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Thursday, October 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 45.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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The trifecta: Packers, beer and cheese
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Okay, Packers fans, the waiting is about over. This Sunday the Pack begins the serious defense of the Lombardi Trophy, the totem of superiority in the National Football League. The near-perfect 15-1 regular-season record was mere prelude to the single-elimination tournament called the playoffs.

I hope you all enjoyed the anxiety-free exhibitions of last weekend, where the contenders and pretenders to the Packers' title began to sort themselves out. Now the Packers, enjoying their well-earned home field advantage, host the fearsome Giants of New York/New Jersey. At least the Green Bay Packers actually hail from and play in Green Bay.

It's all very exciting, even for transplanted Minnesotans. Thus Jason Joyce, of Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, has penned our cover story this week, "Why We Love Our Packers." The Green Bay footballers have fans in every NFL city, so they do not eschew the devotion of even a native Minnesotan. Joyce provides 20 reasons for devotion. You can probably think of 20 more.

Wisconsin is not just about the Green Bay Packers; we also have awesome beer and cheese. Just how awesome you may experience on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2-6 p.m. at the Alliant Energy Center. That is the location and occasion for Beer & Cheese III, Isthmus' annual celebration of what made Wisconsin famous. Again this year we're bigger and better, with demand from both vendors and patrons dictating expansion. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 DOS. Check TheDailyPage.com/beercheese for more relevant information.

And before we get too deep into 2012, let me extend an Isthmus welcome to music contributor Scott Gordon. He is the former city editor of the Onion's AV Club and has happily found his way to our door. His first contribution was last week, and he joins our ever-evolving corps of music writers. All the better to sharpen your ears in this music-rich city.

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