My name is Steve and I have been a Packers fan since 1974. I was born in 1965 and grew up in Chippewa Falls Wisconsin.
I wish I could say the Packers were always my favorite team but as a youngster growing up in a household where no one showed any organized sports allegiance I formed my opinions the way many kids do, I backed the winner of the first championship game I remember.
That game was Super Bowl following the Miami Dolphins perfect 1972 season so my favorite team became the Miami Dolphins. The next year, when the Dolphins returned to the big game it was only logical, since I liked the Dolphins, that I hated the Minnesota vikings (at least I got that part right right from the start.)
When Bart Starr was hired as head coach ( I still have my Fresh Start With Bart bumper sticker) I started to research this team called the Packers and found out they were from my home state. That was great now I had a local team to root for. Then I realized that my most hated team was from a neighboring state and that made it so much better. Then I realized that my most hated team was also a divisional rival and the game was on.
Since then I have been a full fledged Packers fan My first favorite players that I can really recall were Steve Odom and Ken Payne. I loved the Dickey to Lofton connection and I can still remember Howard Cosell comparing Paul Coffman favorably to Kellen Winslow the All World Tight End from the Chargers. Like many of you I followed the team steadfastly through the dark ages of the late 70's and the 80's, always optimistic and often disappointed. I was hopeful, as all Packers fans were, that Forrest really would set the pack on fire and that they truly would fly high with Lindy. Alas it was not to be. Then things slowly started to change for Packer fans throughout Packerland and indeed the world. A man by the name of Ron Wolf came in and good things began to happen.
Mike the first came in and so did a huge monster of a man known by packers fans everywhere simply as Reggie. It was the start of something big and I think everyone could sense it. For the first time the Pack really was back. I was at Lambeau field when a Future Hall of Famer named Brett Favre made his first start there and it was one of the most memorable times of my life (coincidentally I was also there when he made his last start there as a member of the hated purple gang from across the river and that was also a memorable time) I watched the Packers defeat the Patriots in superbowl XXXI on a small TV on a couch off by myself in a house full of people watching the game on a big TV (not a big screen just bigger than the one I was watching on) because I wanted to experience the event all Packers fans hope for on my own. I don't think I said 10 words to anyone that day and when it was over, after the initial cheers, there was no jumping up and down and screaming and clapping, there was just a bunch of heartfelt handshakes, slaps on the back, a hug or two here and there and more than a few tears of joy and a huge sense of pride.
The following year, after the final whistle sounded I rose from my seat at my brother's house, put on my shoes and coat and simply said "see ya later" and left. Nothing more was said. Nothing needed to be said. It was like a 180 degree turn from the feelings of a year earlier. Disappointment, not euphoria was the word of the day and the weeks that followed. Like all Packers fans though I got over it. It was not the end of the world and it was not the end of the Packers. I watched the Packers beat the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV all by myself (the alternative was to watch it with a bunch of Bears fans and after enduring their company two weeks earlier that was not going to happen.) from about the middle of the second quarter I don't think I sat down for more than 5 minutes and I think I wore a path in my carpet.
My carreer choice has made it so that I do not get to enjoy each and every Packer game live any more but I look forward to each and every one of them with the same fervor as ever. Well, some a little more than others perhaps but the fact remains that I am a Packers fan through and through. In the past few weeks I have been considering selling off some of my packers memorabilia collection as I could use the money and the vast commercialization of everything nowadays has made obtaining new pieces far less enjoyable than in the past. I don't have the money to scour eBay for the good vintage stuff anymore and the new stuff just screams "flush your money away." Just writing this short (trust me, if I spend any amount of time here you will consider this short) introduction has buoyed my spirits however. I don't think I will sell anything. It is all a part of my fandom. It has a place and it serves a purpose. It reminds me, not that I need reminding, every time that I walk into my apartment that I am a fan of the greatest sport franchise on the face of the earth. The Pack Will Be Back? In my heart they never left.
I have to go now and if anyone is still reading, thank you. It's time to get some work done but I will be back (I heard those groans)
Go Packers, Green & Gold Forever