Life, as I have recently come to figure, is something that passes you by because for the better part, you’re too busy living it. We waste away our youth with thoughts of what we’ll do when we’re older. We waste away our adult hood with thoughts of how we’re going to get everything we want out of what little time we’re here and we waste away our formative years wishing we could trade everything we’ve accumulated for a sniff of the way things were when we were young and didn’t have a care in the world.
My name is Wayne Scullino, 30, from beautiful Sydney Australia and I like everybody else, have a lot of cares in this world. I care for my wife and young family. I care for the suburb we live in, the home we keep and the lessons I can teach our boys through what little time I have their undivided attention. I care for the way I feel, the wonderful ideas I have and the thought that I can do anything I want if I, oh so cliched, “put my mind to it”.
I don’t care though, for the realisation that at my age, I have left a little piece of me behind. You see, in wanting what we want, we often sacrifice one thing for another. Recently I realised that despite my promise to always be that teenager I was 15 or so years ago, I turned into an adult. An adult that still loved everything he loved, but an adult that quite simply, had less time for it.
Why in the pursuit of “happiness” do we lead ourselves down a path that provides for us in our spare time but offers little for 40, 60 or 80 hours of the week? Why do we dream about the jobs we want when we are young only to end up in a white shirt, black suit and easily forgotten tie.....just like everybody else working the sort of job they never thought they’d be doing? Why don’t we ever throw caution to the wind and follow our dreams? Not because it’s an easy thing to do, it isn’t. But because we owe it to ourselves to be the person we are, not the person we have become.
My dream, at 15 years of age, was to move to Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. I wanted to be a sports writer, a photographer and a traveller. I wanted to do it all and have a family to share it with. I wanted to live the life of a real “Packer Backer”, not drown here in a sea of Rugby League, Rugby Union and Australian Rules Football.
People in Australia, 999 in 1000 at least, don’t care for American Football, in fact, I’d hasten to guess that 99 out of 100 wouldn’t even know who the Packers are. At 13 I was a member of the “America’s Pack” fan club and subscriber to the “Packer Report” that, thanks to the lack of internet back then, couldn’t arrive soon enough. I was on the outer with alot of my friends for following a game where the players wore pads and helmets instead of just playing with nothing but the shirt on their back. I replaced all of my “cool” Quicksilver, Rip Curl and Billabong hats with my one and only Packers hat that went absolutely everywhere I did. The story of how the NFL and more to the point the Green Bay Packers hit me the way they did back in the 1990’s is one I’ll never know. They just did. I didn’t know who Don Majkowski or Sterling Sharpe were. I had no idea who Curly Lambeau was or the fact that he had a field named after him and nobody, not I or the entire population of Green Bay had any idea that a guy by the name of Brett Favre was about to change our lives forever.
My brother in-law only recently said to me “A man with no dreams will never have a dream come true” and i was inspired by that. The thing with dreams though, in most cases at least, is that if you dont do something to make them happen yourself, they never will. So with that, and a whole lot of understanding from the very best, non sport loving wife in the world, we made an executive decision . A decision that flies in the face of all rational thinking but one that we should all do at least once in our lives. That was, to pack up our things, children included, and move to Green Bay for a season of unadulterated “fandom”. As “The Once in a Lifetime Fan” I can do that. My wife and I have sold our house, I’ve left my job and we’ve organised passports and visas for all. With great thanks to the World Wide Web, we’ve found a place to stay, a car to buy and the tickets that’ll see us follow the Packers from coast to coast all season long. Crazy? Maybe.....but let’s face it, there’ll be other jobs, there are millions of houses and Sydney isn’t going anywhere in a hurry.
Now, moving from the warmth of Australia’s sun-drenched, eastern coast beaches to the freezing depths of the American dairy lands, with infant children, one aged 2, the other 9 months, is no easy feat. Bear in mind I’ve never, not even once, seen snow before in my life and Kelly, outside of a 4 night trip as a teenager is in the same boat. Nor have either of us experienced temperatures any lower than 45F. We’ve never driven a car on the right hand side of the road, lived outside of a city with a population in the millions or contemplated being unemployed for 7 months with only our life savings as a back-up. You can safely assume from this that our boys haven’t done any of the above either. We will enter a foreign country knowing too well that upon our return we’ll have no house, no car and neither my wife or I will have a job to go back to. It’s exhilarating. They say that “Packer Backers” are a special breed and from the other side of the world I can honestly say that I couldn’t agree more. For some reason, I just feel like that’s where I belong.
http://www.theonceinalifetimefan.com is our way of sharing this experience with every other sports fan in the world. You don’t need to support the Green Bay Packers like I do because this is about much more than football. It’s about our journey into the unknown. The highs and lows of living the life you want to live, not the one you have been forced to. It’s about the feeling inside of you when you’re so excited you could burst or so horribly nervous that you start to feel sick in the stomach. This is the one time in our lives where our heads and our hearts have finally met and we’d love you to come along for the ride.
We will update these pages daily and welcome interaction from anyone who cares to say G’day. For now though, it’s on with the show. It’s been one heck of a ride already but for once in a lifetime, it sure is worth it.