The Four Circles of Packer Fandom

If you bleed green and gold, you should probably get that checked out.

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It is often said that allegiance to the Green Bay Packers is a religion in Wisconsin. And while it’s true that both require attendance, or at least attention, on Sundays, it also makes me wonder if the fawning football broadcasters who so love this metaphor just haven’t really spent much time here – and probably aren’t that religious, either. Both of these devotions carry a range of depths.

Most people would consider me a pretty intense fan of the Packers. I was born in Green Bay and am still sore that my dad didn’t put me on the season ticket waiting list as an infant. I have a ceremonial piece of paper that tells me I’m a shareholder. I build my fall Sundays around the games and have been to Lambeau dozens of times. I’ve bared my pasty chest in the stands in December and have even been Lambeau Leapt upon.

Photo by AP Photos

It’s a strong green and gold resume, but I am content keeping my fandom an elaborate hobby rather than an all-encompassing “way of life.” That frigid December game, for example, I put my jacket (which does not have a G anywhere on it) back on after one quarter.

And then there are those of us who just don’t give a damn about any of it. And that’s OK.

So, in hopes of understanding ourselves better than Joe Buck does, let us examine these degrees of Packer fanaticism.

THE SUPERFAN

Flies window flags on their SUVs on game days, and also every
other day. Believes this year’s shareholder meeting was not quite as interesting as last year’s. Prefaces praise of Aaron Rodgers by saying “Now, I’m really a Favre guy, but…” Knows where Vince Lombardi’s house is, and swings by there for good luck on game days, even if it’s just on Google Street View. Has intense opinions about the salary cap ramifications of the team’s latest signing.

Illustration by Tobatron

THE FAN

Bought a green and gold throw blanket – on sale. “Ah, sheesh, another Sunday night game!” Will use the Oneida Nation Gate in a pinch but really prefers the Fleet Farm Gate. Does NOT like that Olivia Munn gal. Not anymore.

Illustration by Tobatron

THE NONFAN

Must have had a conflict during the indoctrination meeting. Enjoys grocery shopping in nearly empty stores during games. Very much enjoys telling you how nearly empty the grocery store is during games. Can afford vacations to exotic places farther away than Brown County.

Illustration by Tobatron

THE ANTIFAN

Moved here from somewhere else, obviously, or has an unhealthy relationship with their parents, we guess? Hates pizza. Really likes midnight blue and orange for some reason?? Is emotionally and spiritually broken.

Illustration by Tobatron

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s March issue.

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Executive editor, Milwaukee Magazine. Aficionado of news, sports and beer. Dog and cat guy. (Yes, both.)