With Super-Bowl won, I seek the Hodag again

Welcome back to Meat Packers Union, dear readers! I hope you can forgive my absence over the last week and change. I needed a break after a tenacious run of blogging during the Super-Bowl. Since that glorious win I've been watching lots of playoff games on VHS tape and, like eating a large rib-eye, I required some napping-time to properly digest that Super-Bowl win, plus Mooney got me the first volume of Mark Twain's autobiography, which is thicker than a stack of rib-eyes (and just as wonderful). And there's only so many weeks of ice fishing left on the calendar, so naturally, I've been spending lots of time out in the shanty.

I missed you, though, dear readers, and maybe you missed me... Ike tells me that I've wasted our Super-bowl 'traffic bump' by letting the site go quiet, but my regular readers know I'm not the type of blogger to puke out a new post ever time John Kuhn lights a fart or Charles Woodsen is on the radio-box, especially during the off-season. I don't do this for the traffic or the money (clearly). I can only be me, and every-one needs a vacation from time to time. Today I feel refreshed. I've got the goosey-bumps.

This weekend marks the 70th annual Union Family Hodag Hunt. I would estimate that most Packers fans have some knowledge of the mythical Hodag, but for those that don't, this maniacal creature that lives in the forest-lands surrounding Rhinelander, Wisconsin, has "the head of a frog, the grinning face of a giant elephant, thick short legs set off by huge claws, the back of a dinosaur, and a long tail with spears at the end." You can read more here, if you so desire, but be care-ful, the Hodag has many powers, including mind-control. By seeking him out you run the risk of inviting this evil sonuvabitch into your very soul! It took me and my fellow hunters many years to appreciate and fend off such attacks, and even the most seasoned Hodag enthusiasts are susceptible to his sinister trickery.

The picture above was snapped during the Union Family Hodag Hunt of 1997, immediately after the last Packers Super Bowl victory. This visual evidence is the best 'trophy' any of us has ever captured in 70 years of hunting. As you can see, this critter looks nothing like the 'traditional Hodag' form, but that is part of his clever-ness. Only the most power-ful and sound Hodag Hunters have ever witnessed his true form. He will manifest himself, quite often, as the member of your crew who is least prepared to ward off his powers. We have witnessed this phenomenon many times over the years, but never so strongly as after Super-Bowl Victories. '97 was the first time we had visual recording devices with us during the hunt following such a victory.

Now some of yous may think, FG, that's just your buddy holding two frozen pikes to his head... ease up on the PBRs! That is certainly a good theory, but the problem is this: While the Hodag looks like our buddy Mitch, it was Mitch who took the photo as we held the pitch-forks and torches to keep the monster from attacking. And Mitch was not holding pike-horns, but a 35mm camera! The other clue that reveals the Hodag's presence is the terrifying grin and black eye-balls. I can barely look into them, even many years later. Those readers who have encountered the Hodag or any other sort of demon recognize the ill intentions in that monstrous glare.

Another good question: Why chase the Hodag, especially after Super-Bowl Victories, if he is so dangerous and frightening and powerful? Well, as seasoned professionals in the field of Hodag hunting we take the necessary precautions to defend against his attacks, so despite the terror in your mind the actual danger is quite limited, and the subsequent thrill is rivaled only by Super-Bowl victories and a hand-ful of other earthly delights. But the main reason we seek out the Hodag is because he is amongst the world's finest Packer fans. I would argue, even, that the Hodag is The Finest Packer Fan to roam the universe.

As such, he will usually share secrets about the team that transcend space and time, although due to the Laws of Hodag Encounters I am not at liberty to divulge his revelations (my tongue would turn into a toad if I even tried to speak of them, as would my fingers if I was so foolish as to type them). This was confirmed by our old pal Thompson, who we now call 'Toad-Finger Tom', and also in that we have never been able to record his beautiful song even on the rare hunts when we have seen him in the human dimension and heard that song with our own ears (or perhaps it is understood by another sense).

So with the Super-Bowl won, I seek the Hodag once again, and if history is any indication, I expect to find him out there, in the forest-lands of the north. And if we are lucky and sharp, we may capture another image or video of the creature. And if we are really blessed he may sing to us again, and reveal more fascinating glimpses into the realm of Packers history from seasons we have lived through and those yet-to-be.

Until next time, then,