Monday, February 7, 2011

Rooting in Silence at 37,000 Feet

Yesterday was painful. We had a great time in Portland, OR on a business/leisure junket, but missing the Super Bowl was agonizing for this lifelong Packer fan (see yesterday's post at I was tortured even more when I discovered that the game that was promised to be aired on Frontier Airline's DirectTV screens was unavailable. Apparently there was an "upcharge" payment required to show this game and neither DirectTV nor Frontier Airlines chose not to make this payment. However, 27 out of 28 channels were available, including ESPN2 and their broadcast of the Women's National Billiards Championship from Niagara Falls. This I watched, while you settled onto your barstool and readied yourself for a thriller. I had little knowledge of which woman won the pool tournament as I was transfixed on the little scrollbar on the bottom of the 4" screen. This little blurry bar was my only window to what was happening in the game.

I'm generally a quiet guy, but when I saw that score trickle up in the Packers' favor, I would give a little fist pump and muster a hushed "Yes!" Even though I was sitting in a slender aluminum tube 37,000 feet in the air, it was like being back in time 75 years - rather than hunched over an AM radio by a fireplace, I was squinting at a tiny screen with my tray table up and my seat in an upright position. By the time we landed in Denver, I knew the Pack was up 21-10 and I was feeling pretty confident.

In Denver, we had about 45 minutes to watch the game. Clearly, most people there were Packer fans as they audibly groaned as the Steelers regained momentum in the 3rd quarter. I was not feeling anywhere near as confdent when they made us turn off all portable electronic equipment for the flight from Denver to Milwaukee - a flight which had neither WiFi nor DirectTV. The score at turn-off time? Packers 28, Steelers 25. It damned near killed me to board this flight.

Once aboard, the attendents were asked, "Will the pilot be announcing the final score?" The answer came back "No. We were admonished on the last leg because people are recording the game and don't wish to know the score."

About halfway home, a flight attendent got on the PA and said, "We know the score. If you'd like to know, please let us know as we pass through the cabin."

I wanted to know. We wanted to know. And as the attendent passed, I said "Psst. We want to know," and, in silence, he opened up a sheet of paper near my face to show me the final score. Without blowing it for any of the recording passengers on board, I clenched my fist, bent my elbow, pumped, and gave a whispered "Yes!" I looked at my wife, "We won the Super Bowl!!" [My recreation of the attendent's handmade final scoreboard is pictured.]

Once we landed I discovered what a thrilling classic the game had been. I was truly bummed to have missed nearly the entire game; however, when I look back years from now, I'll remember what a great time we had in Portland and what a unique way it was learn about and celebrate the Packers winning Super Bowl XLV!

I promise to watch next year's victory Packers. Go get another one!!

Go Pack Go!!

No comments:

Post a Comment