Known Packers fan Stensation was at Lambeau Field on Sunday for the first Packers game after the infamous Monday nighter. He was kind enough to share some thoughts and pictures from the scene. Stensation?
So you believe time heals all wounds, eh? Poppycock. Not when it’s a double-digit stitch job.
Six days was not enough in Green Bay. On Sunday, the referees were like the drunken holiday embarrassment that just won’t go away. Turns out - SURPRISE! - real refs aren’t perfect either. Oh, it certainly appeared Packers fans had forgiven the men in stripes when the capacity crowd at Lambeau Field cheered the regular referees just before the coin toss. (Hey, can you blame them?) The scene was festive pregame, too. No burning effigies, no sacrificial groin-kicks. Just oodles of yahoos dressed in black and white vertical patterns. They posed for photos, yukked it up with sudsy well-wishers. One fan at Lombardi’s House had a paper sign billed for the television crew:
Others wore signs around their necks offering to “ref for food” or proudly declared the Packers “wuzz robbed” against the Seahawks. A forest green t-shirt for sale at nearly every novelty stand had “worst call ever” stamped in gold letters.
They're so clever to the East. Even a Bears fan was in on it, declaring his Windy Cityians in favor of replacement crews.
Another man, known as “Chopper,” told Green Bay’s NBC affiliate through crocodile tears he was ready to boycott the NFL. But the real refs were back this week. All was right with the world, right? Umm … As the afternoon bled into evening the real men in charge made their first big calls in Titletown since the Seattle Incident. And everyone in attendance at Lambeau was reminded that referees are treated like unwelcomed guests.
In case you missed it Sunday, Marques Colston hauled in a 20-yard touchdown from Drew Brees on the Saints’ second possession – but only after he did his best Golden Tate shove-job impression. Just after halftime, Jimmy Graham caught a ball off the turf to keep an eventual field goal drive alive on third down. Later, after the Packers took a 28-27 lead, the ensuing kickoff appeared to be fumbled by the Saints. Now – let’s be honest. Even Tate would agree it was fumbled. Everyone noticed but the refs.
By then Green Bay fans spewed another raucous chorus of cat calls. My college roommate never owned anything larger than a Chevy Corsica, but the chant rhymed with “Jeff’s li’l truck.” It wasn’t the manure chant heard in Baltimore last Sunday night. But close. And in the end a missed Saints field goal was the perfect elixir. At a local watering hole an hour later, a Packers fan had bigger walleye to fry. The bar was out of Old Style. Even a replacement ref could throw the flag on that faux pas.