecil.

Chuck Cecil, like the Skua, saw what he wanted and dove in – Head first. The fact that the plate of food (ball) was being held by a creature 4 times his size did not matter. What mattered was that the creature was holding something of value, something that Chuck couldn't do without.

The Green Bay Packers need to follow Cecil's lead and emulate the Skua now more than ever. In the face of injury and adversity it is time to get tough. It is time to get scrappy. It is time to act like a crazed, hungry, Antarctic bird. Make both a flock of Skua and Chuck Cecil proud.

Dive in and steal that plate!