I'll admit that when I was in college and people in Iowa asked me if I was a Packer fan, I wasn't nearly excited about it as I am today. Yes, I grew up 25 miles from Lambeau. Yes, I've been to a game. These are the replies that I would offer when asked. But with not a lot of notable enthusiasm.
Fast forward to 1992. I married my husband. He was a Packer fan. For Pete's sake. The family has had season tickets in their possession for at least three decades. Yes, we went to occasional games. And yes, they were fun. For me the crowd watching was the best. The bands, the costumes, the cheeseheads! Who would have thought. And to see so much green and gold. Holy cow. There were even cars and campers painted team colors. Outrageous.
When the stadium was going to be renovated we were offered the opportunity to take over the family tickets. This meant we would have two tickets to the "GREEN" package of games. This includes one preseason game and six regular season games.
The price wasn't prohibitive, so we said yes. Oh wait. Remember this is the year of renovation. We were also charged a seat tax. In the thousands. Man, this was an investment. Did we really want to do this? The answer was of course. And so the check was written.
Now, each year we have the opportunity to see the Packers play in person seven times. Absolutely amazing. We can't always go as a couple, so we invite friends and family. And speaking of family, the other season ticket holders around us have sort of become that. You get to know each other. It's a nice feeling. I took Gracie to a game when she was six. Scott was deer hunting. Just us girls. There happened to be a couple of fans for the opposing team next to us. Some vulgarities were spoken in reference to a call in the Packer's favor. One of the fellow season ticket holders said rather gruffly, "can't you idiots see there is a goll darn kid sitting right here!" The fans respected the fact that Gracie was within earshot for the rest of the game. It really warmed my heart.
Some other things that make me so proud of my team is their community outreach. Love that Aaron Rodgers. Did you know that he anonymously funded and attended a fun day of bowling, pizza and shopping for kids from the Boys and Girls Club in Green Bay one Christmas. He and several of his teammates made the holiday a bright one for these kids. That kind of gift giving is so wonderful. And I believe that I read he asked that there be no reporters and hoopla at the event. It was about the kids. The story was told by someone who admired the situation months after it happened.
Yes, the football. I do have a much bigger appreciation for the game now. We are teaching Gracie the fundamentals and it's so rewarding to see her get it. And Clay Matthews, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, B.J. Raji---need I say more. And there are so many more that make the Green Bay Packers such a respected team.
So for many years I have been a fan and I dare say that I will be until I die. I love sitting eight rows up from the field---on the Packers side. I do bleed green and gold. And yes, I'm having a Super Bowl party in two weeks.
©2011 Ann M. De Broux