As culturally informed diet decisions go, Aaron Rodgers swearing off cheese is like the Pope announcing he's "never been a fan of those weird little crackers at church."
In Rodgers' case, his move away from cheese — all dairy products, in fact — is a reflection of his desire to have good health and a long career, like Tom Brady, whose eating habits the Packers' quarterback is adopting as his own.
But for a prominent Wisconsin resident, even as a Californian by birth, this is an act of heresy. Cheese in Wisconsin is not a foodstuff. It is religion. The loyal Wisconsinite's faith in cheese is surpassed only by his love for the Green Bay Packers.
Thus, he has wedded these two joys in his heart — and on his head — by proudly referring to himself, as a Packers fan, by the name "Cheesehead." Until now.
Generally we admire anyone making a sacrifice that might help them live out their dreams. But we admire them even more if those dreams they are trying to live out are mostly about eating cheese.
As one last plea on behalf of the Cheese Eating Peoples of this world, we're here to provide Mr. Rodgers with a drool-worthy reminder of just what he's giving up. Come back, Aaron. Life's too short.
If it fails, may Vikings fans take the opportunity to print out these and other images of dairy treasure, and taunt poor Aaron Rodgers when the next season begins. Your loss, man. More cheese for the rest of us.
We begin, of course, with the cheese curd. These are from Brooks High Beer Battered food truck, which means they are also battered in beer, thus approaching a sort of Midwestern food perfection in a single dish.
These fries from Halftime Rec in St. Paul look like they're slathered in cheese to cut the heat of the jalapeno. Your eyes deceive you. First, this cheese sauce is spicy, itself. And second, properly deployed cheese does not "cut" anything. It completes it.
This is a cheesesteak sammich available at Frank From Philly in Minneapolis. Maybe the geographical implications of that sentence are confusing. Forget it. Look, cheese.
Want your sandwich a little fancier? Maybe your melted cheese has a French accent? Here, this is a fancy-ass bologna cheese from Saint Dinette.
Not all cheese curds have to look like they will kill you in a glorious and immediate way. These cheese curds (paired with sweet potatoes) come from the Curious Goat food truck. What the goat was curious about is why the hell anyone would voluntarily give up cheese.
These people in England are running down a hill after a wheel of cheese, hurting themselves. HA! It's because they want the cheese.
Sometimes cheese becomes a soup. This is beer cheese soup. (See above about the regional implications of combining cheese and beer directly into one thing.)
Cheese can be for breakfast. This cheese is preparing to become an omelet.
Here we have another kind of breakfast cheese, or maybe a brunch cheese. It's cream cheese on a bagel with smoked salmon and some tomato and a little sliced red onion and you can't have any of it, Mr. Quarterback.
Cheese can also be a dessert, Aaron! Sometimes that's accomplished with a fancy little cheese plate, but other times someone does something creative, like melting a little cheddar on top of an apple pie. This is that.
But not all pies are dessert Aaron! Here we see a pizza pie from a Chicago-style deep dish joint. Chicago is another city with a team in the Vikings' and Packers' division. Their team is called the Bears. No hard feelings. Pizza is good. Pizza with cheese is better.
You don't need that much cheese to make something perfectly cheesy. This chicken Parmesan is covered with some cheese that has already melted, but then it's also dusted with some other cheese that has not melted yet. Do not worry, Aaron! It will melt.
If for some reason cheese begins to melt and there is no immediate plan to do something with it, it should immediately be put on top of a burger, which is then rushed into someone's mouth. Consider this a cheese emergency and react accordingly.
Oh, Aaron, we could go on and on. And we shall. Sneaking "desk cheese" while faking our way through work, planning social events that we pretend are about catching up with friends but are actually about catching up with cheese.
And you, Aaron Rodgers, like a marooned soldier setting out for uncharted territory, shall embark on your newly cheese-free life.
We know it not.