Tuesday, February 18, 2014

When Gift-Giving Goes Wrong

Hat-tip: @michaelcainlaw

Friday, February 14, 2014

Psst…Have We Got a Deal for You

Close your eyes and think about the last time you traveled to Green Bay for a Packers’ game. You’re filling up your tank for the journey home, probably grabbing some beef jerky and a coffee, the former for sustenance, that latter to ensure you are an alert and attentive driver. Now, picture yourself pulling out your wallet or your purse. You’re looking inside. What do you see? A ticket stub, Pro Shop receipt, maybe a phone number from that fetching laddie or lassie you met at Stadium View after you were thrown off the mechanical bull like Mike Daniels throws off an offensive guard. What else? Yeah, I thought so. Not much. Trips to Lambeau Field get expensive. A large part of these expenses is accommodation. The artificial inflation of prices by hotels and the mandatory minimum night stays can really drain a Packers fan’s funding. Spending $200 a night to say at the EconoLodge is not right, Michael.

Robert and I have tried various ways of getting around this expense, with incredibly mixed results. While it can be fun rolling the dice with your sleeping arrangements, it can also lead to sleepless nights, burglary, and vain attempts to reach the bathroom in an unfamiliar, darkened hotel room. For years, we’ve been trying to find the solution. This past year, our investigations came to fruition when we were graciously invited to join a good friend at one those fantastical houses across the street from Lambeau Field. You know the ones. The Party Houses. The houses that are used for eight weekends a year, not including a home playoff game every now and again. The houses that are outfitted for one purpose: enjoy a weekend of revelry in Green Bay with easy access to Lambeau Field. This seems like an easy solution, why didn’t we think of it earlier? Again, it comes back to funding. These places also cost a pretty penny to rent and have the same old mandatory minimum stays, which leaves us right back where we were.

Here’s the difference. We’re going to buy one, WE, as in Robert, me, and you. All of you. We’re going to buy a house and make it a Green Bay Fan Commune (GBFC). I don’t believe in elitism, and neither should you. Every one of us is entitled to sleep in view of the bright lights of Historic Lambeau Field, and we’re going to do it. Why should fancy-pants sauerkraut commodities traders and snobbish Zubaz brokers get to live the good life, while we’re stuck fighting for cabs at 2:00 a.m. to take us to the Motel 6? (Even if they do leave the light on for us). We should be able to take a short stroll from Stadium View to our premium lodging, like the creator of this.

Each owner of the GBFC will be an equal member of the household, with equal responsibilities and equal opportunities for enjoyment of the property. The sleeping arrangements will be dormitory-style, numerous bunkbeds will be installed in an open layout, with maybe a couple hammocks here and there. Outside, tents will be pitched (weather permitting). The house will have separate men’s and women’s lockerrooms for showering and pre-game Packers gear preparing purposes. This will include large mirrors for those inclined to painting faces, bodies, etc. Food preparation will be done as a team, with various groups tasked with different meals and snacks over the course of the weekend. Grills will be used at all times, and each member will be required to undergo a Grill Safety and Competence Training. Refrigerators will line walls of the garage and will be filled with libations that each household member will contribute to and share. All libations, as with the food, are communal. If one member has the gift for crafting martinis or Old Fashioneds, they may be asked to do so, but are not required to if they would prefer to just pound PBR tall boys. Post-weekend cleanup will be done as a GROUP. No exceptions. Also, as part of household membership, you will be given priority placement in the GBFC Fantasy Football League and one day fantasy sports, the winner of which will be given premium sleeping options for the one calendar year.

The house will not be a permanent domicile for any one member of the household. It will be a temporary lodging solution for Packers’ fans in Green Bay. It will be available to all members for Packers’ games, training camp, concerts, and other events, but following these occasions, it will be cleaned (BY EVERYONE) and left in order for the next event.

We will open the application process for the GBFC in the coming weeks. We will ask that you please provide your personal information, an itemized list of Packers’ paraphernalia, a chili recipe, favorite beer or cocktail, and permission to run a credit check.

Robert and I have already begun the house hunt. We are angling to get on “House Hunters: Cheeseheads”, but the producers have not accepted our application video at this time. Our first prospect can be found hereThe price is $119,000, but by utilizing Robert’s legendary negotiating skills, fine-tuned during binge card trading marathons, we’ll likely negotiate that down to $110,000. As of today, the rate for a 5-year arm is 3.38%, and with excellent credit, my great aunt Ruby can secure this rate for us, as soon as we want. This comes to a group payment of only $600/month. If we get just 10 others to join us, that’s only $50/month – or $600/year – per person to permanently secure this house for our personal use. How much did you spend last year for a hotel on game weekend?
I'd pay $50/month for this view. Wouldn't you?
With 8 home games, training camp, special events, concerts and playoff games (yes), we estimate about 15-20 party weekends per year, with almost limitless off-season availability as well (depending on schedules of all Party House members, of course.) If you stay just two times a year, it’s more than paid for itself.

It pays for itself. You said so yourself, Dude. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Don’t Ditch the Kick Just Yet, or How to Improve the NFL PAT

The PAT is apparently automatic and boring, which has led Roger Goodell to suggest the league’s competition committee consider abolishing the PAT altogether. “You want to add excitement with every play,” Goodell recently told the NFL Network.

I don’t disagree with adding excitement, Roger. After all, no fan wants to watch an NFL player do something they feel they are capable of doing. However, pushing the two-point conversion by subtracting the PAT option is neither that innovative nor that creative of a way to solve this. It’s a lukewarm alternative from what we have now, as have been most of the suggestions I’ve heard on sports talk radio.

So how do we keep the tradition of the PAT and kickers while getting radical at the same time? I’ll tell you:

Adjustable goal posts.

I’m serious.

According to the NFL rules, “The goal posts must be 18 feet, 6 inches wide.” We’ve already established there’s nothing impressive about a chip-shot PAT through a space as wide as an industrial shipping container. What WOULD make it interesting is if that space was narrowed to, say, 6 feet, 2 inches – exactly one-third of the original goal post width.

Now we’re talking some serious kicker skill involved. A confined kick like this is no longer a gimme. In fact, I’d say the success rate would be closer to 60% than 100%. Now, Roger, we’re talking about a legitimate dilemma whether to attempt the PAT or go for two. And guess what – it’s now exciting either way.

We could even take this concept of adjustable goal posts one step further and apply it to field goals as well. For instance, FG attempts 25 yards and under retain the suggested PAT goal post width of 6’ 2”. For FG attempts 26-40 yards, double that to 12 ft. 4 in., and anything longer gets the max/current goal post width of 18’ 6”. By doing so, you’ve made the kicking game more exciting and given teams a LOT more to think about on 4th down in the enemy’s territory.

Give it some thought and your reaction in the comments – good or bad – and tell me WHY.

Friday, January 3, 2014

5 Tips to Stay Warm During the Packers Game

Sunday's home playoff matchup against the 49ers is expected to be one of the coldest games of all time. But don't let the weather keep you down. Here's five ways you can stay warm and better enjoy the Packers' win.

1. Dress Appropriately. We’re talking fleece-lined denim on top of fleece-lined denim (I’m sure Fleet Farm has an entire department for this), leg warmers, even mittens from kittens if necessary – whatever you can get your hands on. Keeping warm not a fashion contest, people, so don’t treat it like one.
Clark Griswald improvised. So can you.
2. Cuddling. What could bring two Packer fans closer together than in the warm embrace that lasts over three hours in the freezing cold of Lambeau Field? I recommend setting the ground rules early. If Larry in section 112 foresees issues with playing footsie, maybe Bill in 110 won’t. Take your time finding your perfect cuddle match – it’ll make the game that much more enjoyable for you both. And for those seamstress savants out there, it’s not too late to sew two snowmobile outfits together before Sunday…

3. One Word: Superhydrophics. It’s no secret if you get wet in below-freezing conditions, hypothermia can set in immediately. And since hypothermia’s symptoms include sleepiness, clumsiness and even slurred speech, you don't want to be mistaken for a drunken fan instead of one who needs immediate medical attention. Before you arrive, spray yourself from head to toe with a superhydrophic coating. You’ll not only stay amazingly dry despite nature’s best efforts, but you can also charge $1 every time someone wants to watch nacho cheese slide off your back.

4. Move! Imagine being in a literal frozen tundra sitting on a block of ice. That’s pretty much EXACTLY the experience of watching a game on Lambeau’s metal benches in winter. Try high-fiving your entire row when Sam Shields picks off Kaepernick for the second time, or take a loop around the stadium and prance the entire way. Moving around is one of the easiest ways to generate body heat, and you’re only limited by your imagination. (Continuous shivering does not count.)

5. Bowel Play. If you are truly in a dire, last-resort situation, call your best friend and have him ride to you on his tauntaun. Once they arrive and the tauntaun subsequently keels over and perishes, you have permission to slice open its body and spread the warm bowels upon you until an appropriate shelter can be made. It may smell bad, but it’ll keep you warm.
Stay toasty, Packer fans.
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