NFL Green Bay Packers

15 Reasons Why You Know You’re a Fan of the Green Bay Packers

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15 Reasons Why You Know You're a Fan of the Packers

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Being a fan of the Green Bay Packers can be the joyous part of any true fan’s life. People who have never been to legendary Lambeau Field or have never cheered for the Packers can never understand the passion that goes into being a fan of the greatest team mankind has ever formed. The bond that exists between mutual Packers fans as well as the fans and the players is one-of-a-kind.

Passion doesn’t even begin to describe how the fans feel about their beloved franchise. It’s one thing to cheer for a team during the season and then move on until the next season begins. However, Packers fans go about their business in a completely different way. The next season starts the day after the previous season ends. If Green Bay didn’t win the Super Bowl that season there are a few days of grieving and then it’s time to move on.

Packers’ fans will discuss where the team went wrong and what management can do to fix it in order to have more success the next season. Fans will sit for several hours on consecutive days during NFL Draft parties in order to see whom the Packers select. Fans will make the long trek to Lambeau Field in the heart of summer to get a glimpse of their team during practice, and then they will stop by the Packers Hall of Fame to take a history lesson. Fans will sellout preseason games in preparation for the regular season because that’s just what they do.

When the players don’t put forth their best performance at Lambeau, they aren’t so much upset that they didn’t win the football game. They are disappointed that they let a fan base down who deserves the very best every Sunday.

There’s no question being a Packers fan is special, why is why I created 15 reasons why you know you’re a fan of the greatest team in the world.

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15. There Are Very Specific Teams You Won’t Cheer For

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The Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions (in that order) are off-limits for obvious reasons. Then there are the Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. The Broncos because of Super Bowl XXXII, the Cowboys because of all the misery they caused in the 1990s and the Giants because they decided to be a pain in the side of the Packers in 2007 and 2011. Green Bay should have at least three more Super Bowls if it wasn’t for these three teams.

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14. You Cried When Reggie White Died, Brett Favre Retired

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Being born in the late 1980s, I can’t relate to the older fans that were around for all of the great Packers players of the 1960s. However, I do know what it’s like for an era to end. Reggie White’s death in 2004 was really hard to handle because he was my favorite player growing up. I respected the way he went about the game and how he made everyone else around him better. More importantly, I will forever be grateful for how he opened the door for more free agents to come to Green Bay.

Another incredibly emotional moment in franchise history was when Brett Favre decided to retire from the game he loved so much. In hindsight, it would be the first of many retirements for Favre. Nonetheless, it was very hard for Packers fans to handle at the time. If your eyes were dry during his retirement press conference, you either have no soul or you aren’t a Packers fan.

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13. You Will Never Understand Why Jerry Kramer isn’t in the Hall of Fame

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Jerry Kramer has been retired from the NFL since 1968 and has achieved everything a Hall of Famer can accomplish in his career. For whatever reason, Kramer has still not been inducted, even though he has been a finalist ten times. This is a crime on behalf of the NFL Seniors committee as there is no other person I can think of who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame more than Kramer.

Suiting up at right guard, the Packers went on to win five NFL championships as well as Super Bowl I and II. Kramer’s most famous moment came in the “Ice Bowl” when he was the lead blocker who paved the way for Bart Starr to score the iconic touchdown.

Kramer was selected to the Pro Bowl three times and the First-Team All-Pro five times. He also is a member of the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team and the NFL 50th anniversary team.

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12. You Agree that Tony Mandarich May as Well be a Curse Word

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I apologize in advance for talking about he whose name should not be spoken. Offensive lineman Tony Mandarich is another reason why the Packers don’t have more Super Bowl wins. How is it possible that one player could be responsible for such a thing you ask?

The man was selfish, disgraceful and loaded up on steroids. The Packers wasted the No. 2 overall pick in the 1989 draft on him. A draft that saw Hall of Famers Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders go No. 3, 4 and 5 right after him. Could you imagine Sanders in the backfield with Favre under center or Thomas tearing it up on the defensive front with “the Minister of Defense”?

Mandarich can ask for forgiveness all he wants, but I will never allow him to have it. It’s one thing if he was a complete bust, which would be bad enough, but it’s another that he was very unpleasant to be around. He thought he was God’s gift to football. He couldn’t have been more wrong about that one.

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11. You Know What it Takes to Tailgate the Right Way

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

In Green Bay, tailgating is a way of life. If you don’t do it right, you can either get out or learn the ways of the wise. Packers’ fans pride themselves on excelling at tailgating because they understand the richness of the tradition at Lambeau Field. If you’ve never experienced it, you’re really missing out. It’s an incredible experience loaded with tasty food, cold beer and good times with family and friends. The creativity and passion that goes into tailgating at Lambeau is unmatched anywhere else in the country.

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10. You Wish You Were Related to Ron Wolf

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Being the grandson or niece of Ron Wolf would mean you would never have to buy another drink in Wisconsin for the rest of your life. That’s how important of a man he is to the state. He’s responsible for the greatest trade in NFL history in which he sent a first round draft pick to the Atlanta Falcons for some guy named Favre, who just so happened to be the greatest thing to happen to Wisconsin since cheese curds.

Wolf also made the most significant free agent signing in franchise history when he convinced White to come to Green Bay. In fact, it’s considered one of the greatest signings in the history of free agency because of how it propelled the Packers into the stratosphere.

Without the help of Wolf, the Packers would not have been one of the best teams of the past two decades.

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9. You Had a Love/Hate Relationship with Brett Favre

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For every touchdown pass there was an interception. For every joyful moment there was plenty of frustration. There’s no denying that Favre single-handedly gave a starved fan base a reason to enjoy sports again, especially since Wisconsin sports was looking gloomy in the early 1990s. For that reason, we are all forever indebted to him.

However, his last pass for the Packers was a game-ending interception in the NFC Championship Game. Not to mention, that whole retire/unretired fiasco that turned into playing for the Vikings is enough to make any Packers fan sick, unless you were one of those so-called fans that bought a Favre Vikings jersey.

We all love Favre and can’t wait for his number to be placed on the Packers Ring of Honor, but there were times when ‘hate’ wasn’t a strong enough word. Personally, I never felt the need to burn his jersey, but I also will acknowledge that I’ll never allow one player to be bigger than the team. Last I checked the Packers weren’t called the Green Bay Favres.

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8. Another Team Trying to Claim They Have the Greatest Coach Ever is Laughable

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Recently, Peyton Manning suggested that Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history. (Insert laugh here). Yes, Belichick is an outstanding coach, but to suggest that he’s better than the legendary Vince Lombardi is outrageous. I mean, there’s a reason why the trophy that is awarded to the Super Bowl winner is named after him.

The man is responsible for eight NFL championships, including two Super Bowls. He also had a 9-1 playoff record and a 105-36-5 overall record. The numbers aside, what he did for the Packers can never be duplicated. He ensured the organization would keep its head above water and he’s responsible for putting Green Bay on the map.

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7. You Brave the Sub-Zero Temperatures to Watch a Game at the Frozen Tundra

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There’s just something about a trip to Lambeau Field that makes fans feel all fuzzy inside. The incredible tailgating experience, the sea of green and gold in the stands and the epic chants of “go pack go” is enough to make any loyal fan of the Packers excited.

For me, the best part about Lambeau is the moment I walk through the tunnel and into the bowl where the field is located. It’s the most magical moment in the world and it gets me every time.

Most people wouldn’t be caught dead in sub-zero temperatures to watch a football game. The good news is the Packers fans aren’t your average fan. They support the greatest team on the planet in the heat, rain or snow. The fact that the Packers are so enjoyable makes it that much easier for fans to sit on the cold metal bleachers when the windchill factor is 20 below zero.

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6. You’re a Student of the Game

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers are rich in history. Even though other NFL franchises come close, no other organization can claim what the mighty Packers have. Lombardi was a pioneer who showed what a true NFL dynasty looked like. He was the greatest teacher the sport could have asked for, and he made sure the players and the fine people of Green Bay were educated about the game.

If you want to just simply root for a team on Sundays and be done with it then go cheer for the Lions. In Green Bay, it’s our duty to know each name on the Ring of Honor and what it represents. It’s our privilege to be familiar with the terminology that baffles the fans of other teams.

You’ve read books, watched videos and know who is responsible for the large amount of success the Packers have enjoyed over the years. You have no problem reading up on the history of the team and researching the background of new players. If you ever find yourself in a football debate with another fan, you won’t lose because you’re a fan of the Packers and you’re a student of the game.

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5. You Take Pride in the Packers and Will Fight for Their Honor Until Your Last Breath

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The people of Green Bay and the Packer faithful located around the world have a special bond with their favorite team. Maybe it’s because the Packers franchise is the only organization in American sports that has its fans own stock in the team. Maybe it’s because the little town of Green Bay with a population of 104,057 people can make a franchise thrive better than that of a city such as Los Angeles. Seriously, selling out every single game since 1960 is unbelievable.

Whatever the reason is, the Packers fans take pride in their team. If fans spot Aaron Rodgers or Clay Matthews at the local grocery store, they aren’t going to ask for an autograph. They graciously tell the player how great he played in the last game and then they continue with their shopping. If fans encounter a Bears fan, they patiently wait while that fan explains how much better the Bears are than the Packers are. When that fan is done, it’s time to smack them with some knowledge and debunk everything they just said in an intelligent manner.

What makes Packers fans so great is they feel they need to fight for the honor of being a fan of the team. There are no bandwagon fans in Green Bay. The team only has four wins? Sell out Lambeau Field. Rodgers and Matthews out for a majority of the season? Never lose hope on making the playoffs. There’s a mutual respect between the Packers and the fans, one that will be hard to find elsewhere in sports.

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4. You Own at Least One Foam Cheesehead Prop

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Whether it’s a cheese hat, cheese can cooler, cheese cowboy hat, cheese fireman’s hate, cheese winter facemask, cheese bra or anything else imaginable made out of cheese-crafted foam, you own it. Not only do you own it, but you wear it like a true champ on the streets of Green Bay. And if you’re a fan out of state, you wear it like a boss when you’re doing your game day shopping. Just remember, cheeseheads aren’t ashamed to wear cheese gear.

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3. Brett Favre Almost Ruined Your Family

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Favre’s retire, unretired and then retire again for good measure put plenty of strain on families across the state of Wisconsin. In most cases, the Favre saga actually divided families so much that a gathering felt like a meeting of the Montagues and the Capulets.

Some fans were in support of Rodgers taking the reins while others wanted Favre to take back control of the team. There’s no question the organization was right to go with Rodgers after what Favre put them through, but it still didn’t stop fans from sending hate mail.

Favre had the power to create friendships and reunite estranged family members, but he also had the power to suck all of that joy right out of a room.

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2. And You Know Aaron Rodgers Saved It

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If it weren’t for Rodgers becoming the magnificent quarterback that he is, the entire state would still be under a black cloud. I seriously don’t know how society would have functioned in Wisconsin if it weren’t for Rodgers leading the Packers to a Super Bowl victory just a few years after Favre left us in the cold.

The fact that Rodgers appears to be constructed purely out of all of the good that was Favre and none of the bad makes it that much better. It was as if forces beyond our control gave Packers fans the ultimate test. As long as we stayed together and didn’t lose our minds over Favre playing for the Vikings, we would be rewarded with another Lombardi Trophy.

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1. You Know Which Team Truly is “America’s Team”

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The Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers may think they are “America’s Team,” but you know the truth is the Packers deserve the high honor. Green Bay earned the title with 13 world championships and the largest fan base in the world.

When former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle was asked to name the best football city in the country, he had this to say:

"Green Bay," he said, according to ESPN. "A small town. People owning their own football team. Rabid supporters."

And check out this excerpt from ESPN a few years ago about the Packers being “America’s Team”:

“And, by the way, shareholders vote for the team's board of directors. Nothing against Steelers fans, but Packers followers do more than wave Terrible Towels. They influence team policy.

Curly Lambeau and George Calhoun established the Packers' franchise in 1919. That's 14 years before Art Rooney Sr. purchased the then-named Pittsburgh Pirates. That's 23 years before Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was even born and 33 years before the Dallas Texans became the last NFL franchise to fail.

Sorry, ‘America's Team’ isn't supposed to fold.”

The Cowboys and Steelers are rich in history, but it can’t be compared to the Packers.