William M “Bill” Walton is an avid writer, sailor, coach, and Packers fan who lived in Neenah, Wisconsin during the 1970s, when Packers teams were usually easy to beat and hard to watch. But as a Packers fan from early boyhood who grew up on Brigantine Island on the Jersey shore, living in nearby Neenah was a dream come true.
Bill went to at least one home Packers game every season and played backyard football with neighbors pretending to be Scott Hunter, John Brockington, or Willie Buchanon. He froze body parts to those classic Lambeau bench seats, eagerly awaited halftime on Monday nights to see if Howard Cosell would pick the Packers highlights to narrate, and suffered along with every other Packers fan in those days. Those days are some of his fondest memories.
When Bill graduated from Neenah High School in 1979, he moved with his family to Houston Texas and landed smack in the middle of the Houston Oilers “Luv Ya Blue” period. You remember it- the Astrodome, Bum Phillips, Earl Campbell, and Ted Thompson. This did not dampen his enthusiasm for the Packers at all- but it sure cut down on his game attendance. His work in sports television allowed Bill to tune in the network feeds of Packers games in the control room. For many of those years it was still tough to be a Packers fan.
In the 1990s Bill changed careers, got married, had a son, and the Packers finally turned things around. Bill has been a “minority owner” of the Green Bay Packers Football Club since 1998.
Today Bill lives near Houston with his wife Deneen and son John. His day job is in IT, but only when he can’t make money writing about something. He does a lot of sailing, which is perhaps the only activity he’s as passionate about as being a Packers fan. Bill considers being a father his most important work.
Even after more than thirty years in Texas, Bill still misses a few things about Wisconsin. These include winter sports, snow, basements, spring, and Packers games at Lambeau. Not surprisingly, winter sports and snow he doesn’t get much of anymore. They don’t build houses with basements where he lives. And all spring means in Houston, when it starts in March, is that it’ll be blazing hot for the next eight or nine months. Instead of commuting to Green Bay for game days, Bill watches every Packers game at home with family and friends or at one of the many Packers-friendly sports pubs in the area- with Packers fans and friends.
Neenah With Pride and Go Pack GO!