The Big Tipping Point

When you are as old as me, you develop a keen sense for the tipping point. Push on further and you might just lose it all ::: Call the right audible and every-thing works out. Of course you never really know if you did the right thing - life so often teeters and totters at the slightest breeze.

Most of you are probably too young to remember, but I still recall October of 1929 quite vividly, when it seemed to all the smart folks that the economy had permanently teetered and tumbled into the deepest, darkest pit of terrible lava imaginable. Going into the fall, the markets were hummin' and optimism was running high, but on October 24, the hull sprang a massive leak. That was Black Thursday. Panicked traders sold shares by the bucket-fulls and many who lost it all simply jumped out their windows. Think about that, dear readers. You go to work a-whistlin' and before supper-time you're brains are splattered all over the side-walk. By the 29th - Black Tuesday - the season was over, so to speak. Dark-ness washed over the country.

Reasonable historians list many factors that led to the Great Depression, but a key catalyst remains the loss of investor confidence following Black Thursday. In that respect, as in many things, it was only in our heads.

Fast-forward to October 24, 2010.

I would never argue that a football season is comparable to an economic depression - I merely use the story of Black Thursday to illustrate the slippery nature of tipping points. The game against the Vikings on Sunday night is, in my humble opinion, just that for the 2010 Packers season. Sitting at three-and-three, with troubling near-term indicators over-shadowing recent optimism for the campaign, I believe any shot at a successful season will fly out the window if we lose. And by "successful" I mean playoff victories, plural. Confidence in the players, coaches and front office will plummet, and the results will likely be a robust shake-up at season's end.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, you might say, that kind of talk reeks of defeat-ism, FG!

True, I am a life-long optimist, and I wouldn't usually speak of the big tipping point so soon in the season, but the variable of a freakish injury plague tells me Sunday is the day. My whiskers feel the danger like an old cat-fish on the murky river-bottoms. Just can't afford dropping below .500 this weekend, not with all the bum-luck we've snagged up on lately.

Being a divisional game also gives this contest more weight, as do the obvious angles created by the treachery of Old-Whats-His-Name. A loss in that frame, at this time, in front of the home crowd, would devastate the Green and Gold, and possibly change the course of history.

As I mentioned in the lead, however, the tipping point can fall two ways, and if we make the right audibles to pull off this important victory, that would unlock a glorious path. Beating the hated Vikings on nationalized television has great potential to effect a sea-change in Green Bay that would set me off dancing in my night-slippers along with happy-feeted Packers fans across the globe. Can you feel the potential rhythms reverberating along this wonderful apex, dear readers?

Many of you, I know, cannot be there in person for this important evening at Lambeau, but there are many things you can do to ensure the tiny strings that make up the universe are wiggling in our favor this weekend: 1 - Wear Packers gear as often as possible and honk your motor-horns and passer-bys who share your fashion sensibilities. 2 - Brandish your most treasured lucky charms with the foolish naivety of a child. And 3 - Plan to feast on your go-to game-day dish, which for me, is a whopping platter of hot-wings with a side of PBR.

If we, as a collective, charge the atmosphere with these powerful omens, I do believe we will gravitate the tipping point to our side of the big river. Believe, dear readers! Believe! And mark it: Vikings 23 - Packers 33. Until next time, then,