Listen, I’ve been a Packer fan since I was born and that was more than half a century ago.
I think I know a thing or two about challenging seasons. My friends and I went to games at Lambeau Field and County Stadium in the 80s when our beloved team played 10 straight seasons without making the playoffs. Guess what? We still had fun. We still cheered the good plays, dissected the bad ones and enjoyed the distinct camaraderie a team allegiance inspires.
Go Pack Go!
We Packer fans have been well indulged these last few decades. We haven’t been TJ Rubleyed since 1995 and even then we made it to the conference championship. Since 1992 we’ve only had two starting quarterbacks and they’ve both consistently shown the kind of mind-boggling talent that left few games out of reach. We’ve made it to the playoffs 19 times in the past 24 years. We’ve won four Super Bowls and a total of 13 World Championships.
Last week, during a season fraught with injuries, we absorbed a crushing blow and even the reporters covering the game seemed stunned by the news. Aaron Rodgers. Broken clavicle. Potentially out for the season.
From Hail Mary to Dear God.
Still, I take issue with Packer beat reporter Pete Dougherty’s dire headline the following day: Unless Aaron Rodgers returns, Packers’ season over.
So not true. If it were, what would Dougherty cover for the next 16 weeks? (That’s right, I counted the playoffs.)
What we’ve had here in Packerland is a setback and I’m as disappointed as anyone.
But, you know what I’m going to do Sunday? I’m going to head up to Lambeau Field. And, I’m going to tailgate with a large group of friends. And, then I’m going to claim my seat in Section 117 and I’m going to cheer on my team.
Because, though they haven’t been truly challenged in a good, long while, Packer fans stick.
Here are 10 reasons we do:
- We own the team. Maybe you’re tired of reading about how the Packers have been a publicly owned, nonprofit corporation since 1923, but I think it’s pretty remarkable.
- We play our home games at Lambeau Field and, due to point No. 1 , it will always be Lambeau Field. It’s one of the NFL’s most historic stadiums.
- Even with a renovation that added more than eight thousand seats in 2014, Lambeau Field has been sold out on a season-ticket basis since 1960. They still list 131,000 people on the season ticket waiting list.
- The Super Bowl trophy is called the Lombardi trophy because…
- …Vince Lombardi is our coach.
- Established in 1921, we’re one of the oldest franchises in the league. We’ve been around a looooong time and we’re not going anywhere.
- Next man up. It’s been the motto at 1265 Lombardi Avenue for many years. No one wants to see the team leaders go down with injuries, but it’s always an opportunity for new leaders to emerge.
- #GGFridays We celebrate them with gusto where I work. Green and Gold Fridays offer team building opportunities within the workplace and get everyone pumped up for the upcoming weekend. When they’re paired with office potlucks, they’re even better.
- Packer Fans Everywhere. It’s not just a website, it’s a way of life. I saw Packer T-shirts for sale from a street vendor in Jerusalem last summer. Pack fandom has gone global.
- God healed Reggie White. On December 14, 1995 the Packer great announced that God had healed his hamstring and he wouldn’t require season-ending surgery after all. Miracles happen, folks. You just have to believe.
I’m going to leave you with a quote from Coach Lombardi: “Battles are won in the hearts of men.”
I hope my fellow Packer fans remember that Sunday and fill that stadium with positive vibes.
Go Pack Go!