Last on the List
Everybody, except me, thought it was a joke. All who asked were told the very last item on my “Bucket List” was to watch the Green Bay Packers win one more Super Bowl.
Ridiculous? No. A careful assessment after watching the movie about the two old codgers who wanted to do many things before they cashed in, plus several reassessments later, showed about three years ago I had done the next-to-last specific thing I wanted to do in my lifetime. The Packers gave me the opportunity to take care of the last one. I was content as I tore up the old bucket list Sunday night.
However, even before the old list hit the bottom of the recycling bin, a successor called my “dream list” started developing. It includes three items at the moment. Only two are likely to happen.
The first really is a “targets of opportunity” generality. Now that my bucket is empty, I want to concentrate more on doing things that benefit other people. This one is sort of like a New Years' resolution. Maybe I’ll make it happen; maybe not. Chances of success: 70-30.
My second dream is that those idiotic wars in the Mideast will come to an end during my lifetime and not be replaced by other unjustified military adventures. Chances of success: near zero. When will we ever learn?
Once again, the last item on my list depends on the Packers. To fulfill my dream, they need to build on this year’s improbable Super Bowl win to put the franchise where it rightfully belongs—atop the football world.
The Packers and Chicago Bears have played 182 times, and it is galling that Da Bears are eight games ahead of the Packers in the series. That needs to be corrected.
Although the Packers have won the most professional football championships—thirteen—The Steelers have won six Super Bowls and the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco Forty Niners each have triumphed five times. This is an intolerable situation for Packers fans. Our heroes only have four wins. We need three more to make things right in the record books.
I wrote this year’s team off after the fourth game as the number of players out for the season with injuries was growing faster than a snow drift on the east shore of Lake Michigan in January. I was wrong. I underestimated the depth and talent of the squad. The coach and general manager turned out to be far smarter than some of their public appearances led me to believe they were.
Sunday’s achievement, events in the weeks leading up to it, and the age, contract status, and ability of the entire complement of players foretell a bright future. Barring serious injury to the quarterback, Green Bay is going to be a powerhouse for eight to ten years. That’s plenty of time for them to take care of their responsibilities on my “dream list.” And I’m expecting to spend at least that many years working on the other items and anything else that seems important.