17

June

Packers Put a Ring on it – and We Like It

It had the anticipation, nerves and hype of a Green Bay Packer playoff game. There are just two problems with this scenario.

The NFL lockout remains in effect (although hopefully not much longer) and the date is June 16, not January 16.

The excitement was over the unveiling of the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV championship rings.  Tonight was a different kind of night, given that the players and coaches have barely interacted since they got back from Dallas, but it’s a night none of the players or fans who were following along on Twitter will likely ever forget.

Like a great movie, the occasion had it all: Drama, laughter, nervousness and an ultimately very sweet payoff.  Yours truly was even sucked into the drama of the evening thanks to one of my soon to be patented poorly timed and poorly worded jokes. More on that later.

Since the event was private, no media were allowed inside the Lambeau Field Atrium until after the event. This was a night solely for the players in coaches.  We were treated to some “pre –game” coverage on NFL Network but sooner than later the players were inside the stadium, ready for the festivities to begin.

Without any media, the obvious question on Twitter became “Which player would be the first to tweet a picture of the ring?”  The early favorite was tight end and new fan favorite Tom Crabtree with Nick Barnett not far behind.   Another thing that got a chuckle out of me were all the tweets that said Aaron Rodgers had arrived…..solo.

Soon after, players were seated and the ceremony got underway.   Tensions and nervousness began to escalate quickly as time went further and further past 7 PM central.   You’d think there was a game going on given the anxiety I saw on my Twitter timeline.

Offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga broke the tension with a tweet stating “The Ring!” followed by a link to TwitPic. That link ultimately led to a picture of a grinning Bulaga and no ring.  A new meme in Packer fandom may have been born: being BulagaRoll’d. Sorry, Rick Astley.

At this point fans were openly wondering if all the Packer fans retweeting photos of the ring would cause Twitter to malfunction, as has been known to happen during spikes of activity.  Twitter also supposedly has this “Twitter jail” for those users who send too many tweets in too short of time period, thus chewing up precious bandwith. This led me to tweet to fans: “Intentionally trying to take down Twitter will get you banned fyi.”