Teacher Lee Briggs on technology in today's classroom. Brought to you by Weekly Reader.

Posts tagged ‘football’


Last Thursday I had the option of getting up at 4:30 to take the 5:30 bus to Madison and watch the Greenwood-Granton Indians take on the Seneca Indians. The school day had been called off as a ‘field-trip’ day; the mayor of Greenwood had declared it “G2 Nation Day” and the town was completely deserted on account of the game.

I was at the school that day. I was going down to Madison in a few days anyway and decided that it was important for me to use that work day to sort through a pile of order forms for my after-school group’s fundraiser with one of the other teachers. We ran into trouble though, because unknown to us the WIAA had made an exclusive deal with one cable company and not another. Guess which cable company our school had? I spent the next few hours in the Kindergarten room, the only room with good radio reception, glued to the game while tallying up pizzas and counting checks.

The game was not even close: 40-0 in our favor, bringing the first state championship to our town since 1990.

G2 are the champions!

This might not seem a big deal to a lot of people outside our community. We are a division 7 school. My wife once asked me, “There’s a division 7?” Central Wisconsin is full of little towns like Greenwood, isolated by distance and size, and for a lot of these little towns the school, post office, and library are the heart of the town. High school sports, especially football, are the best shows in town. A whole generation of students in our little town will remember this game. And if we should forget, we have a giant golden football to remind us.

G2 Country

Wisconsin lives and breathes football. Anyone who has seen the Green Bay Packers play—or seen droves of fans sitting in sub-zero cold to cheer on their champions—knows that no mere dome can contain our dedication to this noble sport.

So it is with Greenwood. We may be so small that even combined with our neighbor, Granton, we are only Division 7, but through the fall and into the looming winter we are now 12-1 and we’ll be sending our champions to Madison for a shot at becoming State Champion. Driving into our town you would think that we have gone a little crazy; every road for miles is strewn with homemade billboards declaring this “G2” country.

We had a pep rally in the elementary school. The team was cheered on by our elementary students who had worked together to develop an choreographed cheer that included every grade. The players spoke to our students about good sportsmanship, healthy eating, and exercise. They even rode the buses with our little ones—a big deal particularly for our kindergarten students, who don’t seem to see any difference between this and the Super Bowl. After all, they are playing in Camp Randall, home of the Wisconsin Badgers, legends in their own right.

School has been called off on Thursday and declared a “field trip day” so that our students can ride the bus down to Madison. The 4-hour ride back will either be a caravan of victory or the longest, quietest 4-hour bus ride our students will ever have.


I am not a huge football fan. Part of it comes from being the son of a coach and never being all that competitive. I was more interested in forensics, Frisbee, and hanging out with the band even though I had no talent for music. But there are things that as a native Wisconsinite, you cannot let pass without losing your mind a little bit. For instance, it is our custom that every household have a grill and know how to use it; every car must have a bag of cat litter and a blanket in the trunk; and every man, woman, and child must lose their minds when the Packers get into the playoffs.

Having a Korean exchange student in the classroom, we had to explain football to him and how it fits in Wisconsin; why it is so important to us. We are an underdog state in many ways, lacking the size of Illinois and Minnesota; we feel the need to constantly remind everyone around us of our toughness. Our kids play football and basketball in the snow, going outside for recess in well-below freezing temperatures. We have a tendency to take that which we are mocked for and wear it like a badge, knowing that it makes us strong. No other team has anything resembling the cheese head as a symbol of proud self-deprivation.

Our joy was reflected in the great story run by Weekly Reader online, written by a student reporter who attended the Super Bowl. The only complaint my kids had when we read it: “THAT SHOULD BE ME!!!” This lead to a project by some of my students to document the craziness that has infected our fair state, created by using our library’s digital and Flip video cameras. Stay tuned for that.

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