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Pawsitively Packers - How Your Love for the Packers Began

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Pawsitively Packers - How Your Love for the Packers Began

At CheeseheadTV, we all gather here for our love of the Green Bay Packers.  While we may not agree on everything and arguments can often get heated at times, our passion for Packers football brings us together here throughout the entire year.

How we arrived at this point in our lives as rabid fans of the green and gold differs for everyone.  We all have a different story to tell that explains our love for the team.  Some were influenced heavily by family or friends and others have moments in time as they watched the team from abroad.  As I get to know Packers fans, I love to hear the stories that influenced their passion so deeply.

For me, my earliest memories of the Green Bay Packers began sometime in the mid part of the 1980’s.  My grandfather had a ritual of syncing the television broadcast to the voices of Jim Irwin and Max McGee on the radio broadcast.  Of course, this was back in the day when it was possible to sync radio with television broadcasts prior to the television delay being extended.  I have minute memories of Forrest Gregg roaming the sidelines for the Packers and then Lindy Infante taking over at the helm. 

My grandfather was also fortunate enough to have been a season ticket holder for a long period of time.  He attended the first NFL Championship Game in Green Bay in 1961 where the Packers beat the New York Giants for their seventh NFL Championship.  His love of the Packers was definitely passed down to me at a very young age.  In 1988, as a seven-year-old, I was able to attend my first game at Lambeau Field.  It was a preseason slugfest with the Chiefs that eventually ended in overtime.

Having attended a sporadic game here and there through my youth, I must admit that I buckled under the pressure of being an easily influenced teenager by the time I hit middle school.  Yes, my Emmitt Smith jersey still hangs somewhere in a closet from when the Cowboys were in their prime in the 1990’s.  And yes, my family and friends should have sent me to treatment at such a young and influential age.  But seeing that they didn’t, it’s a good thing that my fate as a fan took a turn for the better once I reached high school.

Admitting the above is tough for me, but know that I remained a Packers fan as well through it all.  During the tough playoff losses to the Cowboys in 1994 and 1995, I was representing the Packers while the Smith jersey remained hung in the closet.   

My truly rabid fandom for the Packers started on January 12, 1997, when I had the chance to witness the NFC Championship in person at Lambeau Field.  After the Packers had defeated the 49ers the week prior, my grandfather asked me to attend the game with him the following weekend.  We left a small, snowy town in northern Wisconsin early that morning and hit the ditch on a highway entrance ramp leaving town.  Luckily, a known county plow truck driver pulled us out and we were on our way to Lambeau Field.  (Thanks, Marcus!)  The old man loved to listen to his polka tapes on the two and a half hour drive to Green Bay, but unfortunately, I wouldn’t develop an ear for the music until much later in life.

The atmosphere in Lambeau Field that afternoon was like no other event I had experienced in my life.  As the Packers triumphed throughout the second half and the faithful fans danced in joy, watching Reggie, Brett and the entire team celebrate the Packers first trip to the Super Bowl in almost 30 years hooked me for life.

As my life progressed into college and adulthood, I was very fortunate to have married a diehard Packers fan that was born and raised in Illinois.  After we attended our first game together, we have made it a tradition to try and make the trek to Lambeau on a yearly basis.  And now with a little one running around our house and another one on the way, I feel it is our duty to pass along the tradition to them as they grow as my father and grandfathers did for me.  And should they experience a hiccup in their teens like I did, my intervention will probably be a little stronger than what I received at that age.

The memories made in the southwest corner of Lambeau Field are memories that I’ll hold near and dear to my heart for the rest of my life.  Through the heartbreaks and triumphs, Packers fandom has run deep in my blood and will continue to do so for as long as I live.  The only reminder of this that I ever need occurs each time that I turn off of Highway 41 onto Lombardi Avenue and see the hallowed grounds of Lambeau Field in the distance.  As I enter the stadium and walk through the tunnel to the glorious view of the bright green grass, yellow goal posts and the smell of football in the air, the hair on the back of my neck stands at attention and brings me back to being a 10-year-old kid again.  Not much in the world compares to that feeling.

Let’s hear your stories!


Ryan Brunner is an avid Packers fan hailing from Chippewa Falls, WI.  He is a firm believer that punters are NFL players too!  Follow him on Twitter @brunwardo

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (62) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

"Yes, my Emmitt Smith jersey still hangs somewhere in a closet from when the Cowboys were in their prime in the 1990’s. "

Ryan...Please understand I appreciate the time you take to contribute to CHTV and while I don't agree with everything written here I always appreciate ANY piece a writer takes the time to put up for our enjoyment.

BUT THIS.... A Emmitt Smith Jersey that is STILL in your closet? This is absolutely, positively UNACCEPTABLE!!!!

I was born in Madison but grew up in Minneapolis. I was surrounded by obnoxious Queens Fans at a time the Vikings were actually going to SB's...Back in the 70's. Even through some of the darkest days for a Packers Fan did I ever consider giving into the pressure and become a fan or buying one of the Purple People Eaters Jerseys. NEVER!!

Again I appreciate you and what you do but please BURN your Emmitt Smith Jersey.

As Kevin Greene would say...It is TIME!!

WKUPackFan's picture

Nick, if you want to read someone who really crushes Emmitt Smith in a hilarious manner check out Walter Cherepinski's "Emmitt on the Brink" columns at WalterFootball. Walt also has his version of Emmitt's 2018 mock draft there.

P.S. - I'm always leery of recommending other sites here on CHTV. I realize that CHTV authors often cite other sources, but I like this place so much that recommending other sites seems somewhat disloyal.

stockholder's picture

I still recommend Tudor Electric Football. Packers vs. Cowboys.

Tundraboy's picture

Unacceptable but I'll try to look at it as the prodigal son returns.

GBPDAN1's picture

I want to drive to Ryan's house and burn that Emmitt Smith Jersey myself and I live in LA (born in Milwaukee) . It be worth the drive... lol

My dad bought season tickets back when they played 3 home games at Milwaukee County Stadium. We moved to the UP of Michigan and we kept out tickets. Our whole family loves the Packers and follows them religiously even through the dark ages of the 70s and 80s. We would never consider another team, or a player of another team, to root for especially from hated teams like the Cowgirls, BiQueens, Bearlys or Kittens.

I moved to LA for work in the early 80s. I was 21. It was brutal not being able to watch Packers games then. I would call my dad and he would give me updates during the games. Then the mesh satellite dishes came out. I would call bars to see who would be willing to search for the games. I would wake up hungover on Sundays to drive an hour to a bar to watch the 10am (LA time) games. Now that we have direct TV and internet, I have never missed a game since.

It's been a beautiful ride since Wolf, Holmgren, Farve and Reggie showed up. I couldn't believe it when I was able to watch the Packers win a Superbowl. I didn't think Id ever witness a Packers SB after struggling through the 70s-80s. (I absolutely hated the Cowboys -and still do -especially in the 90s. They represent the opposite of what GB represents). And now we get to experience the Rodgers era. Another SB! (Should have been more TT ! )

Let's all get together, take Ryan's hate Cowpie Jersey, have a party and burn that thing on a Packers bonfire!!

CJ Bauckham's picture

I'm a fan because of my mom. She's from WI, and she made sure growing up we knew who the only acceptable team to root for was (Dad was/is a baseball fan so it worked out)

I still have a deion sanders jersey in my closet that I got when I was 10. My mom still hates that she bought it for me to this day

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

It's okay. Every Packer fan appreciates the value of a quality cornerback. Maybe our group this year will start playing like Neon Deion.

WKUPackFan's picture

The first game that I remember watching was the Ice Bowl, a little over two weeks from my 8th birthday. Maybe it was because my favorite color was green, maybe it was because the name Bart Starr was so cool, maybe it was simply because the Packers won the game. In any event, a lifelong love for the Packers began that day.

Savage57's picture

Like most kids growing up in Wisconsin, my parents watched the Packers, so I watched the Packers. It wasn't like I could go up to my room and pop on NFL RedZone on my personal TV to watch a different team since it didn't exist and TV was three channels, all of them bad.

That said, what's not to like being introduced to the game as a fan of the team that more often than not was going to win the game and the championship?

And yeah, I got spoiled. I remember asking my Dad, "Who are the Packers beating this Sunday?", and him giving me that look.

egbertsouse's picture

I was born and raised in Oshkosh, WI, 50 miles from GB, so it was obligatory. There are 3 things to do in Oshburg; drink beer, fish, and watch the Packers. My first memory is watching the 1960 championship game against the Eagles. My uncle knew Dom Gentile (former trainer) so I got to meet a number of players, including Bart Starr, so I was hooked at an early age.

hodge555's picture

I started following the Packers in 1984. I'd just started University and it was just coming on UK TV. Been a supporter ever since. Even booked some vacation with mates to visit USA and get games in. So far though I've not managed to get to Green Bay itself.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Cool. Where did you see them play?

hodge555's picture

All were away games of course.
First game was 1990, we got thumped by Phily.
Second game was 1991 and we lost to Atlanta.
Then a long gap, and it was primarily so I could see a game before Favre retired, vs Chicago in 2005 and we lost again.

Obviously I'd love to see more games, and especially one before Rodgers retires, but since I seem to be a jinx as we've never won a game I've attended, then I'm also a little reluctant :-(

Jersey Al's picture

Maybe going to a home game is what you need to break your streak.

hodge555's picture

You may have something there Al :-) and it would mean I finally get to visit Green Bay of course, and hopefully see Rodgers play.

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

make it a September home game, just to be on the safe side

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Born and raised, Green and Gold from the womb.

Best memory was sweating for over an hour in desperate hope, then having my prayers answered, and then bursting through my front door and falling on my knees in my front yard screaming, "Yes! Yes! Yes! Oh God, Yes!"--in my suburb of Denver, Colorado--THE INSTANT WE DRAFTED AARON RODGERS.

True story.

Worst memory is a tie between all the times the ball was handed to Barry Sanders.

Spock's picture

ALP, "Worst memory is a tie between all the times the ball was handed to Barry Sanders." Well, then one of your best memories has to be the game (don't remember which one, sigh) where the Packers held Barry (freaking) Sanders to something like minus one yard for the whole game!!

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Yep. Loved it!

But Barry was the most terrifying force I ever saw at running back. My goodness, had he ever run behind a decent line--even a semi-not-terrible-line--there would literally have been no stopping him.

And can you imagine if he'd had a QB? Can any of our minds even contemplate putting him in the paradise enjoyed by Emmitt Smith?

RCPackerFan's picture

"At CheeseheadTV, we all gather here for our love of the Green Bay Packers. "

Well MOST of us do...

One of my greatest memories as a Packers fan was when my dad picked me up one day from school at my grandma's and he couldn't hold back his excitement because the Packers just signed Reggie White. From that day on I haven't missed a game. Now I missed some during highschool when i was working but I always listened to the games.

Now I had watched games before they signed Reggie but that day was the birth of the Packer fan I am now.

I grew up in a huge Packer Fan family. From my grandma to aunt's and uncles to cousins. We didn't always see eye to eye on things. But the one thing that always united us was the Packers.

Unfortunately my grandma passed away this last season, but even then she was still wearing Green and Gold. My family to this day still unites around the Packers.

For me being a Packer fan isn't just about me, its about family. Its something that brings us together, especially after bad times.

Guam's picture

I was born and raised 45 miles north of GB (Menominee, MI) and the Packers were the only game in town. My father and older brother would have excommunicated me from the family if I had rooted for anyone else. I remember watching the Packers play the Colts shortly after Lombardi took over. Johnny U. and Raymond Berry prevailed that day, but I was hooked. I have lived all over the world since then, but have always managed to find a way to follow the Pack. Go Pack Go!

Mojo's picture

Since you were raised a Yooper, what percent of UP residents would you guess are Packer fans? Just curious if despite the obvious closeness to GB did a large % express affinity for Detroit because of the Michigan thing?

Speaking of Michigan, I'm looking for some hardy souls to band together, storm the Mackinac Bridge, fight off any resistance from the south and claim the UP for Wisconsin as it should have been from the beginning. They already got credit for what should have been Lake Wisconsin.

dobber's picture

There are a lot of Packers fans among the trolls (those who live 'under the bridge' in MI). When I'm out and about, I see almost as much Packers wear as Lions wear. It helps that the Lions are so pathetic.

stockholder's picture

A fan since The ice Bowl. Bart starr became my hero that day. I still remember the QB sneak. I had to wear his number every since. #15 was my battle cry. Such a great team back then. The defense, was superb. The emotion was big in the 60s. The heart was on the sleeve. I knew them all by name. I've been through the ups and downs. My friends supporting division foes. So everything read and watched, was local. ( I didn't live in WI. ) My first game at Lambeau, was watching Favre. The atmosphere was electric. I was ready to move to GreenBay. The Packers are an addiction.

mrtundra's picture

The first NFL football game I watched was the Ice Bowl. Seeing the Packers struggle to get to the goal line was as intense as anything I had ever witnessed anywhere, before. Seeing Jerry Kramer block Jethro Pugh allowing Bart Starr to dive over the goal line into the end zone for the game winning TD, was the most memorable moment in sports, for me. Watching Chuck Mercein holding up his arms, not to signal a touchdown, but to show the refs that he did not assist Starr into the end zone, was a huge reason I started to love football. I've been a Packers Fan ever since. GO PACK, GO!

Handsback's picture

It was 63, and we just got back from Germany. My father was from Alabama and loved Bear Bryant, who he hunted with, and Bart Starr. He was just about to retire from the military and was spending a rare Sunday at home. He was watching a game and it was the Packers and Bears. I asked which team he liked and he said it was the team in white, Green Bay. Green Bay then became my favorite team. It was easy during the 60s, hard during the 70s, better in the 80s and again easy to root for them in the 90s and 2000s. Green Bay has always been my favorite sports team. It doesn't mean I can't like teams like the Cowboys, since I've been here for 20 years, Detroit, when Bobby Ross was the coach, and Cleveland, because my wife is from near there. It just means Green Bay is my favorite sports team including college teams.
I still say the best game I have ever watched was the previous year's Dallas game played in the Cotton Bowl. The Ice Bowl was dramatic, the '66 game was a work of art.

Since '61's picture

Unlike most of our posters here I am a born and raised New Yorker, from the Bronx specifically. My family were big Yankee fans primarily because of Joe DiMaggio and I am the grandson of Italian Americans who were big Dimaggio fans.

However my older brother was also a NY Giants fans having seen the Giants win the NFL championship in 1956 and then lose to the Colts and Unitas in OT in the famous 1958 NFL title game.

At any rate I didn't know much about football when we sat down to watch the 1961 NFL championship game between the Packers and the Giants with our dad and two of our uncles, all Giant fans. All assured me that the Giants would defeat the Packers.

Watching Lombardi's Packers annihilate the Giants 37 -0 that day convinced me that the Packers were the best team and they reminded me of the mighty Yankees in baseball. I decided I would follow the NFL more closely in 1962 and when the Packers repeated by defeating the Giants again I was hooked on the Packers and I have never looked back.

As I became older I not only appreciated the Packers as a great team but I loved the idea that they were "owned' by their fans. I followed the Packers as best I could via TV, radio, newspapers, Pro-football weekly and the Packers report. It was difficult being a long distance fan in the pre-internet days. (Jersey Al knows what I am talking about).

Not only was I pretty much alone as a Packers fan in Giant/Jet territory I had to put up with bandwagons of Cowboy, Steelers, and 49er fans, which emerged over the years, making the 70s and 80s more difficult to suffer through. But here I am 57 seasons later and still a proud Packers fan and happy to be part of CHTV. I've been fortunate enough to get to Lambeau several times over the years and I have seen the Packers on the road all over the country. Looking forward to another great season in 2018. Go Pack Go!
Thanks, Since '61

hodge555's picture

"It was difficult being a long distance fan in the pre-internet days."
I agree, especially in the UK. We had to buy USA Today just to get the scores and a bit of game info. Our TV showed highlights of a single game each week. The only live game source was Armed Forces radio, which was a difficult channel to get as it was very weak and kept dropping out or being over-run by another station nearby. I remember listening to one game on AFN and it dropped out on us just as Majik threw an apparent game winning TD on 4th down against the Bears in 1989, but was he over the line...? It was agonizing waiting to get the station back to find out what had happened.
Tell that to the kids nowadays and they won't believe you... :-)

Fordham Ram's picture

Since 61 you wouldn't by chance be from " the neighbourhood "meaning Arthur Avenue because if you are I'll kiel over. You may know my brother and sister. I came after you when the Giants stank real bad in the late sixties and I needed a football team to root for. When I learned that Lombardi went to Fordham University, a stone's throw from the neighbourhood, came from immigrant Italian parents like myself and was a champion that's all it took and stayed a fan ever since. So glad too because if they weren't winners then I may have become a Jet fan when they had Broadway Joe Namath like my friend did. He's still waiting.

Since '61's picture

Hi Fordham Ram - sorry but I didn't grow up in "the neighborhood"/Arthur Avenue section of the Bronx. We were north of there in the Wakefield section of the Bronx close to the Mount Vernon/NYC border. I went to Cardinal Spellman High School. When I was little we did go to the annual feast on Arthur Avenue and did some holiday food shopping down there so I am familiar with that area. I graduated from Fordham University so my friends and I would often go off campus to eat in the Italian Delicatessans which still existed there back then. Much has changed in that neighborhood and through out the Bronx since those days.

The Giants and the Yankees were both bad in the late sixties. The worst year for me was 1969. Lombardi announced that he was leaving the Packers for the Redskins and Mickey Mantle announced that he was retiring from baseball. It was like my sports world had completely crashed and burned. I attended "Mickey Mantle" day in 1969 and I told my cousin that we would probably never see another baseball player like Mantle again. Little did I know then that I would be correct about Mantle or that the Packers would take 20+ seasons to return to NFL prominence. But overall there have been more good days than bad for both the Packers and the Yankees. So for me no complaints. Thanks, Since '61

Fordham Ram's picture

Thanx for responding since 61, so you graduated from Fordham U that makes sense your the most articulate poster on this site and I look forward to your insights. The Jesuits taught you well. I couldn't afford Fordham and joined the Navy before the GI Bill expired in 1976 and went upstate to SUNY New Paltz for my education and get out of Dodge so to speak and from the drug infested shithole the neighbourhood turned into. I'm in Italy now teaching English but the Packers haven't left me and never will. A Bronx Packer for life. Go Pack go.

Since '61's picture

Fordham Ram it's always good to hear from a fellow Bronx native and I appreciate your generous comments. Teaching in Italy sounds great. I hope you are in either Florence or Capri or Lake Cuomo. My favorite locations in Italy. Venice is another favorite. I love Italy's combination of art, history, great food and spectacular scenery..

I've never regretted my Jesuit education. I really couldn't afford Fordham either but I worked 30 hours per week part time in the Grand Union supermarket in Pelham Bay in the Bronx, had a small scholarship from the Holy Name society and another small scholarship from the NYPBA (my Dad was NYPD), took a small college loan by comparison with today's outrageous tuitions and a little help from my parents got me through.

Once I started earning money in corporate America I went to Villanova (an Augustinian University) and earned my first Masters Degree an MS in Management. Shortly after that I earned my Executive MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Now retirement looms probably by 2020. I wouldn't mind retiring in Italy but there is no way my wife is moving that far from the grandchildren. Viva Italia, the Bronx and the Green Bay Packers. Thanks, Since '61

NWPackersfan's picture

So my infatuation with the Packers came in the late 60's.
I grew up in Milwaukee and was given many opportunities to go see the games there right behind the packers team. Yes i got to see Lombardi yelling...Starr throwing TD's and lots of other amazing legends of the green and gold...I was probably around 10 years old and my father had some pretty good connections back then. Those were the best moments of spending time together.

zeke's picture

Family "snuck" into the US from Italy and settled in Chicago when I was a year old, after which my father got a job running a radio station in the north woods of Wisconsin. The station became part of the Packer radio network so we ended up getting tickets, etc., from WTMJ. At one point I ended up on the field after a pre-season game, shaking hands with Paul Hornung (did color commentary then), and saying "hey" to Ezra Johnson, Mike Butler, Steve Odom, etc. I'm still irritated I didn't get to stand slack-jawed in front of Lynn Dickey, which is pretty much all I would have been capable of, but he was being interviewed by an adult. Pffff.

PatrickGB's picture

I have been a fan since the 60s. But the strongest memory is when when I attended a game in Milwaukee. My wife was nine months pregnant. She went into labor during the game. I made her stay until the end even when her labor pains were every five minutes. We had to drive to the ER right after the game when my son (Patrick) was born minutes after we got there. Boy was she pissed!

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

Was born in Milwaukee in '63 so I was pretty young for the glory years. Had the full outfit with plastic helmet and pads, but darn those helmets hurt. Growing up we had season tix to the County Stadium games and learned proper tailgating while the teams struggled through the 70's and 80's. The lone playoff game I can remember attending was vs. the Cardinals at Lambeau in the strike-shortened season of 1982. The first real momentum shift I felt for the franchise in my lifetime was a freezing day at Soldier when Magic kicked the Bears butts...glorious! Nothing felt better than 96-97 and I was all weepy when the Lombardi was finally going to its rightful place. Got to be in the front row of the second level with my son at Jerryworld for the 2010 SB. Love sitting in our 9th row 42 yard line gold package seats right behind the Packer wives, but I can't help but think my son's generation might be poorer for not having gone through what we did in the 70's and 80's.

I bleed green more's picture

I remember antenna aand snow blowing. Wind would whip that thing around and as the kid I was to go out and see where it was pointed. I also remember my dad pounding on the coffee table each time the Packers scored. He passed away this year but he sure loved the Packers the coffee table not so much.

Lare's picture

Been a Packers fan my whole life, been listening to games on the radio and watching them on TV since the late 50's (can't remember when we got our first black & white tv). Got to go to games occasionally with my dad both in Milwaukee and in Green Bay while growing up and have been to numerous games at Lambeau over the years. Current shareholder, and after retiring recently and moving south I'm probably the only person in Tennessee with Packers decals & flags on my golf cart.

Bearmeat's picture

Although my family moved to Wisky when I was 5, I was born in Illinois. My dad is from FIB land. I remember asking my dad at 4 years old (while we lived in Illinois still): "Dad, why are we Packers fans?" His answer?

"Son. Because the Bears still suck."

I've been hooked ever since.

I remember HATING the Vikings in 1989 at age 8 for beating the Bengals in week 17, and knocking the Packers out. As our oldest rival, I hate the Bears. But I respect their history. I HATE THE VIKINGS. HATE HATE HATE. Their team sucks. It's always sucked. And yet they talk.

I was 10 when Ron Wolf, Mike Holmgren and Brett Favre came to town. It's been a fun last 26 years. :)

Pack88's picture

I won't forget I had recently turned five and we were watching the 58 Colts team that was just starting to get national attention with new QB Johnny Unitas when the announcer said The "Hapless Packer's " led by the Golden Boy Paul Hornung were the latest challenge to the Colts. Now I didn't know what hapless meant (until the end of that 1-10-1 season) but just the "golden boy phrase' made me root for the Packers. I looked up that game the other day because I remembered it was before Halloween ( I wanted a Golden Boy costume) and just as I thought GB lost 24-17. Still it was the start of a 60 year love of the Packers!!

Turophile's picture

I live in the West Country (England), in Bristol. I enjoyed watching American Football in 85/86/87, but I never supported one team, just watched any game.

In 1988 I deceided I'd get more from the game if I supported one team. Being a typical Brit (in this regard anyway), I chose a total underdog team. I knew nothing of the Packers history then, just that they were a very poor team.

Start fast-forwarding and first you get the madness of Chuck Cecil, deranged octopus Tim Harris and the reliable Ken Ruettgers. Then comes a little Majik and Brett Favre, and Sterling Sharpe. By increments the Packers got better, like adding Reggie White (though the Cowboys still had their number for a while).

The squad kept getting better, the wins climbed and the Packers steadily became a force to be reckoned with. Favre replaced by Rodgers ensured a very long period of being an upper echelon team. I also steadily absorbed the unique situation of the Packers (super historic field, iconic 60's coach, being the only publicly owned franchise).

Now here we are, 30 years later, and the Packers have been such a consistently good team, it's hard to remember much else (at least it is for me, who didn't live through the long years when the Pack was very poor).

As it turned out backing the Pack was one of the better decisions I made over time.

4thand10's picture

I started really watching The Pack in 1988 with my late Grandfather and several obnoxious uncles. A Packer household. Born and raised in Madison, WI where I spent the first 30 yrs of my life. Currently live in BFE Northern WI. Football, food and family were / are important get togethers.

4thand1's picture

I started going to games in the 70's when things were not pretty. Got to see Earl Cambell run over Packer players, it was like a man among boys. My most memorable game was the MNF game against the Redskins in 85. Pack won 48-47, Dickey, Lofton, Jefferson all offense no defense. Almost got arrested for jumping on the field after the game, got off just before a cop grabbed me. Called in sick Tues morning and my boss saw me on TV, we were in row 11 shirtless.

NashvilleCheesehead's picture

I grew up in the late 1950s and early 1960s watching the Green Bay Packers on our black-and-white television. My parents, three older brothers, and I would huddle together around the small screen to watch the game. We lived close enough to Green Bay to get all three stations, but we often had to fiddle with the rabbit-ear antennas to get a clear picture. Go Pack Go!

Mojo's picture

I remember my first Packer game as if it were only yesterday .... {cue memory flashback sound effect}

Who could forget the likes of Dutch Dwyer, Cowboy Wheeler, the Zoll brothers and that whippersnapper Curly Lambeau. They formed a husky aggregation of footballers ready to take the fight to their worthy opponents.

With nearly all the games at Hagemeister the hale and hearty lads pummeled their foes in fits and starts, clouds of dust and unrelenting determinism, outscoring them 565 to 6 before that fateful day in Beloit.

Despite a crushing loss to the Fairies to end the season, I told George Calhoun not to worry, the lads will rebound and the IPC as I called them, will some day be considered the standard bearers of the gridiron. I've been a fan ever since.

Go! You Packers Go!

{cue the flash forward sound effect}

Wilson Maywick's picture

I grew up in Neenah.My house was exactly 28 minutes from Lambeau. My first time at Lambeau was an intra squad game in 1971 when I was 12. I remember seeing my hero #15 and #66 standing in uniform on the sideline. I always bled Green and Gold.

cheesycowboy's picture

My grandfather and grandmother raised 7 children by working in the coal mines in West Virginia before OSHA.
1920s. My father joined the Air Force at 17 to fight for our country in Korea. He met my mother while stationed in Wichita Falls. I was born at 3lbs 7ozs in Kermit. West Texas oil patch country.
We landed in Texas. I played football and rode motocross in the old Texas Stadium, home of the Cowboys back before Jerry World and after the Cotton Bowl.
I was a wee lad and followed my fathers passion for football. Cisco Lobos, Odessa Permian ( learned to swim in the Olympic sized swimming pool. MOJO everywhere ) , the Red Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys.
In my quest for football knowledge, I studied the history of the NFL and fell in love with a team that never had a chance.
Their glory days were over. The laughingstocks of pro football. The Green Bay Packers.
I finally made it to Lambeau Field Thanksgiving 2014.
Packers 26
Patriots 21
The cold was as advertised. Tears were frozen on my face as I took in the Team, the Town and the People. I didn't want to ever leave and wished I would have been chosen on Friday to shovel the snow in the most hallowed ground in football history. Born in Texas but my Team will always be the snowmen in Green Bay. Sincerely,

Duke Divine's picture


Duke Divine's picture

10 years old. #4 and #92 and their greatness! ! My awesome cousin/godfather was a huge fan. My dad did not know I was watching while he beat a cord of wood with a baseball bat after this:

"Coming into the 1995 season, the Packers hadn't won a game in Minnesota since 1991 and never with Brett Favre under center.

During the game, the Packers lost their first two quarterbacks, Brett Favre and Ty Detmer to injury, but still had a chance to win the game late behind quarterback T.J. Rubley. The Packers ended up losing the game 27-24 as Faud Reveiz hit a field goal as time expired.

Driving late in the game, the Packers faced a 4th-and-1 and in range for the potential game winning kick. Instead of following through with the called run play, Rubley audibled and threw an interception that cost the Packers the game. Warren Moon's three touchdown passes helped the Vikings keep their home winning streak against the Packers alive.

Rubley was cut by the Packers the following day.

It wasn't until 1997 that the Packers and Favre finally won a game in their "House of Horrors" in Minnesota."

I'll never love another team like I love the PAckers...And I'll never forget TJ Rubley and the woodpile massacre.

CheesyTex's picture

A native of northeastern Ohio, as a kid I watched the Browns dominate the All America Football conference and then take the NFL by storm. Still can see Otto Graham, Marion Motley, Dub Jones, Dante Lavelli, Lou Groza, Lenny Ford, et al.

I married a young lady who used her baby-sitter money to purchase Packers season tickets in the mid-50s. She still holds them today.

When we built our retirement home, she had the plans changed to remove a wall between the planned dining room and office in order to have a "sports room". Of course the room is wall-to-wall Packers (floor too). A life-size Brett Favre greets visitors just before they encounter Reggie White.

Can anyone guess why I became a Packers fan?

Bert's picture

I grew up on a farm in Northern CA. My older bother was an annoying NY Yankee fan so I started rooting for the Milwaukee Braves in the 1957 World Series. They won. So I adopted the then-pathetic Packers figuring all Wisconsin teams had to be good. Took a couple years but they got pretty good.

Donster's picture

I was born and raised in Iowa, and still live in Iowa. Have been a Packers fan since 1962. Bart Starr was my boyhood hero. On defense it was Ray Nitschke. Starr amazed me in his ability to march the team down field late in the 4th quarter with pinpoint passing to the sidelines so the receivers could get out of bounds. You just knew he was going to get the job done. Nitschke for his toughness, and that mean look without those teeth! And of course Lombardi. The tough guy but professional. Brilliant man.

I even married a Packers fan. My wife was born and raised in Madison. She is a UW Madison graduate.

Guam's picture

Mojo: The UP is heavily Packer Country. Detroit is a long way from the UP and nearly everyone I knew was a Packer backer. Some of my family lived in the lower peninsula later on and that is Lion Country, but the UP favors the Pack.

4thand1's picture

Yoopers= Packers fans.

Tingham's picture

I grew up in the 60's in Chicago but I was a rabid Packer fan. How come? Well once a year we would drive up to Green Bay where my uncle lived. He was a season ticket holder and he would take me and my dad to watch the Lombardi Packers play with all of their great stars. That would have probably been enough to cement me as a fan for life. But also my uncle lived directly across the street from Bart Starr. So on Saturday afternoon my cousin and I would play touch football on the lawn with Bart Junior and then after dinner we would go over to Bart's house to visit for an hour or so. Can you imagine being 12 years old and getting to sit in your favorite player's living room. He would sign pictures and footballs for me and tease me and call me the windy city packer backer. He even threw me a front lawn pass one time so I can say I have caught a pass from Bart Starr. The man is truly one of the nicest people I have ever met. I ran into him in New York city on my 25th wedding anniversary and he and Cherry spent 30 minutes talking to me. Truly a great man.

MarkinMadison's picture

Born and raised in Iowa. No allegiance other than the Hawkeyes.

September 1992. One month away from my marriage to a girl born and raised in Menasha. Still in Iowa City while she is in grad school. She's working 24/7. All of my college buddies have graduated and moved on the previous spring.

Nothing to do. Let's watch a Packers game. All of Kim's family are Packers fans. The Majic Man goes down. Some guy named Favre comes off the bench. Holy shit, he's running around and flinging the ball everywhere like no one I've ever seen before!

I'm hooked.

HacksawButch's picture

I was pretty much born a Packer fan. Almost 14 years ago I got married to a wonderful woman and told her that the Honeymoon is about her and that we would do whatever she wanted within reason. If she chose Hawii, then we'd go to Hawii. She said I want to go to Lambeau Field and go to a Packer game. Thats how I knew I married the right one. We've been to a game nearly every year since and occassionally make 2.

Mibster's picture

First of all, I'm a Cheesehead living in Sweden so it takes some explanation why I love the Pack. American football was more or less unheard of in Sweden until the end of the 80's when one of the first satellite tv-channels in Sweden (TV3) began showing NFL games, weekly high lights of games and of course Super Bowl. As you all know Chicago was quite good in the 80's and I (quite embarrassing in retrospective) somewhat liked them quite much (allright, I was a Bears fan :o ). This continued to the beginning of the 90's and I always tried to see the games in the NFC North division (if possible, not all games was possible for us to see). Anyways, for some reason I watched a game between Packers and Bengals and when Packers QB Majkowski had to be replaced due to injury with someone called Favre! The rest is history for me. I got Favre struck and from then on I've been a Packers fan. With the years the possibilities to follow NFL has been more and more possible and today its no problems at all (except to see live games). So the foreign fanbase is always expanding and I guess thats a good thing. Go PACK!!

Mikael, Stockholm Sweden

starr2's picture

My mom had everything to do with why I became a Packers fan. She was crazy over the Pack. Loved them during the Lombardi era. She'd let me stay up late to watch Monday night Football on school nights if the Packers were playing. That did it for me. Dandy Don, Howard Cosell and my mom and I. The best! Later, I got a chance to pay her back and brought her up to two different Packers draft parties, when they had them at Lambeau Atrium. One year we even got on all the news channels in Green Bay and made the Green Bay Press-Gazette, coming all the way from Iowa. Got her to her first and only Packer game, Playoff vs. Eagles and Michael Vick. Glad I did, she's passed away now over 7 years ago but still rooting them on from above with Vince! My mom was the best and I miss her every single day.

Slim11's picture

It started with my grandmother marrying her second husband. He became the only grandfather my brother and I ever knew. He was born in Green Bay in the late 1800s.

He joined the Army out of high school. Soon, thereafter the Packers were born. Being from Green Bay, he became a Packers' fan. At one point, he had season tickets. I thought this was the coolest thing ever.

In high school, we went to Oshkosh for the EAA International Fly-in (now called Air Ventures). For my fifteenth birthday, Mom & Dad drove us up to Green Bay and I got to watch the Packers practice and went through the Packers HoF. I got player autographs...Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke, Willie Wood. I got two from Starr and for me and one for my grandfather. The next time we saw each other he asked me what I thought about "his 49ers." I was confused.

He switched allegiance but I never did. Later on, my mother told me that my grandmother was assured I would inherit those season tickets. That didn't happen. His two who lived in Australia and the other in Portland, one each. I never did find out what happened to those tickets.

Crackerpacker's picture

In 1982 the strike shortened season channel 4 in the UK started regular coverage of the NFL. The coverage consisted of highlights a week after the games were played. The first game i watched was Rams at Packers. Even though i knew nothing about the teams i like to support one team over the other. I can't remember why i picked the Packers but i was disappointed when we were 23 - 0 down at half time. But the euphoria of 35 unanswered points, How could i possibly support any other team. I still love that offense of Dickey, Coffman, Lofton and Ivery, I prefer it to the offense we have now. When number 12 gets retired i would be very disappointed if it wasn't a joint retirement for Dickey and Rodgers.

Tundraboy's picture

I was 6 years old, the heroes of my day were Mantle, Yogi, Whitey Ford, and I generally followed my family and older brothers. Yet in Football I was my own man. When we went out to play pick up everyone had different Heroes. Growing up in Connecticut I guess most people were giant fans My brother's hero was Johnny Unitas among others, at least until Namath came along (he now is a long suffering Jets fan) , Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, but all I heard were the names Lombardi, Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Ray Nitschke, Jim Taylor, Travis Williams and on and on. They were my team,a team to be proud of and like the Yankees, legendary filled with incredible character. How could I not love them.

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