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Column: An apology letter to my family after the Packers ruined Thanksgiving

Preface: I’m very thankful for my family. There are a lot of us and we get along uncharacteristically well for such a large group of people.

We aren’t perfect (most of us play soccer frequently), but things could be much worse. That said, the biannual family picture session yesterday was unnecessary, because I can take pictures of you but you can’t take pictures of me. That’s a rule. I look the same as I did two years ago. Photoshop is a magical tool, don’t ask me to smile on command.

I digress.

Somehow, at 25, I still react to a Packers loss like I’m a small child and someone stole my bike right after the top of my ice cream fell off the cone and my Beagle just got hit by a car. Those are ranked properly, by the way. Sadly, the Thanksgiving holiday does not deter me from such emotion.

There wasn’t, and still isn’t, much to be said about the Packers hapless performance yesterday against the Detroit Lions. Instead, here’s my holiday meltdown, timestamped.

8 a.m. — I wake up checking my Twitter feed and stockpiling interesting facts I can spout at the television about the Packers during the day’s game. Talking to the television is important, no matter who you watch a football game with. Joe Buck can hear your observational humor. Plus, he’s confused because he still thinks it’s baseball season and sounds forever unimpressed as if he’s reacting to lulls in a ballgame, calling the World Series.

In short, my pregame excitement is palpable. The Packers are the most important team, and they should be showcased on this important American football day.

10:45 a.m. — The Packers game has fast become a Thanksgiving fight with my girlfriend at my parents house that leaves me calling her names (something I’d never really do) making things awkward for everyone else in attendance. You’re ugly, Green Bay.

10:48 a.m. — Color guy Troy Aikman says something stupid, repeat occurrence. He’s jealous because Brett Favre got the better of him in the 1996 NFC title game and has been angry at the Packers’ success since that time.

10:50 a.m. — Aaron Rodgers is shown on the sideline sporting a real nice mustache. This grand facial-hair sit-in reminds everyone watching that he’s great at whatever he does, even upper-lip hair growth, and the Packers are an empty shell of a team sans-Rodgers.

11 a.m. — Playing a bunch of dirty cats, filled with defensive linemen prone to kicking players while they’re down, the only offense in the NFL that runs exclusively through a wide receiver, the Packers fail to surpass 100 yards of offense, leaving me wanting to crawl into some place small, like maybe the turkey cooker. Give me the meat thermometer, I’ll be in here with the bird for a period of around three hours.

11:09 a.m. — Things are made worse by the fact that I let my skinny younger brothers get under my skin with their hurtful words. I’ve never been a very bad loser unless it comes to the Packers or competing with my little brothers. At this point in the day, my brother Ben, for example thinks that Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback. He’ll quickly backtrack and tell you that he doesn’t after I prove him wrong. Joe Flacco is the supplement of a great defense, not capable of making the special throws or being the most important player on his team, or any team for that matter.

12:20 p.m. — Aunt and uncle arrive and I fail to politely greet them because something tragic is happening on the television. I feel nothing.

1:04 p.m. — Matt Flynn, expressionless as he is indecisive, is sacked by Suh, sending me into an addict’s withheld desire for swear words. Holding back, I say things that are repetitive and unintelligent like “Throw the ball! What- Throw- Are you kidding- Throw! Why! Football!.” The tirade would rightfully earn me a timeout in most second-grade classrooms. Meltdown underway.

1:16 p.m. — My social media feeds — much like they’ve been for the last few weeks of this Packers debacle — whine on and become similar to those populated by dumb homers on a polluted college sports message board. Though mine features better grammar and outstanding sarcasm.

1:30 p.m. — The score balloons to 40-10 Lions as 15th string wideout Kevin Ogletree, possessing a nonsense surname, catches a touchdown pass. I’m silent.

2:15 p.m. — I show the first signs of behaving like an adult again as food lures me away from my propensity to reading as many condemning statistics on the Pack’s performance as I can find on my smartphone.

4:30 p.m. — Eating Thanksgiving dinner leaves me feeling like I have a worn leather football lodged right behind my sternum, eager to burst free from my chest like from a fumble-prone running back. Physical discomfort has replaced my emotional one.

5ish p.m. — Nap.

8 p.m. — As the ­­­Steelers kicker gets Charlie Brown’d during their loss to the Ravens, my spirits have significantly improved. Such timely holiday-themed humor should not go unmentioned, and there should be at least one kicker left whiffing by a secretly giddy holder every Christmas season.

Happy Thanksgiving.

About

Brad Estes

Sheridan Press sports editor

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