Packers fans come in all sizes. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Fans of the Green Bay Packers: Who are they?

Aaron Rodgers celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown during the game against the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

This past week, lombardiave.com’s Patrick Hughes wrote a post about the unique character that is a Green Bay Packers fan and put out a call to all our readers to give us their personal story about how and why they became fans of the Packers.

We received some interesting replies that we want to share with everyone – heck, we even got a response from a Bears fan who, unfortunately, won’t see the light of day and come over to the good side, but at least he understands the Lambeau experience and has been to many (non-Bears) games.

But we’ll let the fans do the talking … and if you want to relay your own story, leave a comment below, go to our Facebook page and leave a comment and/or go to our Twitter account.

Here’s what the fans had to say:

Joe Lex

I just turned 40 and have lived in Houston for 11 years now, with prior stops in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, St. Louis, & Arizona. I was born in West Allis but went to high school in Fond du Lac. Growing up, I wasn’t a rabid football fan too much, but knew my Dad certainly was. I remember Sundays after church with his ritual: popcorn popped and put in a brown grocery bag, turning down the volume on the TV and listening to Jim & Max on the radio.

A Green Bay Packers fan cheers during the game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 27-20. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Candidly, my real rabid passion for the Packers probably didn’t truly emerge until I went to college in Arizona. Sure, we followed the Pack growing up, watched them every week, hit games at Lambeau, the usual stuff. But not until college, where everyone was from everywhere, did hometown loyalties start to really become more apparent–and vociferous. Something clicked in my noggin now that I wasn’t simply surrounded by like people–now I HAD to represent for Titletown USA. My school was very diverse and our fraternity would host massive Super Bowl parties every year. After having had a bellyful of Cowboys, Bills and 49ers all those years, I started to rattle the saber pretty hard–especially since it was clear that the Packers were on the upswing.

And there was that 1995 season NFC title game when we once again came up short against Dallas. At a big fraternity party, I had been going at it pretty hard all day and was feeling no pain by the time the final second ticked off. In my inebriated state, I proclaimed I was going to get a Packers tattoo. Now. Let’s go to Phoenix, who’s with me? Well, we waited a week, but as Benjamin Franklin was to have said, always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. So the Packers G is now emblazoned on my left arm. I also made the bold prediction that we were going to win the Super Bowl the next year. As a senior, I was graduating but flew back out for our fraternity party to watch Green Bay triumph in Super Bowl XXXI. And I bawled like a baby.

Like you, when you mentioned you moved from Plymouth to Portland, I’ve found a Packers home here in Texas. In fact, the Cheddarhead Pack of Houston is, I believe, one of the largest GB fan clubs in the country–and we now have 3 locations. I remember the first time I went to watch a game after moving here: I walked into the bar and couldn’t believe my eyes. Ironically, I also met a guy who went to law school at Madison with my Dad. Small world, as it always is among Cheeseheads. My Dad came down to visit that fall and at halftime, turned to me and said, “Joe, if I didn’t know I was in Houston, I wouldn’t know!”

I think the fellowship and camaraderie among Packers fans is so special and it’s something that really separates us from so many other teams. No matter where you go, we’re there. And it seems as if we’re one degree of separation from knowing a friend back home, or a high school connection, or what have you. Being in the airline business, I’ve been blessed to be able to travel to many places and always run into a Packers fan. In fact, my wife, from San

Tom Crabtree celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown on a fake field goal against the Chicago Bears second quarter at Lambeau Field. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Diego, is a little creeped out by it, haha. I’ve run into Green Bay fans on the Great Wall of China, on island of Saipan, all over Europe, and any point in between it seems.

No matter where we’re from, there is a tangible bond that seems to connect us with this team. Sure, the media always goes with the soft lens treatment of the NFL’s smallest city and the public ownership and all that, but the bond is multi-generational. I remember the euphoria I had when we won Super Bowl XXXI and how almost non-plussed my Dad was when we won. This was a guy who’d throw TV remotes across the room and get all spooled up watching the Packers. And that’s when I realized: not only was I becoming my Dad in terms of my gameday behavior, but I also realized that he had lived through the Lombardi years. He knew that ultimate success that I never knew (especially growing up when the Pack just flat out stunk). So for me, this was a new chapter and cemented further the love I have for the Packers.

One more thing that I think bears mentioning: our gameday experience at Lambeau Field is second to none. Of all the games I’ve attended, I always enjoy talking to fans from the other team who sit by us. Often, it’s their first time there and you can see the awe in their faces. For me, I always felt that we were welcoming someone into our home. Friendly smack talk notwithstanding, those people are our guests–and I want them going home gushing about how awesome it is. Not to sound pollyannish about it, but I think that’s a unique dynamic in the NFL and it adds to the entire Lambeau experience. And on the road, the experience is pretty awesome too; I’ve watched the Packers in 10 other NFL stadiums and have had a great time everywhere.

So now I’m 40 and have two teenage sons. I hope that same evolution occurs with them as well over time and will lead by example so that they can savor and bask in the special nature of being a fan of the Green Bay Packers.

B

Green Bay Packers fans Jeff Kahlow and Sandy Kahlow
Andrew Mills/THE-STAR LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports photograph

raden Whitmire I got into football in 2007. My whole family are Cowboys fans. But I remember watching Brett Favre and the Packers destroying the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round, I remember Favre scrambling and running for the first down, he reached for it and it took forever for the officials to measure it, but he got the 1st. Along the whole game I asked questions about the team, and my dad answered them. I just liked them, and the more and more I loved the Packers, the less I could care about the Cowboys. I’m practically a Cowgirls hater now :>

Rick Giovengo In 1972 I ws 12 years old when I got to meet and shake Bart Starr’s hand because I had won a raffle with his book as the prize at the Chicago Auto Show. I remember what a great person he was and how special he made me fee. Even though I lived in Chicago for many years, I was a Packer fan from that moment on; 41 years later to be exact.

Brian Jopek Some of my fondest childhood memories are going to Lambeau with my dad, who had access a couple times a season if he wanted from some friends of his who had season tickets. If they couldn’t go to a game, he got first dibs. My first pro football game was the last game of the ’75 season, if I’m not mistaken–a 34-7 pummeling of the Packers by Tarkenton, Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall and the rest of the Purple People Eaters. Green Bay FINALLY managed to score with seconds remaining–a TD run by John Brockington. Other memorable games were the 26-0 shellacking of the Packers at GB by Walter Payton and the Bears in 1977 (I got to see the Bears repeat that score at Lambeau in 2006) and the 12-6 OT win by the Packers after Chester Marcol ran a blocked field goal attempt that came back to him around left end for a TD. There were other games at Lambeau my dad took me to over time–against the Niners in ’78 with Plunkett at QB–that was the year before Montana came on the scene–a few Lions/Packers games and one or two Buccaneers/Packers games from the John McKay era, one of those having a final score of something like 55-14 Green Bay. Every time I’ve been to Lambeau for a game, during those years and for a few since then, I’ve ALWAYS worn a Chicago Bear jersey. I’ve been able to watch pro football at four stadiums, the other three being Soldier Field, Arrowhead in Kansas City (FANTASTIC stadium) and the Rollerdome in Minneapolis. Was there the night Tony Dorsett had the longest run from scrimmage in league history against the ViQueens. As much as I can’t stand the Packers, it IS fun to watch a game there, even with all the changes that have taken place the last several years. But, Ray’s right–I will NEVER convert from being a die hard Bear fan. NEVER! Well, unless they move to Gary. Then I might have to look at options…

Jason Good Because The Pack (IS) the epitome of Football..how can you call yourself a football fan & Not like them?! .. Unless you’re just jealous of them & their Tradition/History, it doesn’t Get any bttr!!!!

Gary Fritz Fritzmeier Was born and lived my 1st 13 years in Eau Claire, WI. Moved to Rochester MN and was more interested in Baseball but when the viQueens came to MN and all my friends became fans of them I took a stand as a Packer fan and have never looked back. Help growing up with a Dad

that was avid Pack fan. Someone mentioned the swearing at the TV in the 70’s & 80’s, well I couldn’t stay with my Dad to watch a game. He’d get so mad it felt like he didn’t like them(wasn’t the case). My wife was such a avid Queen fan we couldn’t be in the house when the played each other. About 14 years ago I took her to family nite and she never looked back. The first time I took her to Lambeau after she decided to change side for good it cost $400 to get out of the Pro Shop. I can’t think of the last time we missed a game. If not on TV locally we go with a bunch to a Packer bar in town. Got the chance to buy Super Bowl tickets 7 days before the game at book value. Got em on Wed nite and left by car on Thur. AM. Then last year was able to buy gold pkg. season tickets. Damn it just keeps getting better to be a fan of the greatest team on earth!!!

Mary Marie Schlotfeld The Green Bay Packers are the only team owned by the people. Have been too the Super Bowl many times and have won many times. Best offense and defense in the league. Best quarterback also. Go Pack Go

Heather Kaeder It’s in my blood, I watched that first game when Favre came to Green Bay and fall in love with football

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