A Packers Perspective

How can you not be romantic about the Packers?

I first started watching and following the Packers in the early ‘90s, right around when Favre took over and the optimism with the team began to grow. I never lived through the ‘70s and ‘80s like so many fans, so it’s easy for those my age and younger to lose perspective on how good we’ve had it the last 30 years. We have two Super Bowls, two Hall of Famer QBs for whom to cheer, countless wins, and some memories that we not only associate with the Packers, but ones that bleed into our family history as well.

Our most recent memory of the non-preseason-Packers is of course a crushing-yet-totally-preventable collapse of all collapses at the hands of the 49ers this past January. That stung, and might linger a bit longer yet, and is one that alters the view of the journey we were on as fans that season. Thinking bigger, back to that full season, full of some truly fantastic Packers memories that will stick with us. The legend of Rasul Douglas saving the day in Arizona. Aaron Rodgers breaking the team record on Christmas Day. The NSFW verbal ownership of our Midway rivals expressed for the world to hear… it all added up to one overall delightful journey, full of moments and memories that will last beyond the hurt of that January debacle.

The 2022 season is right around the corner. It’s right. there. With focus firmly now on the Minnesota Vikings and their perennially empty trophy case, alongside countless empty insults in social media, don’t lose sight of the journey. As each fall Sunday comes and goes, be it in the stands with your grandpa who finally gets to a game, your son or daughter’s first view of Lambeau Field in person, or at your favorite bar or basement with friends, keep in mind it’s not always about how the season ends. The Packers are doing more than playing games, they’re a vehicle in creating memories everlasting, and they do so every single week for nearly half the year. And, sure, some of those memories are better than others – the world needs ditch diggers, too. But the sting of losses fades with time. The joy of wins – yes, even just regular season – with those we love is what lasts.

So when you sit down to watch the Packers take on those SKOL-clapping gjallarhorn-blowers from your couch, recliner or seat in the front row, remember that this game is a step forward in our journey as fans. Appreciate what we have and how wonderful it is. And enjoy it especially with those you care most about. Win or lose, a Sunday with the Packers is something that will forever be special. Go Pack Go.

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Tony Wilson takes pride in journalism training from 2/3 of directional-Michigan MAC schools. A former Sporting News writer, Tony now focuses on the Packers from his home in Toledo, OH. His beer of choice is a Miller Lite from the bottom of the cooler. You can find him on Twitter @GlassCityPack.

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10 points

Comments (22)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
ricky's picture

August 31, 2022 at 10:57 pm

I became a Packers fan when Lombardi took over the team. And, yes, it was a great time to be a Packers fan. Then came the horrors of the '70's and '80's. The embarrassment that was the Forrest Gregg Era, in particular, rankles. What was worst, though, was the Packers seeming inability to get a decent QB, Yes, Dickey was an exception; but five draft picks for John Hadl when he was 34? Drafting Jerry Tagge in the first round? Jim Del Gaizo? Rich Campbell, another first rounder? And within days of getting him, suddenly the Packers discover a "hitch" in his throwing motion. Excellent job of scouting, guys. Then came the Majik Man, until he was hurt, and some unknown they'd sent a first round pick to Atlanta in a trade takes over. And within a couple of years, we were all in love with that undisciplined, uber talented, and Everyman guy from Kiln. Then it was time for Rodgers, and though we all tend to look back with nostalgia, the transition was rough. Very rough. And Rodgers put up with it and flourished. So, yes, this season is another realistic chance to win it all. I am so hopeful they will. And so afraid I'll be disappointed again. But whether the Lombardi comes home or continues to go to less deserving teams, I'm still a fan.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

September 01, 2022 at 02:21 am

Its disappointing that Packer fans booed Rodgers while he developed and then when he took over as a starter. Its even more disappointing seeing them treat Jordan Love the same way. As fans we should support even the ones we end up resenting, for me most recently it was Kevin King.

I moved to WI from AK right when Rodgers was taking over. All I've known is Packer success. I didn't know football and bought a Rodgers jersey not knowing who he was. Got ridiculed at the bar by people in Farve jerseys. I couldn't understand fans of the same team ripping on one another when there are plenty of Viking fans, Bears fans, and yes even a handful of Lions fans.

Lambeau field is a magical place and I consider myself extremely fortunate to be a fan and shareholder of such an awesome unique organization.

Go Pack Go!

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Bure9620's picture

September 01, 2022 at 05:49 am

You shiould see the video of that yahoo who confronted Ted Thompson about the Rodgera pick. Packers fans tend to be interesting about things....

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HarlanHuckleby's picture

September 01, 2022 at 10:17 am

Imagine if the internet was a common thing when the GM blew a first round pick trading for some goober backup quarterback from Mississippi…

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Pizzadoc's picture

September 01, 2022 at 05:34 pm

I moved to Milwaukee in 94 from Fairbanks, Alaska! Didn’t have a team to root for, but having Farve be all anyone talked about Mondays, I started watching. Loved the chess match aspect of NFL when compared with NBA.

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Roadrunner23's picture

August 31, 2022 at 11:01 pm

Very nicely articulated Tony, you write passionately!

Great job Lad and I agree wholeheartedly!

Go Pack Go!

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ricky's picture

September 01, 2022 at 01:09 pm

Tony?

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Swisch's picture

August 31, 2022 at 11:47 pm

To me, the Green Bay Packers are a celebration of the common person in America in its players and fans -- as rooted in an undersized, underdog city of rugged laborers whose lives have centered on faith, family, and freedom.
Our heritage is personified in Vince Lombardi, the son of a butcher who was overlooked most of his career because of his pronounced Italian ethnicity. His only opportunity to be a head coach was in the wintry outpost of northern Wisconsin.
In 1959, Lombardi took over the worst team in the NFL and transformed it into a dynasty of champions, not only the winningest team in the history of pro football, but the most storied, the most romanticized.
This legendary status goes beyond the results on the field to the character of the coaches and players during what became the Golden Age of the 1960s -- an unmatched five titles in seven years and three in a row.
It was a team molded by Lombardi of a variety of Americans from differing places and backgrounds and colors, yet become a single unit of camaraderie and cohesion and excellence.
***
The prominent late sportswriter Dick Schaap in the 1980s called these Packers the greatest team of all time in any sport -- not necessarily the most talented, the most successful, the most famous, but the most as a team reaching its fullest potential of individuals in unity.
Lombardi went so far as to call the key to this group dynamic of sweat and sacrifice for each other by the word "love."
***
It seems, too, that all along the history of the Packers there has been a synergy of players and fans that has sustained the team when it seemed on the verge of leaving Green Bay for the brighter lights of a bigger city.
It's been a love affair between players and fans that reached its zenith during the Lombardi Era, but preceded it and carries on to this day.
Players and fans then and now are generally of common heritage as average Americans who saw the rewards of our country as coming with responsibilities of honor and effort and generosity.
What Lombardi instilled in his motley collection of players was the belief that the ordinary person is called to strive for excellence for himself and those around him.
***
A sign I have at home is an artistic presentation of Lombardi with the quote: "The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have."
From superstars to the substitutes, everyone has a crucial role to play in the success of the greater good. All must strive to be the best of ourselves for a shared prosperity.
It's all so timeless, so transcendent. Lombardi saw football as relevant to life, and life as relevant to football. His players said he talked more about life than he did about football, and they tended to hang on his every word.
In retirement, Herb Adderley said he thought about Lombardi every day.
After Lombardi left the Packers, he was back in Green Bay and visited Bart Starr and his wife, Cherry. The couple gave their esteemed visitor a tour of their home, and said that they wouldn't be where they were in life without him.
Lombardi misted up and gave both a big Catholic Italian hug, then left immediately -- seemingly too overcome with emotion to be able to stay any longer.
He died not all that long afterward in 1970 at the age of 57, but his presence stayed strong with those who knew him -- and it endures for those like me who have come to learn of and admire and seek to emulate his integrity of perseverance for the good.
As long as this spirit lasts, so will the glory and romance and triumph of the Packers in its players and fans.

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Johnblood27's picture

September 01, 2022 at 09:49 am

How do you get 4 down votes for these thoughts on a GB Packers board?

Some people that come here are certainly of a different breed.

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Bearmeat's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:19 am

I became a Packers fan in the mid 80s. I remember being 7 and watching Jeff Query dropping a punt return in OT vs the putrid Jets and losing. I remember getting made fun of mercilessly by other elementary school kids who rooted for the Joe Montana 49ers (and I lived in WI!). I remember the Instant Replay game. I remember the Bengals tanking vs the Vikings in week 17 in 1989 and we missed the playoffs as a result. I remember Favre to Kitrick Taylor. I remember signing Reggie. I remember Favre to Sharpe in the playoffs vs Detroit. I remember all those losses to Dallas in the 90s. I remember finally winning it all. "HOW SWEET IT IS!" As a 7th grader. I remember how quickly it all fell apart. I remember all the playoff chokes. Ugh. I remember my wife kicking me out of the house for LOSING MY MIND at Favre's final interception in 2007. I remember the summer of Favre. I remember him choking with the Vikings in 09. hehehe. I remember Rodgers winning it all in 10 as the Metrodump imploded. Hehehe. And I remember all the chokes and how quickly it all fell apart in the 2010s.

There we are still. Except 12 is now 4 from 2008. And 10 is 12. We will see where it goes. I hope we win it all and 12 rides off into the sunset. Or that we can trade him after the season for a haul and move into the next successful era of Packers football.

I hope. That is the job of the fan. I will always root for my team and the players, coaches and execs on it, regardless of how I feel about them personally, or how I think they've managed to do their jobs.

I hope. GPG.

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PatrickGB's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:27 am

Great speech! Now I am all fired up and ready to run through a wall!

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Johnblood27's picture

September 01, 2022 at 09:51 am

You better hope that you are in a Japanese house when you try that stunt!

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PatrickGB's picture

September 01, 2022 at 12:12 pm

I will be like the Kool Aid Man!

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Johnblood27's picture

September 01, 2022 at 06:10 pm

or Dobber!!!!!!

peanut butter cookies on the other side of that wall...

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T7Steve's picture

September 01, 2022 at 08:32 am

Was born in 59 and wasn't given a choice. I was a Packer fan. I think the church schedule was made so you could get home in time for kick off (that or people wouldn't go to church). We considered the 30 years after Bart a losing streak. No championship meant it was a losing season. Was easier to get tickets then because of that. Even made it to the first Monday Night game held in Green Bay.

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LambeauPlain's picture

September 01, 2022 at 09:04 am

I had a Priest who bled green and gold. He was a master packing big thoughts into few words during his Homilies.

The words were even more scarce on Packer Game Days. He'd wear Packer gear under his vestments. When he was (sadly) reassigned to a new Parish Community, he moved...closer towards Green Bay!

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Spock's picture

September 01, 2022 at 10:26 am

When I lived in Wisconsin people used to say there was more praying going on during the Packer games than at the morning mass! :)

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TXCHEESE's picture

September 01, 2022 at 10:07 am

Packers fan since the Ice Bowl. That's the first time I remember watching them play. After a couple false starts due to Covid, finally getting to Lambeau for a game and spending a week in the area this October. Tim, thanks for the weekly beer selections, as we will take full advantage of your recommendations and fill the fridge (and then empty it!), at the lake house while we're there. We plan on doing non-stop grilling and I'm looking for recommendations on butcher shops or local packer houses with unique sausages etc. Any you know of would be greatly appreciated. GPG!

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Spock's picture

September 01, 2022 at 10:30 am

Not that "local" to Green Bay but the best sausage house I know of (still order from them to my place in AZ) is Helds https://www.heldsmarket.com/ . Their double smoked hard salami is to die for!

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mnbadger's picture

September 01, 2022 at 12:50 pm

I've seen virtually every Packer game (only 3 at Lambeau, one at Ford and 2 in MN) mostly on TV. My memory of BStarr playing was him limping into the huddle then getting smothered by the oncoming rush.
There have been so many highs/lows since then and am glad to have witnessed all of them.
Looking forward to more of the same in 22/23 and I'll never apologize for being a GBPkr fan.
GPG!

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k.rock87_SoCalPackerBacker's picture

September 01, 2022 at 04:01 pm

Great article!
My hubby's and my story that led to us becoming a Packer fan: We are parents of 6 kids and when my youngest son got into really liking football after watching his older brothers play Pop Warner, then him being able to play, he chose Brett Favre as his favorite player. Favre wore the same colors as our Pop Warner group. :)
But, hubby and I were Rams fans ( we live in Huntington Beach, CA) and they were our local team, but after Rams left and went to St Louis, hubby started checking out the Packers because of our youngest son. And he really liked the organization, the history, the hometown feel of what the Packers were about. AND that they were owned by the people! (We are shareholders, yay).
We have been die hard Packers fans since then!
We have visited Green Bay many times (most of the time driving there). And recently we are thinking of moving to Green Bay.
What is so much fun is that we wear our Green Bay shirts/hats all across the country when we visit Green Bay and so many people come up to us or yell Go Pack Go to us in the middle of a store or anywhere.... even this time we got a thumbs up in Las Vegas from a passing car (we have a huge "G" emblem on our back window.). There are Packers Everywhere!
WE LOVE OUR PACKERS! Go Pack Go!

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T7Steve's picture

September 02, 2022 at 07:28 am

Be careful with the car logos when you get here. Here fans know that the Bear fans love to damage cars with GB stuff. The only way they can get a victory.

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