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.