On an early autumn Sunday in 1991, not long after we moved to Wisconsin, we decided to go shopping at the local mall. Northridge Mall was the largest shopping center in Milwaukee with all the major department stores and over 100 speciality stores (according to the billboards on 76th Street and Brown Deer Road). It was about 2:00 in the afternoon when we arrived and the place appeared to be a virtual ‘ghost town’. When we finally inquired as to why no one was shopping, the kid at the Swatch® kiosk looked at us incredulously and said, “The Packers are playing!” Still not sure what that meant, I asked for further explanation. It was then that his annoyance turned to anger, “The Green Bay Packers” “Everyone is at home watching the game, duh!” He looked at us as if we were aliens – and of course we were.
I knew who the Green Bay Packers were. I just didn’t realize how devoted the fans were. Coming from St. Louis where devotion to The Baseball Cardinals is almost a religious experience I began to understand. But that kind of passion for football was something we were not familiar with in St. Louis. A few years earlier the Football Cardinals had departed for Arizona (good riddance) and so did our interest in the NFL.
So we went to a Packers game later that fall and it was transformational. There we were surrounded by a sea of green and gold. Cheeseheads. Painted faces. Cheering crowd. Adoration. And this was in 1991! Before Brett Farve. What I learned to love about the Packers most that day was their fans. Die hard. Crazy. Dedicated. Wonderful. “Let me join! Let me join!” kept running through my head. And I did. And I will be a die hard, crazy, dedicated, wonderful Packer fan until I die.
Here’s why I love The Greenbay Packers:
- It’s a team that is owned by the fans.
- Green and gold are fun colors.
- Cheeseheads look good on anybody.
- Lambeau Field – football should be played outdoors and in the cold.
- Aaron Rodgers.
- Super Bowl XXXI and XLV.
- Packer fans love the team through the heydays and the dog days.
The Packer fans are loyal and the players never seem to forget that. When Aaron Rodgers was named MVP of Super Bowl XLV he thanked the fans.
I would just like to be among the first to say “You’re welcome Aaron, it was our pleasure!”
Go Pack Go!
P.S. For those of you that are counting ~ this is my 100th blog post!