A rugged ground attack combined with a barrage of aerial firepower led Pittsburgh to defeat Green Bay in a classic match-up last night.
Not long after the Packers’ 31-25 defeat of the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, the invasion began. It’s not often in modern America that one city militarily attacks another, but yesterday’s onslaught showed what can happen when civic pride gets taken to an extreme, and fans of losing sports teams think of creative ways to vent their frustration.
Armed regiments from the Steel City’s Golden Triangle, South Side and Brookline neighborhoods conducted a pincer movement on the northeast Wisconsin city, blitzing to an easy triumph over outmanned forces. By early this morning, Green Bay Mayor James J. Schmitt had been captured by the Pitt army, and large areas of Brown, Kewaunee and Oconto counties lay in smoldering ruin.
“They were just too much for us to handle,” said Green Bay city councilman Arthur Hofstra, who barely escaped down U.S. 41 as his hometown fell to superior forces. “Their population is about 20 times ours. Our people fought bravely to hold off the invasion but in the end, all they could do was negotiate a ceasefire and surrender.”
Hofstra and two other councilmen set up a government-in-exile, operating out of the Holiday Inn Express in Appleton, Wisc., about 40 miles south of Green Bay. A small band of resistance fighters staged training exercises in the hotel conference room while their families enjoyed the free continental breakfast in the lobby early Monday morning. Some held out hope they’d soon be able to return to their homeland, while others were more resigned to a semi-permanent occupation of their former town.
“I’d like to think the United Nations might be able to at least send a peace-keeping force, to halt the brutality of their soldiers,” Hofstra said. “But their conquest was so total, I’m not sure we’ll be able to turn them back.”
The attack began late Sunday when a company of about 4,000 Pittsburghers approached the city from the south while another 3,000 invaders came pouring in through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to assault the city from the north. Blocks of pig iron were catapulted into the city from ships located just offshore in Lake Michigan. Wielding swords, machetes and axes made of heat-tempered steel, the fighters easily overpowered Green Bay citizens who attempted to defend themselves with plastic wrap commandeered from the area’s meat-packing plants.
Many in the Wisconsin city of about 100,000 donned their iconic cheeseheads in a desperate attempt to protect themselves, but the heavy metallic weaponry sliced through the cheese like a warm knife through butter. By early this morning, bodies littered the downtown area around Bay Park Square, with the odor of death only slightly mitigated by a pleasant cheddar-y smell.
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl defended his city’s attack on a remote location hundreds of miles across the Great Lakes. He said preemptive action was necessary because of reports that Green Bay was developing weapons of mass destruction.
“We’ve built a very modern, very healthy city in recent years, but many of our people are lactose-intolerant,” Ravenstahl said. “We could not afford to stand by and watch while a foreign power built an arsenal of dairy products that could bring us to our knees.”
Ravenstahl also noted that Green Bay’s form of government, in which an unelected city manager appointed by the council has broad powers, did not give fair representation to its people.
“We have a democratically elected city government that helps protect our basic freedoms,” he said. “We sympathized with the people of Green Bay living under a virtual dictatorship, and were willing to send troops to help them achieve their freedom. City and county services must be consolidated, especially in areas such as finance, human resources and information technology.”
Ravenstahl said his city’s occupation of Green Bay would be as benign as possible, though he did promise a decisive response to pockets of insurgents still hiding out in the East Town Mall and in areas around Lambeau Field.
“Remnants of the old regime must be crushed, so we can move the city toward eventual free elections,” he said.
Ravenstahl pointed to previous campaigns waged by Pittsburgh in recent history as indications that an eventual withdrawal would take place once the enemy was fully pacified.
“We don’t want to make the same mistake we made in the seventies,” he said. “In 1976, we attacked and defeated Dallas, then brought our troops home a year later, only to have to return in 1979 to put down another uprising.”
He said he hopes to repeat the model established in 2006 versus Seattle and in 2009 versus Arizona, where a heavy military presence was slowly reduced while the two areas experimented with democratic values. Troops were finally removed from Seattle in early 2010, though Pittsburgh officials have discussed annexing Arizona as “New Southwest Pittsburgh” to provide lebensraum, or “living space,” for western Pennsylvanians looking to escape the region’s notoriously cold winters.
“We have settlements in the desert there that must be protected,” Ravenstahl said.
Red Cross officials on the scene dealing with the dead and wounded were able to offer a preliminary count of casualties by early Monday morning. They said 39 Pittsburghers were killed in the fighting and 177 Green Bay citizens lost their lives.
“Alright!” exclaimed Bradley Smith, who followed the fighting on TV throughout the day Sunday. “I had ‘9’ and ‘7’ in the office pool. I won $300!”