Thursday, February 10, 2011
After the Super Bowl is Over!
First of all the team flew back to Green Bay on Monday arriving about 1:30 PM. They were welcomed at the Green Bay airport by a crowd of fans. A huge cheer went up as Coach MacCarthy and the President of the organization stepped out of the plane and held up the Lombardi Trophy, back where it belongs, where Coach Lombardi himself coached a team to the Super Bowl so many decades ago. Then the team and all their staff members boarded about 11 buses that wound there way back to Lambeau Field where they had all left their cars as football players and returned as World Champions. People lined the way several deep especially as the buses got close to Lambeau. A media helicopter showed the cavalcade all the way in. Thousands of people were clustered around the pass into the parking lot that the buses would take hoping for just a glimpse of their favorite players either in the bus or as they disembarked the bus and went into Lambeau, or carried their bags to their SUVs. The players got out of the buses and made their way to the players' entrance to Lambeau. Many high-fived the fans, tipped their hats to the fans, and otherwise acknowledged their support. Donald Driver was especially moving. Even though he is in an ankle immobilizer, he limped up and down along all the fences that showed fans greeting them and waving. He is so well liked!.
Meanwhile, a call had gone out to fans and a huge crew of volunteers who would get paid $8 an hour and a free ticket to Tuesday's celebration, and were shoveling out the Lambeau Field seats all morning. The next day another group of volunteers applied salt to all the foot areas in the stadium where ice was found. Aaron Rodgers was not among the returnees. He had other committments, as the local media put it. First he went to Disneyland in FL where he rode in the daily parade. Then he flew off to New York City and appeared on Letterman last night. Today, Tuesday, he was back in Green Bay for the festivities there.
Today, Tuesday, was the official welcome back and Return to Titletown Celebration to be held at 4:00 PM inside Lambeau Field, not in the atrium, but in the open air bowl itself. It is high of 14 degrees today with a wind that makes the windchill down below zero. Tickets were $5 a piece and the event was a selllout -- 56,000 fans weathering the elements to welcome their beloved Packer team back with their Lombardi Trophy. Coach McCarthy came in first carrying the Lombardi Trophy around a portion of the circle of the field so people could touch it. Later Nick Barnett carried it around the entire oval of the stadium letting people touch it with gloves or without gloves. Then all the players circled the field with also high fives all around. Part of the center of the football field between the 40 yard lines had been shoveled off; indeed their were huge piles of snow from the stands and from that center over the two ends of the field. It was certainly the Frozen Tundra. But here were all those fans, cheering, waving their various celebrants like cheeseheads (it was too cold for them on the heads), replicas of the trophy, and replicas of the MVP belt that Aaron's brother designed for him. The main players in this event spoke along with several of the coaches. Charles Woodson said he would never come down from the high he is on because no one will ever take this honor away from the Packers. Aaron Rodgers spoke very fluently about what everyone felt and how grateful to the fans the whole team is. He is due to now fly out to California to be on Jay Leno's show. Wow, being a Super Bowl MVP is hard work. And to a big cheer, both Coach McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers spoke of coming back and doing this same thing again next year. It is a young team who seem to have a lot of chemistry and with Grant and other players who were injured for this season returning next year, who knows? Maybe we can do it again. Wow!
Our Fabio player, Clay Matthews, seems to initially be even busier than Aaron Rodgers. He has been on Jay Leno, will be on Ellen Degeneris' show this afternoon, and will be a presenter at the Grammy Awards this weekend in CA. He already has an endorsement contract for Suave shampoo, due to his long straight blond locks. On Jay Leno, he was a soft spoken man with lots of poise. Aaron Rodgers also shows a lot of poise when dealing in front of a camara, as do Charles Woodson, and Donald Driver. No doubt appearances and demands to be in front of those camaras will continue to occur. These are men who are tired, who haven't seen their families in weeks or months, who need to rest and rejuvenate. Some may need to hire agents to control and organize all this media hype. Meanwhile Coach McCarthy has already aluded to his work that awaits: he has to decide about next year. There are all these great players who played and won the Super Bowl, but there are a dozen or more players who will be coming off the Injured Reserved list. Where are they going to fit into this team after missing all or most of this last season. Some were very good players prior to their injuries. Coach McCarthy has to sort this all out during the off season to get ready for restarting practice camp this summer. As you can see, there is a certain amount of hard work and angst that continues even after this kind of huge Win. Ah, the ecstasy of winning but also the angst!
Meanwhile I heard that media in Texas is saying publicly: Ok, your northern football teams and fans, the game is over now and you are all back home. So could you please turn the heat back on?
So that is what happens after the Super Bowl.