I was on call this past weekend, and had the occasion to visit a nice elderly lady who was in the hospital suffering from, amongst other things, dementia, heart failure, urosepsis and generalized weakness. While she had just the day before complained about all of these maladies, on Sunday I walked in to her room, and when I asked her how she was doing, she barked: "GO PACK!"
For a brief moment I thought this meant that she was feeling so much better that she was ready to be discharged. That was before I noticed that she was sitting, propped up in her bed, wearing a green and gold sweatshirt, with a napkin tucked in at the collar, eating her pancakes with diabetic syrup and staring at the TV.
"De Packers are playin', an' I feel fine," she elaborated.
I never fail to underestimate the Green Bay Packers' therapeutic medical effects. It is a documented fact that Wisconsin Emergency Rooms are significantly less busy when they play, and become correspondingly overcrowded as soon as the game is over. Although I haven't found statistics yet on whether winning or losing makes a difference.
Which leads me to the interesting article which greeted me from the front page of today's paper, showing a crew of Orthodox Jews, led by local Chabad-guy Shais Taub, davening Shachris at a tailgate party at Lambeau Field.
You can read the whole thing here, but this paragraph really resonated with me (emphasis mine):
"What's the point?" Taub said. "Number one, Judaism is not relegated to the synagogue or the study hall. When you're a Jew, you're a Jew everywhere. If a group of Jews want to go to a Packer game, we do it like Jews."
"Number two, Jewish pride," he added. "Some Jews should see this and say, 'You know what, there is nothing to hide.' I can be openly and boldly Jewish and do that anywhere on earth and go where I want to go."