Last month a poll from Public Policy Polling came out declaring that the Green Bay Packers were now “America’s Team”. My first reaction was, “THIS is news? Of course they’re America’s team; everyone knows that they surpassed the Dallas Cowboys years ago!” Well apparently now it’s official, and the Pack came out way ahead of any other team.
If you are currently not a Green Bay Packers fan, well, I’m sorry to hear that. However, there is still hope for you. First of all, you need to know that we don’t appreciate anyone just jumping on the bandwagon. Once you’re a Packers fan, you stay a Packers fan, even if the team has a losing record and the quarterback is recording covers of Poison ballads.
I understand this can be a huge decision for you, so you should take your time thinking it over. My own husband struggled with this very same decision several years ago. A former Minnesota resident, he grew up a Vikings fan (shiver) and yet I married him anyway. I cringed every time I saw the bright gold and purple Cris Carter jersey hanging in his closet. But then one day he came to me, sat me down, and told me that he was thinking about making a major change in his life. This was not the look of a man who had decided to finally join a gym or pursue some new hobby. The look on his face was deadly serious, and my brain was buzzing with the possibilities. Was he joining the clergy? Changing political parties? (Oh Sweet Jesus let it be that!) Finally admitting that flat front chinos look better than pleated ones? Nope, it turned out that he was converting to a Green Bay Packers fan. I knew he would eventually wise up.
As for the rest of you considering your own conversion, I thought I would provide some simple rules before you make your decision. Here are my five rules for How to be a Green Bay Packers Fan:
1) Learn how to pronounce “Green Bay” correctly. You’d think this would be simple, but sports announcers and non-Wisconsinites get it wrong all the time. The emphasis is on the “Bay”, not on the “Green”. Don’t ever say GREEN Bay; it’s a dead giveaway that you are not an authentic fan.
2) If attending the games, be a knowledgeable fan. That is, when Aaron Rodgers is calling out the plays, you keep your mouth shut. When we’re on defense, you scream your head off.
3) Learn how to park your car on a lawn. Again, on game day there are a lot of Lambeau Field area families depending on that parking fee income to send their kid to college. Pay the fifteen bucks (a steal compared to other franchises) and park your car in a neat and orderly fashion on their front lawn, allowing the good folks to maximize their parking space income.
4) Learn to live without personal space. If you are at Lambeau in the winter wearing thirty layers of clothes, things are going to get tight. Don’t be afraid to get cozy with your neighbor so that the poor sap at the end doesn’t have one cheek off the bench.
5) Be a courteous fan. In Green Bay we help our neighbors flag down the beer guy, pass down the beverages and their change, then offer them our extra hand warmers. We’re friendly; it’s what we do.
If you can follow these simple rules (along with the aforementioned lifetime devotion), then congratulations…you may be well on your way to becoming an official fan of America’s team.