Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Do You Choose Battle Or Truce?

A solitary man stands on a small ridge, his stoic face set in grim acceptance of what lies before him. A flag planted in the hard ground next to him whips in the stiff autumn breeze. The flag is simple, nothing more than a green background with several white diagonal lines crossing it. In the distance, the man sees a solitary figure moving toward him along the ridge, his silhouette outlined against the gray sky. His pace is neither fast nor slow, but steady and determined. The second man approaches the first, glances up at the flag, and simply says, “Ditto.” They nod to each other and turn to the broad plain stretched out before them.

A loud, blood-curdling scream erupts from behind them. Both men tense and reach for their swords as they turn. A third man, shirtless and painted completely in green with white diagonal stripes is sprinting towards them. Both men relax, and marvel at the long, flowing hair trailing the man, the mane in sharp contrast to the close-cropped, flat locks that adorn the crown of his head. He stops next to the two men, salutes the green flag, thumps his right fist to his chest and smiles, “It’s a great day for party.”

The three turn back and survey the expansive plain spread out before them. The first man grips the hilt of his sword, repeatedly twisting his gloved hand slowly around it, the other hand propped up on an enormous shield. The shield is scratched and battered, the large “G” adorning its front side barely able to be seen. The second man leans on an ornate longbow and flicks the bowstring absently as he stares ahead. The third man, alternately hopping back and forth on his bare, calloused feet, pounds a giant club into the damp turf, mud splattering with every impact. He carries no other weapon…other than a look of crazed anticipation, a look that has struck fear into the heart of many a battled-hardened man.

The three men stare ahead, undaunted by what faces them. Across a muddy expanse of grass strewn with cleaved helmets, broken spears, and rusted swords, all remnants of past battles, stands a horde of blood-thirsty warriors. These warriors are adorned in shiny, new battle garb. Much of their raiment still has the manufacturers' tags. Each warrior carries a handheld device, from which they rarely remove their eyes. At the rear of the army stands a giant screen, the images portrayed upon it are impossible to discern from actual living, breathing beings. Huge speakers blast what the opposing army must consider to be music, but to the three, it sounds like a mortally wounded dragon, screeching in pain as it slowly succumbs to its wounds.

The first man steps forward. He looks up the at the simple flag behind him and sighs before addressing the enemy horde. In a booming voice, the ruggedly handsome warrior begins to speak, "You have entered our lands without leave to do so. Yes, these are lands that we once shared. Yes, we have been allies in the past, but you have succumbed to a magic spell cast by a dark wizard. This wizard has succeeded in distracting you from what we both once shared, a need and love for a common castle and those that dwell within, as well as all that accompanied it: much food, flowing libations, and competitions of strength and skill. We have expressed our allegiance to the olden ways, a simpler time, when these competitions were more pure, and bright lights, loud music, and visions on a screen did not distract from these competitions. Our fondness for the plain green with stripes is not a rejection of the current state of affairs, but rather an appreciation of where the kingdom has come from. The appreciation of the old armor in shades of blue, gold, and brown is not an indication of disdain for the current green and gold."

The third man slams his club into the ground and whispers, "Are we going to do battle, or monologue them into submission?"

The second warrior chuckles, as the first continues, "Rather this is a way of honoring our forefathers and their subjects, brave men and women who have served this kingdom for eons prior to us. Respect for them is something to be nutured, not swept away and rejected. If you wish to ignore them, and move forward without them, scorning their ways and views as simplistic and backward, you will have to do so over our breathless corpses. You do not have to change and go back to their ways, but we will not be scorned for our belief that their ways must be honored."

Members of the warrior horde glance at each other, doubt slowly creeping into their minds. They...

Awww, jeez, I just can't keep this up...I LIKED THE PLAIN END ZONES WITH THE WHITE STRIPES. Sue me. I also love the throwbacks, brown pants, brown helmet included. You're free to disagree, but you'll have to do it while I wear my new Acme Packers winter hat.

Go, Pack. Now...who needs some mead?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hear That? That's the Sound of Awesome Sauce

GOIBER (n.) An acronym, which stands for "Greenfield's Observations, Inventions, Brainstorms & Experiments Room." Also known as my basement.

GOIBER rule #14: No matter what the purpose of entry, bring enough sustenance* to last eight days – you never know what could happen.
*Acceptable forms of sustenance include, but are not limited to, jerky, water, alcohol, Cheez It’s® and gummi bears.

Good ideas can come from anyone. Great ideas require a little more – ingenuity, passion, the courage to forge ahead despite your family, friends, coworkers and trolls calling you a damned fool. That, and a secret room.

Some time ago, after getting twisted in my vacuum cord for the umpteenth time, I decided to do something about it. I locked myself for a week in my GOIBER, determined to formulate a mathematical solution for cordless electricity based only on the principles derived from the Faraday cage and Mortal Kombat’s Raiden. But I lacked true focus. Theories led to tangents which led to endless streams of disruptive equations. It was ugly. Then the Dirt Devil came out, and life was good again.

As a Packer fan, you are undoubtedly excited about the recently announced stadium expansion, which will create a so-called “wall of sound.” According to the Packers, these new 6,600 seats in the South End Zone will make a “tremendous impact on the noise level of the stadium.” To me it, it’s like sound on steroids (which, at the moment, cannot be tested but once enough stadiums adopt this practice, the regulatory dweebs with surely intercede...groan).

Until we experience this new and improved G-Force for ourselves, it will have to be left to the imagination. But as novice idea generator myself, I want to give the Packers their due props for this concept. It could, in some way, revolutionize the Lambeau experience – a thought so powerful one can only presume it came from the mysterious LOIBER (Lombardi’s Observations, Inventions, Brainstorms & Experiments Room) hidden deep within the bosom of Lambeau Field.

Well done, Packers. Well done indeed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Dominating Trees - Live at Stadium View 2011

Trolling the interwebs yesterday afternoon, I was insanely pleased to find out that the Indomitable Brian Carriveau has begun his Best & Worst Case Scenario series over at Cheesehead TV. If you are unfamiliar with these pieces, Brianimal takes each position group on the Packers and gives the best and worst possible outcome for each player for the upcoming season. Yesterday, he attacked my favorite position: the tight ends.

I'm not usually one to criticize anyone else's writing or opinions, or even their choice of favorite cheese curds (I mean you've seen some of the stuff I've written here, it's amazing the Guardians of the Intertubes even let me on the internet). However, I found one small omission from Brian's piece on the Packers' tight ends, an omission I thought important enough to share with Packer fans. This omission comes under the "Best Case Scenario: Tom Crabtree".  Knowing Brian's thoroughness (he's a good man and he's thorough), I'm sure this second paragraph was edited out due to space concerns against his strong arguments. We here at The Ranter have no such space restrictions, and we felt we should share this potential scenario for Mr. Crabtree.

Tom Crabtree
Best Case Scenario (Paragraph 2):

In addition to his work on the field, Tom starts a three-piece alt/metal band called, The Dominating Trees. The Trees, as they are known to their loyal fan base, get a standing gig playing at Stadium View following Packers' home games. Starting out playing Jane's Addiction covers, Tom (lead guitar, vocals) begins writing his own songs. The Trees gradually work these into their set list and receive favorable responses from the drunken revelers celebrating Packers' victories at Stadium View. One of these songs, "Crabmeat", starts getting requested more and more. Noticing this popularity, record mogul Aaron Rodgers invites The Trees to his studio during the bye week. They record four original songs, and distribute the album to Green Bay radio stations. The response is positive, but it doesn't reach much farther than Wausau. However, due to Tom's prodigious promotion on Twitter, "Crabmeat", catches on nationally. The video, a live taping at Stadium View, goes viral on YouTube, and sales on iTunes skyrocket. "Crabmeat" eventually debuts at #79 on the Billboard Charts. With the increased exposure of a 2nd Super Bowl appearance, and strong showing there: 3 catches 46 yards and a TD, The Trees are able to schedule a four state midwest tour in the Spring of 2012, culminating with an appearance with punter and funnyman Chris Kluwe's band, Tripping Icarus, at First Avenue in Minneapolis.

All in all, a good year for Tom Crabtree.

Keep up the great work, Brian!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Put Me At the Kids’ Table – I Don’t Care

Dear Green Bay Packers Representative,

Did you know that recent studies have indicated that it’s almost impossible to coordinate schedules of more than 20 working professionals at a time? Pretty sad state of affairs these days, eh? And while an impactful reminder of the modern proliferation of sometimes fruitless commitments and meetings, this scientific data harkens to a more relevant topic: your trip to the White House this Friday.

With a contingent of over 100 players and personnel in the Packers organization scheduled to attend, it’s reasonable to expect that several people simply won’t be able to make it. This could make for quite the awkward situation with the president wouldn’t you say? I mean, can you imagine the leader of the free world up at the podium, riffing on the Packers/Bears rivalry and then suddenly seeing empty seats in the audience!? Talk about traumarama!

To help you prepare and cover yourselves, I would like to propose a solution: ME. That is, consider my hat thrown into the proverbial ring of substitute attendees. As a lifelong Packer fan, I will gladly serve the organization by assuming one of the empty seats and help you avoid embarrassment.

I can send pics and a resume, but take my word that I would fit in. Physically, I’m no Don Driver, but I am no suburban slouch, either. I can run a mile in under 8 minutes, do 30 pushups (probably) and have been complimented on more than one occasion on my calf definition. In other words, you’ll probably want to put me with special teams. If that doesn’t work, just say I’m an equipment intern. Heck, put me at the kids table – I don’t care. I’ll even bring my own chair and bust out my tuxedo.

In addition, here is a short list of other worthy substitutes, all of whom I have researched thoroughly and possess the qualities being a team player, obedience and major Packer pride you are looking for while being represented at our nation's capitol.

Franklin Hillside. Not only is he Editor in Cheese, his knowledge of vintage Green Bay restaurant uniforms can carry a conversation until the sun comes up over Pennsylvania Avenue.

Alex Tallitsch. Sure he’s ornery and stubborn, but he’s only of only two people who knows what it feels like to wear Tom Crabtree’s Super Bowl ring.

Tracy White. Let’s be honest – he was the best player in the history of special teams. We could all finally be at peace with Ted Thompson’s most egregious mistake by inviting this incredible super-man for a nice meal.

Please confirm my attendance by Thursday night as I would have to withdraw from Anduzzi’s deep-fried butter eating competition and get a dog sitter.

Your loyal servant,

Robert Greenfield

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Caption Contest

Apparently Pee Wee Herman “stopped by” Cowboys training camp last last week. Why? No reason was given, which makes for the perfect opportunity to make something up! Just look at Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones - he seems to be just glowing while getting this picture next to (a now 60-year old) Pee Wee Herman. That should be PLENTY to go off of.

So, have at it - post your best caption in the comments section. There's no prize, but if we get a bunch of comments, we're all winners.
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