We’ve Got The Best Team…
Being born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin means maybe I like cheese, beer, and polka music, but you better believe I love my Packers. There’s no alternative in Titletown; above all else you fear and love God, your family, and the Pack—and not necessarily in that order. During the glory years, my middle school days, everyone had a Packer jersey (mine was Robert Brooks; sisters had Reggie White and Edgar Bennett) and almost everyone had a Packer Starter jacket. Every Friday was Packer Spirit Day and the school hallways were flooded with a sea of Green and Gold. You got on the school bus every Monday and at 7 am without fail the Packer Polka came on the radio. The Pack won the Super Bowl in ‘97 and school was released early the day after, and my dad picked us up even before we were released, and we stood outside in a snowbank in snow pants and boots for the ticker-tape parade, and I high-fived the players as they drove by with the Lombardi trophy, and my dad said “this is a day you’ll never forget,” and he was right.
Green Bay is a place where kids ride their bikes up to the stadium, and the players (yes, even Favre) hop on and ride on the back pegs to the practice field across the street. Green Bay is a place where fans go to the two-gate airport and wait to cheer on the Pack when they return from away games. Green Bay is a place where residents never oppose any tax that benefits the team. In 1980, when he moved to Green Bay, my dad got on the list for season tickets. He was number 7,500. Three decades later, he’s 1,100.
My dad is the biggest Packer fan I know. Our basement is an actual sports bar with memorabilia you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. On game day, my dad turns off the ringer on our landline. He dances around when the Pack scores and fumes in silence when they’re behind. Some of my best family memories revolve around the Pack. Packer-themed birthday parties, Sunday chicken in the living room, being at Lambeau with my dad—heat packs in my Sorels—for the Packer-Seahawks overtime win in ‘04. Every Monday, my dad picked me and my sisters up and we drove—four across the cab of his tiny pick-up truck—to the taping of Larry McCarren’s Locker Room show. We each got one soda as we waited (always got there early for good seats), and each week we took turns going up to ask Larry one question, perfectly drafted by pops himself. (Although I believe Katie was the only one that ever got on-air.)
One of my top three regrets in life is that I backed out on booking a flight home to Green Bay for the game. More than anything, my love affair with the Pack is about my family, and I think that rings true for most Cheeseheads.
My Facebook feed has been bombarded with Packer posts, including some of the ones listed below. Read on if you want to better understand what it means to be a true fan. GO PACK.
- The Green Bay Packers Need To Win: ESPN
- Packer Season Tickets Worth the Wait; 955 Years for Some: JSOnline
- Those Non-Profit Packers: The New Yorker
- The right way? The Green Bay way: ESPN
- Why Green Bay is ‘America’s Team’: ESPN
- The Packers and the Steelers Broke the Hearts of the Cowboys: NYTimes
- B.J. Raji, Green Bay’s Breakout Star: NPR
- Early Release Day After Superbowl for Green Bay Schools: WFRV
- Lil Wayne Drops Pack Rap: Wall Street Journal
- Couple names children after Green Bay Packers: Dallas News