We were limping to the finish line of this Packer season, cold, discouraged and disconcertingly relieved to be attending our last game at Lambeau, when we ran smack into a bunch of green and gold cheer.
Our friends the Shadick family, with their matching Christmas Packer hand warmers and their contagious grins, understand that football is a game and games are supposed to be fun.
Sophisticated fans (most members of their large, extended family could draw up a triple option play and several of them could execute it flawlessly), they hold their athletes to high standards. During the 2009 and 2010 seasons, Kathie Shadick kept her prized framed photo of Brett Favre turned toward the wall in protest of his apparent (and fortunately short-lived) betrayal.
They, like the rest of us Packer fans, suffered through this challenging season but they maintained their dignity, they showed up at Lambeau Field and they cheered.
Just prior to last Saturday night’s game, they took their seats at Lambeau and Andy Shadick, an all-state player himself and a member of the Appleton North football coaching staff that took its team to the WIAA State Semi-Finals this year, posted this: “Through thick and thin… or for better or worse. Always Go Pack Go.”
We’ve been pretty spoiled here in Titletown, and, maybe we’ve taken for granted things like post-season play and MVP quarterbacks. We expect the team we own to perform well into January, and we’d like our coaching staff to make the right decisions to get them there. We also, hopefully, understand that, even at the professional level, football is a game of momentum and in many ways it mirrors life, for both players and fans.
- Seasons are finite, so take the opportunities to cheer when you can.
- Even when you’re pretty sure you’re not going to win the game, you still have to suit up and show up.
- Every play is an opportunity to learn.
- There’s no time to wallow in misery. Analyze your mistakes, and figure out how to avoid them next time.
- In order to be a fan during championship seasons, sometimes you have to be a fan during miserable ones too.
We have one more game this season.
Go Pack Go!