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How finally receiving a Super Bowl Ring could have eternal implications for this football junkie.

For about as long as I can remember, I’ve had this thing about championship rings. And for people with a passion for football like I have—one of those rare birds who actually enjoyed two-a-days—the ultimate of ultimates is a Super Bowl ring. But alas, I’ve never been on the right team at the right time to receive any ring, let alone the Super one.

For years, I’ve joked (although not totally) about when I get to heaven, maybe they’ll give me one there.  I’ve actually put a reasonable amount of thought into that, even how I might broach that subject. It goes something like this: “Excuse me Saint Peter, sir, but I’ve got a question. I remember hearing about getting a crown of righteousness up here, but I’m not really into crowns all that much, and you already know I’m not all that righteous either. Any chance I could just get a Super Bowl Ring instead?”

As I calculate it, I figure there are one of two likely responses to such a bold inquiry: #1  “Sure Darrell, no problem. Up here we know you better than you even know yourself, and we’ve prepared one especially for you. Enjoy it son.” And then he hands me one so unimaginably beautiful and awesome that it would make Tom Brady or Joe Montana salivate.

#2 is less desirable. In this scenario, St. Pete’s jaw drops in disgusted, disbelieving amazement, and as I read the nonverbals, it goes something like this: “We gave you 70 or 80-some years to get things figured out, and you still don’t get it, do you. Later dude!” And with that he smacks this red button on his desk and this trap door opens under my feet and you can probably figure out the rest.

Once at my new destination, there are at least a few things I figure I can count on for sure: I’ll gain a new appreciation for the literal meaning of the phrase “hot as hell;” I’ll be forced to watch never-ending (live) tapings of Oprah and Barbara Walters specials; I’m sure I’ll be forced to spend a lot of time shopping; I’ll get to spend eternity ruminating on how, after a whole life to get it figured out, I still never learned when to keep my mouth shut; and for all my new troubles, I’ll still have no ring.

Well this fall I finally figured out an answer to that high-stakes conundrum. As an NFL owner since Nov. 26, 1997 I’ve been a stockholder in the Green Bay Packers–a team that I’ve loved from my youth, and that is owned not by arrogant billionaires, but rather by several thousand regular people who drive trucks, teach math, write software, work in factories, milk cows, deliver babies, and even an occasional freelance writer. (The real “America’s Team?”) Anyway, this past July, I received a notice from the president of the Packers saying I was eligible to purchase a shareholder’s version of Super Bowl Ring XLV. After doing some financial gymnastics, I finally got it figured out–that could be my main Christmas present this year! So my wife and kids pooled their resources to make my dream come true!

Now, with ring on hand and that knotty problem behind me, my attention can move on to other weighty spiritual matters–like whether they have football up there or not. Short answer is, I don’t know. Longer one is, I suppose they could have something better than football up there for their recreational pursuits, but I can’t remotely imagine what it would be. I figure there will be at least some football fans up there who’ll need their football fix on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, and I’d love nothing better than being able to help entertain them. With a new and improved body, hopefully I’ll be able to make the cut in the Celestial Football League. Also hopefully this time, I’ll get to be either a running back or middle linebacker.

Then again, sometimes I think maybe the CFL just consists of a bunch of guys in real, comfortable Wranglers playing in backyard games. Lord knows, I’ve had some of the best times of my life playing both organized and sandlot. But whatever the case up there, I’ll know that at one point in my existence, I was at least a small part of an organization that won a Super Bowl.

And now I’ve got the hardware to prove it!

P.S.  (Lord, in case you’re wondering, I am just kidding…Sorta… 😉

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