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A Big Ol’ Thanks to Aunt Gert

A Big Ol’ Thanks to Aunt Gert

Earlier this week, Colin Cowherd tried to not eat his words regarding Aaron Rodgers' play in playoff games. One of the ways he did this was by commenting that Packers fans were only writing him because Rodgers won. (which to be honest no one writes in after a loss, but Rodgers' played great in both his playoff appearances and Cowherd is just too lazy to notice). But I digress, his main point followed, Packers fans only come out when they win.

I have never been a fan of Cowherd’s and have frequently called him out on twitter and Cheesehead Radio for his idiotic comments. But that one, that one hurt. Packers fans only come out when they win? Really?

I could point to the long wait list for season tickets, or to the amount of jerseys sold, or to the vast number of people who visit this site and others during games to prove him wrong. But tonight on Packer Transplants we got more proof than any number could provide.

Corey’s Aunt Gert turned out to be the mystery guest and I can honestly say that I listened more intensely during her interview than any of the others also on the show tonight. Why? Because the history and familial tradition of the Packers is something that is truly special and should be cherished. I know many teams have history and family bonds, but having lived in two other NFL cities, my experience has been that Packers fans share their love and fandom in a very unique and special way. The detail and near excitement in Aunt Gert’s voice as she talked was matched equally by nearly everyone in the chat room. She sat there giving out tips for the game, recalling great moments, and I think, as listeners we all felt lucky and home, not only because here is a great fan talking but because many of us also have our own “Aunt Gert”s.

Mine was my grandmother, Wilma. How grandmother of a name is that? I moved in with her when I was 13. I was already pretty much a freak fan at that point, but with her I learned the etiquette of fandom. My grandmother watched Packers games from two spots in the house. One, a chair in the back of the living room or two, in the kitchen. When games would get tense she loved cleaning the oven. With her yellow gloves in hand she would sit there and scrub and scrub while listening to Jim and Max on the radio, the more tense a game got the more elbow grease she applied. We never listened to the tv announcers. They were rubbish. She’s the one that taught me being able to talk about football is totally different from being able to talk about it well. As she got older and games got later, I would find myself alone watching some games, and somehow I always ended up in the kitchen. That’s where you went when things got close. I was circling the table the entire last four minutes of Super Bowl 32. Funny, how years later you can still remember those things. I think the hardest thing about moderating the game day chat this season has been that I can’t get up and stand in the kitchen. Trust me, there have been times that I’ve been tempted to take the lap top in there.

In my grandmother’s basement I found what can only be described as the world’s oldest, perhaps, first, bobble head. I loved that doll. He watched every game with me. Eventually his head crumbled, he was just too old. Grandmother said she had him as long as she could remember. Before me she kept him next to four mini helmets, not the kind you get outside the grocery store, but real collectors, and a mini football. I still watch each game with the Green Bay one.

In 2004 we moved my grandmother out of her house and in doing so we found an old dresser in the basement filled with old Packers memorabilia. Game day programs, pictures, etc. I was young when my grandfather passed so I never knew what the house was like filled with people on game day, but these drawers, those things, gave me a glimpse.

We probably were an odd pair, a very petite woman in her 70s and an overly emotional teenager with pom poms and a bobble head doll, but we were watching football together.  Sure I have other memories, of childhood family parties filled with raw meat, onions and beer towers. And I have memories of being a college kid watching games at the bar. But tonight when listening to Aunt Gert talk, and after hearing Colin Cowherd’s bizarre comments, I can’t help but think of that four year stretch of my life when I was lucky enough to live and be a fan with my grandmother.

The history of this team, of being a fan is passed down through many generations. I’m thankful that Packer Transplants took the time tonight to remind us and share with us. And I really hope that someone, someday, finds a way to get Colin Cowherd off the air.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (13) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Mr_Fastbucks's picture

Cowherd only cares about Vegas odds and TV ratings. In doing so he will never be a true fan.

zcalvelli's picture

Nicely done, Jayme. I hope Cowherd has this emailed to him over, and over...

Lynn Dickey 12's picture

We pass it down through the generations. For me, many years, even decades, are a chore...even a ministry. But, in some years, it can turn in what feels like an instant into something truly beautiful...something that enriches our lives and deepens our relationships, as the Packers are doing for me now with my kids. Greatness awaits over the next few weeks.

Keep walking around the table.

Chad Toporski's picture

Great memories and writing, Jayme.

My grandmother (Mildred) has lived in Milwaukee practically all of her life. I was born there, but we moved to Memphis before I even turned 1, so I never really got to watch any games with her.

She's getting quite old and can't see, but she listens to the games, and pretty much all she talks about on the phone is the weather and the Packers. My dad always jokes after the close games that he has to call just to make sure she didn't have a stroke.

You're absolutely right. The history and generational traditions of Green Bay Packers fans is something special, and nothing to be referred to flippantly.

Jer's picture

Awesome, Jayme. So true.

I have some great memories, too. My grandpa and uncle would sit there calmly. My dad would yell at the TV and slam his hand on the wooden arm of the coach. My mom would be visiting with my aunt in the other room trying not to be mortified.

My grandma would just keep saying "think positive". We'd be down 4TDs and she's still stay "think positive". That was in the 80s when there wasn't much positive going on. Her voice and manner of speaking were exactly like Aunt Gert. I almost thought it was her.

Oppy's picture

My family moved across the Midwest like gypsies before settling in Wisconsin when I was just about one year old.

Growing up, my (much) older brothers had no allegiance to the Green Bay Packers, my Mother wasn't a football fan, and my Father, while he watched football, wasn't very knowledgeable, and his Pittsburgh upbringing made him more a Steelers fan than a Packers fan (To be fair, he did pull for the Packers, they were the new "hometown" team, after all).

I'm a Wisconsinite, through and through, and I am both proud of the Packers football traditions of families in this state, as well as somewhat jealous of them.

Listening to Aunt Gert, and all the other "Aunt Gerts" I've had the pleasure of listening to talk Packers over the years, gives me a sense of history I missed out on growing up, and reminds me why I love both Wisconsin and the Packers so much.

PackersRS's picture

Wow. Jayme.

Cowherd doesn't deserve 1 second of anyone's attention, let alone compel someone to write an article (even though said article isn't about him).

That being said, what a great article. I have to confess, I was kind of putting the Lounge aside. Alex, with his crazy, overschedulled life, sparsely wrote something in here, so I stopped coming.

But with your coming, it's been great. I'm a big fan of his writing, well, I like what he writes about the Packers, but his personal stories and his unique point of view are incredible. And I'm starting to really enjoy what you write (except for that friday night lights thing, what is that????).

This was a great article, I really like those personal stories, I think the Lounge is all about that, and you and Alex are great at sharing those moments.

I don't have those memories of Packer fandom, as I'm the only one who enjoys football in my house. But I can relate with soccer moments from my youth, with my dad and I attending games.

Jayme Snowden's picture

Thanks RS!

Friday Night Lights is a passion of mine and I thank Alex for letting me get it out there. For all those who are just confused (and disliking) it beyond belief, you're in luck, there's only a little bit left of the show and it will be over. I'm a sap for stories that intertwine sports and life.

That being said, I really do appreciate your comments. I've always had a strange relationship with sports and the Packers in general, some might call it unhealthy, where it really feels like an extended part of my life. I started blogging to share those stories more than anything. And it feels great to know that others enjoy that.

PackersRS's picture

Jayme, there's one thing you need to understand, if Alex hasn't told you, about the Lounge.

It's YOUR content and who doesn't like it can shut up and go away. You write about anything you want.

I enjoy your take on Packers, I don't on the TV show. But NOBODY tells you what to write or not to write.

Of course, the Lounge has kind of the same rules to the posters...

bryce's picture

Best article on the Lounge so far Jayme. And yes, Cowherd is a moron.

asshalo's picture

Cowherd's main goal is to get people inspired to respond to him, or to put it more bluntly, to make people disagree with him so they Email and twitter him, getting him more publicity. I normally don't listen or respond to him for that purpose. He knows what he's doing and he's only good for insights on rare occasions. Definitely an intelligent person, it's just I prefer Wilde, Homer, Van Pelt and Ryen Resillo. They prove you don't need to be a jerk to get people to listen to you.

There's times when I wonder whether Bill Johnson is in the same boat as Cowherd. To a larger extent every radio personality is, as it keeps the lights on. I think Johnson is just generally prejudiced by his often repeated beliefs about fans and football. He has good insights, more than cowherd, but I can't stand it when he turns green and gold today into a rant about fans and their opinions. He ends up repeating the same thing, which is irritating b/c his co-host is one the most insightful person on the packers. On a monday after a game, I want to talk about the game, not listen to Johnson defend his ideas.

JohnRehor's picture

Outstanding Jayme!

emilyr's picture


THIS IS AWESOME!! These stories are why the Packer fans, the players and organization are so special. I have letters from my mom, sent to me in college, with the plays, score updates, her option of how different ppl were playing :) Still have them...

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