Thursday, February 04, 2010

Which team can a Packer fan root for in the Super Bowl?

With the big game coming up on Sunday, the thoughts of many Packer fans might be...OK, still believing that we coulda, shoulda been there, darn it! (Feel free to fill in with your own expletives, as you prefer.)

But, we're not. Yes, reality sucks, doesn't it?

So, for those who will watch -- which, most of us probably will -- the question then is, which team do we root for? There's the standard bit about rooting for the team from your own conference, in this case, New Orleans. That does have a lot going for it. After all, after what the city of New Orleans as been through, the Saints are the feel-good story of the football season. And they are the underdog. America loves the underdog. But best of all, they beat Ol' #4 and the ViQueens (yes, I know, some argue that Ol' #4 himself beat the 'Queens, but that's a conversation for another day). If for no other reason than that, the Saints should get a nod.

Then there's the Colts. Peyton Manning. Arguably the best ever, so they say, if Indy wins this game. Midwest team. Has that going for it.

But, there are other connections which Packer fans might want to throw into the equation. For example, did you know that the Colts head coach, Jim Caldwell, is from Beloit, Wisconsin? And, to his credit, he hasn't lost sight of his roots. Caldwell seems to be almost the mystery man of NFL coaches. But he is far from that back in his local community. Check out this article to learn more about Caldwell and maybe find a few reasons to root for him and the Colts.

On the other sideline, though, will be an assistant coach with a familiar name to Packer all football fans. In fact, the Super Bowl winner's trophy carries that same name: Lombardi. That's right, the quarterbacks coach of the Saints is Joe Lombardi, grandson of the late, great St. Vince himself. He's apparently done a good job of not riding family coattails. Seems very much his own man. So, if you want to root for a Lombardi, you still can if you root for the Saints. And you can read more about Joe here.

Colts vs. Saints. Should be a lot of points on the scoreboard at the end of the game. And should also be a fun game to watch...whichever team you finally decide to root for.

NFL Players Association sweepstakes
No, we're not talking about the odds of the collective bargaining agreement being re-worked before it expires. Or how much cash might be on the table for free agent signings.

We're talking about a marketing effort from the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) itself designed, as the press release says, "to create awareness and interest in the NFLPA and players out of uniform" (note: italics theirs). Now, if that image might not exactly be what you want to think about...perhaps reframe that to see this as a rather smart public relations move ahead of the collective bargaining negotiations designed to show that NFL players are just typical guys doing typical things. OK, sure, they make more money in a year than most typical guys will see in a lifetime...but other than that...

Anyway, they are mounting a large effort around the Super Bowl to get fans to text “NFLPA” to 21534 on their cell phones. When you do, you will "get an exclusive video featuring Brandon Jacobs, A.J. Hawk, Matt Hasselbeck and Darren Sharper in their lives off the field. Fans who text it will also receive an entry to win a trip to the 2010 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles." Regarding the video, notes the press release, "In most instances, the video is delivered to the mobile phone via MMS, meaning that fans with 'regular' phones without Internet plans are able to receive the video just as smartphone consumers are."

As they say in commercials: But wait! There's more! From the press release: "...the campaign allows participants to encourage friends to enter the contest via mobile video invitations and, in doing so, receive up to five additional entries into the contest. After entering the sweepstakes, all participants have the option to also enter their address to receive a special collectible gift from the NFLPA."

So, if you want to get short videos sent to your cell phone showing how NFL players are really just like you except with a lot more money, better looking girl friends, and a lifestyle you will only be able to experience through videos like these, then text away. And remember: while the videos are free, "Standard text messaging rates do apply." Hey, you'll even get to sign up to receive an unspecified "collectible." Go ahead, live on the edge...just like the players do.

(Note to readers: in no way was compensated in any way for this editorial mention...darn it!)