Gentle but loopy & Me
Posted January 24, 2011on:
For the first 25 years that I lived in Wisconsin, I didn’t give a rats you-know-what about the Green Bay Packers. I know that may seem hard to believe considering how rabid a fan I’ve become.
But as I’ve mentioned before my revised attitude began in fall 1995 when the local high school marching bands played at half time at a Packers game in Green Bay. When Maggie came back at 4 a.m. from that event she talked about how nice the Packers were to them.
That’s when I became a fan. A big fan. If you are nice to my daughter, I become a fan. Of course, in discussing this last week, Maggie said they were not particularly nice to her but to all of them. Now she tells me. I prefer to think they were nice to the rest of the band because of her.
You could tell how nice they were to her in this picture, taken when the bands toured the Packers Hall of Fame. That nice LeRoy Butler stood right by her. Incidentally, years later I helped LeRoy Butler, a retired safety, with his memoirs. But that was a different story.
It also was the season that the Packer went to the Super Bowl and won. Every business had a “Go Pack” sign and the entire state went a little crazy.
How crazy? There was a parade downtown. Our friends, who own Nelson Flag & Display in La Crosse (and now plus River Road Quilts) created a float for our group of friends called the Big Cheesy – a reference to the Super Bowl being in the Big Easy – New Orleans that year.
Thousands participated in the parade, which culminated with the World’s Largest performance of “The Packerena” – think “The Macarena” but in green and gold.
I was there for this parade and Packerena and it was 30 degrees below zero – without considering the wind chill. Several families – all with sons the same age – participated together. Those boys are now 22 and 23 and not in town, not that they would want to be seen with us in such an event again.
I have no explanation for this activity in 1997 other than this description of Packers fans in Time magazine in 1997:
“There is a gentle but loopy quality to the Packers fan. The two things that most impress a visitor to Lambeau are the niceness of the people–a deputy sheriff giving his hand warmers to a Panthers rooter–and the outrageous, often ironic humor of Packers backers.”
I am proud to be a gentle, but loopy Packers fan. But if it is 30 degrees below zero the day before the Super Bowl and a parade is held, I may not be quite loopy enough to do the Packerena again.