Calcium conquers steel

Madison, WI CapitalWell it may not be America’s favorite pastime, but, seriously, who does not watch the Superbowl?  Sunday night I gathered with a crowd of fellow football-watchers to consume large amounts of food, laugh at the commercials, and cheer loudly for our team choices.  In our particular group we had a three-way split between die-hard Steelers fans, Cheese-head enthusiasts, and the indifferent viewers who mostly came to enjoy halftime entertainment, mock incoherent attempts to promote various products and services, and socialize.  For those of you who are wondering what is up with these strange names, the term Packers is derived from the business that originally sponsored the Green Bay team, the Indian Packing Company.  Later the company was renamed the Acme Packing Company, but the name Packers has stuck since the team’s formation in 1919.  The name Steelers, of course, refers to Pittsburgh’s historical reliance on the steel industry.  Sadly, for all of my Terrible Towel waving, the men of steel were no match for the men in green and gold from “America’s Dairyland”.

Yesterday the Green Bay Packers made their triumphant return with the
Lombardi Trophy in hand for the first time since 1996.  Some fans
continued their frenzied celebration from Sunday night when the final
seconds ticked off the clock at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas.  The
Packers will host a celebration titled “Return to Titletown” at their home
field in Green Bay from 4 PM to 5 PM local time Tuesday afternoon.  The
road closures began at 1:15 PM on Monday –think about all those transportation
geography logistics!
 
Serious dedication

Just in case you don’t have a grasp of how significant this victory is
for the city of Green Bay, I will enlighten you.  The Ashwaubenon School
District, which encompasses the city of Green Baby, shortened the
school day Monday in order to adapt to traffic demands for the victory
celebration.  What child would not root for a team if it got them out of
class?  After-school activities and scheduled competitions for
elementary and middle schools were cancelled. Of course, at that point,
the city was so football-crazed that many parents would have probably
taken their children out of school to attend the celebration anyway.

Cheese and more
Protect the cheese
So I would be willing to bet that the average person does not think of
football right off the bat when the state of Wisconsin is mentioned. 
Cheese, cows, and cold are the three things that come to my mind. Did
you know that it is the only place outside of Europe where one can
acquire a Master Cheesemaker certification?  Also, Wisconsin dairy
farmers are becoming highly specialized, making their own distinct
flavors of cheese.  Want to visit one?  The Wisconsin Milk Marketing
Board has produced a website with all the calcium-enriching information,
including a travel guide, one could possibly want. But there is more to
Wisconsin than meets the eye:  The Badger state is also the home of the
Ginseng Capital of the World in Wausau, the nation’s largest
water-themed park (Noah’s Ark in Wisconsin Dells), and Harley Davidson
motorcycles.  

Lock out?

On Sunday the National Football League’s season ended happily for the
Green Bay Packers, but it may not be a long-lived victory if the owners
and players cannot re-establish a collective bargaining agreement (CBA)
that both sides will accept. The current CBA will expire March 3, which
gives the two sides just over three weeks to discuss and bargain.  If
they are unable to agree, the owners are threatening to lockout the
players and it is likely that there would be a work stoppage within the
league for the first time since 1987.

I realize that the National Football League, just like any other sports
organization, is in place largely for the entertainment of viewers. 
However, what would life be like without the NFL, so central to American
pop-culture? What other people and industries–retailers, hot-dog
sellers, cable providers, etc.–would be affected? How would people
react?
 
Some readers might remember the strike in Major League Baseball that
suspended play from 1994 into the 1995 season. Many fans became quite
upset with the players, once regarded as heroes. I encourage you to
consider: Would a strike in football have comparable outcomes to the
baseball strike? How might it be similar or different based on
historical circumstances, cultural, and regional attitudes toward the
two games, and other factors?

Becky for My Wonderful World

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