There's through road about a block from me - it's a main road, but not a real busy road - and a few minutes ago there was a frantic burst of traffic. It's nearly died down. Anywhere else, I wouldn't have noticed. Or, if I did notice, I wouldn't have instantly understood.
See, it's quarter till and the Packers start playing at noon.
You may think I'm kidding when I talk about Packers' fans, but I'm not. They are a different breed indeed...
Whenever I say this, there's always someone who says something like, 'Yeah, Bears' fans are nuts too,' or 'The old Browns were like that...'
There's no comparison though. You don't hear much about Cheeseheads Gone Wild because fans here aren't like that. There's no rioting when the Packers win a Superbowl, there's no shootings when they lose... Heck, there aren't even big brawls when the occasional Detroit fan shows up at Lambeau Field - good-natured heckling, but even that is followed by a round of beers for all.
No, this goes way deeper than that.
Right before I started this post, I was counting about a car a second in short bursts followed by a lull that coincides with the traffic light two blocks away. Just now, there were three cars in five minutes. This is not poetic license either. For the next two hours, the streets will be empty. If you need to do any shopping, now is the time to go.
When I first moved here, I used to jokingly say that I was expecting to get pulled over for driving while the Packers are on. That might be an exaggeration, but there were more than a handful of people who asked why you would be driving while the Packers were on.
I figured out that I could probably get away with any driving infraction on the planet if the Packers were on the telly...
'Do you know why I pulled you over?'
At which point, I lean over and turn the radio up. It's tuned to AM...and the Packers.
'Oh...I'm sorry sir.'
'It's okay officer...we've got the ball back...and I'm headed home for some Fondu and the second half."
This is the spot in the game where Brett Favre inexplicably rifles the ball into oblivion and the eager arms of whatever Vikinglionsaintetc defender is farthest from any Green Bay receiver (you may laugh, but it happens nearly every game). The cop groans. I groan. He's about to cry, but manfully keeps it inside.
The cop doesn't finish, but I can hear what he means...
'You can go...If you want to run down some innocent pedestrians, I won't stop you... Hell, if they're wearing a Vikinglionsaintetc sweatshirt, I'll come out and pin a jaywalking ticket to their cold, dead bodies...'
He doesn't say this, of course, but you can tell he's thinking it.
Anyway, the streets are now as empty as... (I was going to insert something about Bush or the Republican party here...you know...something about emptiness and Bush's brain...or empty like a Republican promise...or as empty as the Republican party is of unindicted leadership...but that would have been a cheap shot and, frankly, I've got a game to watch).
No, really...I've got to go...