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So, you like the Packers...

So, you like the Packers...

I hear that sentence a lot. "So, you like the Packers..."

Like the pizza delivery guy who, while I was signing for the overpriced pie, noticed the two gnomes that sit on my stoop. "Ah, Packer fan? Yeah I sure was surprised by that game." I nod, "Me too. Me too."

Or the person who sells scrap parts for my work on eBay, when he walked in my office and saw Corey Behnke's "Die-hard" Packers face staring at him, "You like the Packers; have you heard of A.J. Hawk?"

Most recently it was today, while at the dentist. SB (fiance extraordinaire) was in the room next to me, and had apparently talked me up to the dentist. "So, you like the Packers..." the little mirror is nearing my mouth; this is not the time for me to be talking. He asked about the Pro Bowl, if Rodgers had played in it. And then he went into his surprise at the Packers last game. But he didn't think we should worry, Packers have a strong core, "Aaron Rodgers, A.J. Hawk and....what's that other guy?"

"Clay Matthews" I said, trying to avoid biting his finger.

"She knows all their names." He mentions to the very kind dental hygienist, who previously informed me that she was going to a funeral after my appointment and probably didn't care one way or another about this conversation.

I wanted to shout and scream. Of course I know Clay Matthews name. What person calls themselves a fan and doesn't know players, especially key players?

"They also have that running back."

"Grant or Starks" He never answered me; I can't be completely sure he didn't think that I wasn't talking about someone named Grant O'Starks.

Luckily, this is where the little suction cup thingy entered the picture. Otherwise, I might have had some words for the man who then announced that he also like the Steelers and goes to see them play frequently.

These, I have found, are normal reactions fot "outsiders" when they hear that I am a Packers fan. The other day a former UP resident walked in my office. They didn't ask me if I knew who A.J. Hawk was. With people on the inside we talk about our number on the ticket list, the stock sale, or franchise tags.

Maybe its the people in Cincinnati (I do blame the OSU connection for most of their random mentions and questions about Hawk), maybe its just the rest of the NFL, but as I sit in this time of mourning, I've thought a little bit about how I define myself.

For my entire life, I have been a Packer fan. By right of birth before I knew where my nose was, I was a Packer fan. I've always been just to the side of crazy (and not always on the same/sane side). But somewhere in the last couple of years things have changed. With the Internet, there are many more experts  now then there were in the days when I used to clip newspaper articles and file them away. And with the surge of social networking I no longer feel like I live alone on crazy girl island; I have been stranded with hundreds of my closest, most crazy, fellow Packer fans.

So when someone outside of that circle, asks me about the Packers, I sometimes am caught off guard that they do not know of the island that I am on and the small country of similarly thinking people that inhabit it.

I've started nodding a lot. Yes, A.J. Hawk does make up the core. You, dentist man, are correct. You have to be. Because I don't know how to explain to you that you are wrong.

Sometimes I think it's the people in Cincinnati. Bless their hearts, some of them are beyond nice, but the football gods have not been kind to them. Their lack of football and fandom knowledge really isn't their fault; it's like blaming someone who never took Spanish in school for not being fluent. But other times, I'm just convinced it's people that aren't "us".

For one, I wouldn't start a conversation with a fellow fan on first meeting each other, "so, I was shocked at that play off game." Mostly when it happens here, the conversation trails off and awkward silences linger until one of us can find an excuse to leave. 1. No Packer fan would refer to it as THAT play off game. Heck we still refer to what happened in a play off game versus the Eagles by the down and distance of the crucial play. A Packer fan would say the Giants game, would mention the fumbles, or drops or something...just not THAT game. 2. No statement turned into question would ever be asked without the appropriate "eh" at the end of it. 3. If a Packer fan walked up to a house with a Packer gnome on it and was greeted by a person wearing a B.J. Raji t-shirt, they wouldn't question if the person was a fan, they'd assume and start right in wondering why Raji got less pressure this year. If on the off chance that said person in house and shirt wasn't a fan, we'd do that, huh? head cocked to the side, shoulder shrug thing and run away.

So now here I am, writing about the Packers, or mostly - in this case - my trip to the dentist on CheeseheadTV, where people actually come to for Packers news - and sometimes my dribble; talking Packers with some other die-hards on Cheesehead Radio and living off my twitter feed like it's my oxygen supply. Now that the season has tragically come to an end, one must reflect on how they spent their season. I spent half the season perched in front of this keyboard, and the other half fighting what I'm sure will go down as two of the most vicious cases of bronchitis known to man. Is this what I want for my life? And after the utter gross-ness that was displayed to Kyle Williams and Jermichael Finley - and anyone who happened to mess up on the field - on twitter, I definitely wondered if maybe this train was headed in the wrong direction.

Living with the outsiders, when my island co-patriots are only found online, it can sometimes be hard to embrace the island lifestyle. Am I overly crazy? Sometimes I start to think that I am. And then I go to the dentist. And the fact that someone out there, walking among normal everyday people thinks that A.J. Hawk is part of the core of the Packers defense, scares the living daily lights out of me. If that's being right, then its an island life for me.

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

Ardog's mustache's picture

I know EXACTLY what you mean Jamie. people just dont get what being a fan is about. Its not just a fan on game day, its a fan EVERYDAY. Bing a packer fan in DC is like being an IRS employee when they win and an aminal in the zoo when they loose. When they win people say nice job or mostly leave u alone, but when they loose its like everyone suddenly knows football and cant wait to point it out to you.. People ask me why I wore my packer scarf the week after the GIANTS game or why I wear my Packer hat even on mondays after a loss, because win or loose I am still a fan. Even before I could spell Favre I was still a fan. I love being stranded on this island, even after games like "that" game.

Jim's picture

Day after the Giants game, I was wearing a #80 jersey with a Green Bay hat to match, as one of my accounts was writing out a check he looks up and asks, "You really a Packers fan?". At times like this, and there are many, a lot of horribly sarcastic and mean responses rush to the tip of my tongue. If I acted on them I'd be a huge prick pretty much all day long. I just take a deep breath and hope I'll be able to restrain myself after the impending uneducated comment that inevitably follows.

Bearmeat's picture

Great post Jayme,

I live in Austin TX, alongside a lot of diehard UT fans, and somewhat lukewarm Cowboys fans.

Dallas fans are almost as stupid as Vikings fans: When their team is winning, they are the BEST ever, and they waste no time telling everyone about it. When their team is losing they don't show up to games, stop watching on TV, and quietly mumble about how "It's all Tony's fault"

In short, they are pro football morons. And it drives me crazy. They can't understand what it means to be a true die-hard fan.

Thank GOD for Billy's on Burnet, just a few blocks down.

LambeauJoe's picture

Hi Jayme,

I'm with ya. To the outsiders, I just show off my shareholder superbowl xlv ring. One of two things happens...they either shut up or start asking questions I'm all too happy to answer...e.g. you're a shareholder?!?! You got a RING?!?! My answer: "Yep."

WisconsinGunner's picture

LJ - Was it the really cool, flashy, gold & diamond one? If so, spare a brother a few benjies so I can get one too? ;)

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