A Violent Femme’s View – Everybody Hurts
It was with great sadness yesterday that I learned of the death of Michael Philbin. It’s been a rough week for the Packers family – TJ Lang losing his Dad, and now Joe and Diane Philbin suffering every parent’s worst nightmare. The Packers speak of being a “family first” organization, and that seemed to be borne out in the somber tone in Mike McCarthy’s voice during his press conference and the outpouring of grief-ridden tweets from both players and their wives/significant others after the team was notified that the worst had indeed happened.
Both situations hit me personally; of course, just having lost my Dad in the last year as well as living through a really rough few weeks almost a year ago involving young men in my own family. I’ve seen parents close up trying to recover from a tragedy. They need all the support they can get.
The outpouring of emotion from fans yesterday on Twitter was overwhelming. There may have been a few trolls, but I’m going to ignore those, because the vast majority of what I saw was support. Support for Joe and Diane Philbin, renewed support for TJ Lang after he tweeted his own comments regarding the Philbin situation, and many reminders from our collective Packer Nation to each other that the most important thing in the world is not football, and not what might or might happen this coming Sunday – but the people you care about, friends, family, and friends that you’ve decided are part of your family. I was proud to see it. It epitomized to me what is so special about this team and the community of fans to which the team is so important.
Sometimes people use the anonymity of social media, or the Internet, to say vile, vicious things that would never escape their lips in public. But sometimes, a lot of times (in fact, in my experience most of the time) Packer fans find a way to pull together, console each other and focus on what really matters. Things like this can and should make us pause and see how petty our own problems may be as opposed to what some in the world are living through.
To those of you who did just that yesterday, whether online or in your own private thoughts, and no doubt will continue to support TJ and the Philbins going forward, I’d like to say I’m proud of you. You are truly Packer People in the best sense of the word. I should know, I’ve felt that strength from you myself.
Yeah, I still care about what the outcome is Sunday. But, as it has for you, it’s been put in proper perspective.
Go Pack Go.