Is our story really any different to yours? OK, so we travelled half the world to see the Packers play but what have you done that’s worth telling the world about?
Let us and anybody else that stops by this page know to what lengths you’ve gone to to see your team, that’s right, doesn’t have to be the Packers, play. Have weddings, anniversaries or birthdays ever dared get in the way of your weekly sports fix? There’s a game of something being played, somewhere in the world every second of every day and sure, the actual players contribute somewhat i guess. But without the fans does anybody care? If your entire team didn’t turn up tomorrow there’d be a million other people prepared to suit up and take their place. If the fans didn’t turn up there’s still be a game right. But would there be one the following week?
Tell us what you’ve done that is so crazy people wouldn’t beleive it unless you told them:Posted by
Fri 09th Nov 07
Fantastic story! We’re going to post on this tomorrow at our blog: http://packergeeks.wordpress.com/
Here’s another story:
It’s Not Easy Being Green Bay
by Stephen F. Hayes
THE DRIVE FROM DOOR COUNTY, Wisconsin, where I am vacationing, to Green Bay takes about an hour. The trip is an early morning blur of taverns, cows, gas station-cheese shops, red barns, and lots of church signs. The Holy Name of Mary advertises its “Polka Mass.” And in case the Devil himself cruises Highway 57, the deacons of another chapel have a message for him: “Satan, You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye.”
Lucifer is nowhere to be found at 8:15 A.M. on this steamy mid-August weekday in Green Bay, although one person standing across from Lambeau Field is wearing a Chicago Bears T-shirt. Four thousand “railbirds” are vying for a view of the crisply mowed field on the other side of the chain-link fence. Ten minutes later, the police shut down a traffic lane on Oneida Street, because the fans--now ten-deep--are spilling over the curb.
It is a cliche to say that Green Bay Packers football is an obsession. It’s also an understatement. The thousands of fans aren’t here to watch a championship game. Or a regular season game. Or even a scrimmage. They’re here for a morning session of preseason practice.
These workouts sometimes draw more fans than you’d find at a Florida Marlins home game. The Packers are expected to do well this year, but fans showed up in similar numbers throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, when their quarterbacks threw like girls, and wins were as rare as a pregame tailgate without brats or beer.
Around 8:30 A.M., offensive guard Kevin Barry, who weighs at least 325 pounds, comes pedaling around a row of cars in the Lambeau Field parking lot. His legs splay out to the sides and his 6’4” frame overwhelms the tiny dirt bike beneath him like a circus clown on a tricycle. Standing on pegs extending out from the back axle is a little boy of six or seven years. The kid has his arms around Barry’s neck--actually halfway around, because that’s as far as his arms will reach. He is wearing Barry’s oversized helmet, and as Barry navigates a curb, the little boy looks remarkably like a real-life bobble-head doll.
This is how most Packers travel the two blocks from their locker room to the practice field. Local kids line up--sometimes hours in advance--for the privilege of having a Packer borrow their bike. Moments later, Brett Favre, the league’s only three-time MVP, rounds the corner enveloped in a running throng of several hundred kids, many of whom are trying to pat him on the back as he rides.
I can identify. Before I was two years old--not a misprint--I could recite the names and numbers of the Packers’ entire starting defense. My dad had me perform this trick anytime someone new came to the house. I loved the attention and accolades that came with each recitation. I’d grab random passers-by at the grocery store and regale them with my knowledge. It was a hit, so I began using this ruse anytime I was in a rough spot. If I didn’t want to eat my veggies, I’d begin listing the defensive line. It’s almost a reflex. Even now, I screw up, and then it’s “Jim Carter, Charlie Hall, . . .”
For some fans, training camp may be their only chance to see the Packers in the flesh. Although Lambeau Field can seat more than half the population of Green Bay, the waiting list for season tickets is 60 years long. This leads Packers fans to go to ridiculous, sometimes unhealthy, lengths to get tickets.
In January 1997, I flew to Green Bay from Washington to see the Packers play the Carolina Panthers for the NFC Championship. The wind-chill factor was thirty below zero. I wandered around the parking lot from 8 A.M. until noon, offering $350 for one ticket. While I managed several free beers, no one would part with a ticket. I watched the game at a nearby friend’s house with something near $350 worth of Pabst and pizza. (An aside to Packers fans reading that last paragraph: I know you’re wondering what, exactly, were the ridiculous lengths I went to for the tickets. I wore my old moon boots in public.)
Even today, I’ll abandon longheld principles just to satisfy my Packers urges. Today I am committing press pass abuse. There’s no actual professional reason for my presence. But with some persistence, I’ve managed to finagle on-field credentials. This is the highlight of my journalism career.
There are limits, though, to what I’ll do to sate my appetite for all things Packers. I wouldn’t pay more than $5,000 for a Super Bowl ticket. I wouldn’t fly to Japan just to see the Packers, should they ever play the annual preseason opener there.
And I would never write an embarrassing article detailing my obsession on the off-chance that a fellow junkie might read the piece and offer, say, tickets to the Packers-Jets game in New York on December 29.
Sat 10th Nov 07
Welcome to Green Bay! I’ve lived in northeastern Wisconsin my whole life, I make about 2 games a year, glad to see some other countries getting into American football! Cheers mate!
Sun 11th Nov 07
I’m a WI native living deep in MN. My office is decorated green and gold with Packer stuff. This week is a huge week as the Viking pride seems to be in the closet. Only comes out when they win. I will never feel as far from Lambeau after reading your story. Best wishes from central MN.
Go Pack GO!!!
Sun 11th Nov 07
Your story is incredible. I only wish we had the courage you have to follow our dreams!! My husband and I both would love to visit Australia.
I have lived in Wisconsin my entire life. My brothers and sisters and I had the luck of coming across 2 fabulous seats for the San Diego game. We gave them to our parents for their 50th Anniversary. They are both tried and true Packer fans but could never afford tickets. It was my Mom’s first in-person game ever and my Dad’s first regular season game. The day was perfect - perfect weather, the Pack won, and #4 tied Marino’s record.
Best of luck to you as you journey here in the US and go back to Australia from your new home.
Tue 13th Nov 07
What are you going to do when Green Bay makes it to the Superbowl? Your story has to end with a win the Superbowl.
Tue 13th Nov 07
I now live in Brazil, but grew up a scant 35 miles from Lambeau (the center of the football universe) and have, naturally, always been a Packer fan! I was fortunate to have friends from Adelaide, Australia who were some of the nicest people you could ever want to call friends. I would think that you would be very much like them. We were fortunate enough to have Mr. & Mrs. Berry visit us every few years, and one of his desires was to see an American Football game (later he returned the favor by taking me to an Aussie Rules game when I visited them!). We were able to get tickets for a Minnesota game. I don’t remember the year, but I do remember the game! It snowed 7” during the game and was extremely cold, but the thing that sticks with me most is that Mr. Berry really enjoyed it and actually handled the weather better than we did. My feet were frozen to the concrete, but he was living it up and soaking it all in. I can only imagine the joy he was feeling for having experienced his dream. And I can imagine, that it was it feels like for you! So, best wishes, enjoy the experience and I hope that you get to experience a snowy, cold game because there’s nothing else like it! I’ll be back for my break from the sun in December; the holidays just are NOT the same without the snow and the cold!
Best wishes to you and yours.
Fri 23rd Nov 07
I lived in Green Bay twice in the 80’s. I went to some Packers games. Back then the city was all about
A University of Wisconsin graduate in Berkley CA. Twittered about your website.
Fri 23rd Nov 07
This is about so much more than football. Good for you. People live their lives trying to attain things and working at something they dont believe in to get those things. You’ve done an inspirational thing.
Best to you all.
Fri 23rd Nov 07
Dreams do come true! Thanks to you all, I have hope I can do the same sometime. Farve and the packers will beat the Cowboys! Enjoy the Superbowl.
Tue 27th Nov 07
Hi Wayne and family!
I’m Brazilian Packers fan (I live in São Paulo).
I absolutly loves the Green Bay Packers, and we go win Super Bowl!!!
GO PACKERS GO!!!
Thu 06th Dec 07
Hi Ben & Luc
Just a little note to let you know your Dad is not the only Packer Backer in Australia and that he’s a very lucky man to have his family with him while fulfilling a ‘once in a lifetime experience’.
I started watching NFL games in 1981 on Channel 9 TV in Sydney before you were born and became a Packer’s fan in 1993 when I saw Don Lane (you’ll have to ask Dad who he was) on the ABC comment on Reggie White moving to Green Bay to ‘retire’. He said he was simply ‘doing it for the money’ and would be seeing his years out on easy street. I didn’t believe him....
Well how wrong he was… and how glad I was being directed to a team with the Aussie colours and with a “real” history and tradition.
The internet arrived in my house in 1997 and the Packerbackerfromdownunder website was born in 1998. The rest is history including great Packer friends like Penny in Alaska and Roger in Florida and not to mention Ken in the ‘Swamps of Jersey’.
Hey ... here’s a strange thing. Tell Mum and Dad to have a look at the map of Wisconsin. Tell them to turn their heads slightly and use their imaginations. Staring them in the face is a map of Australia. How good is that.
Well anyway have a great white Christmas kids. While we swelter Downunder you’ll be chucking snowballs and looking for reindeer prints in the snow.
Have fun.... say Hi to your mum and tell Dad my No.92 jersey should catch up with his No4 some day.
Thu 20th Dec 07
This is an All American Story if I ever heard one. What a great year you picked to do this. You shouldn’t have any trouble getting a book or movie deal out of this, truely. Then of course, you can follow the Pack all the time. Best of luck to you and your wife. You did the right thing.
Mon 24th Dec 07
I somehow came across this website and I am truly AMAZED at what you have done. I have lived in Wisconsin all my life and have been a die hard Packer fan all my life, and sometimes I think I take it for granted. You have made me realize that I would rather been in Wisconsin, particularly Lambeau field watching the Packers ,than ANYWHERE else! You had a dream and you went for it. Life is certainly too short to not live it to the fullest and pursue any dream that you have! I hope you had a great time in Wisconsin and the United States! Come back again soon!!! Thank you for sharing your story!
Tue 25th Dec 07
Cheers mate, and Merry Christmas from Melbourne. I am an American who lived in Wisconsin for 18 years, four of those in Green Bay proper. Now I’m an Australian citizen with an Australian wife… this time of year I long for the snow and for the Packers on TV (but that’s what Foxtel is for!).
Tue 25th Dec 07
You sir are a legend. Here I am in Arizona and its 2 am Christmas morning and I have watched every one of your videos for the past couple hours. I really hope you stick around and continue to share with us your experiences. You have given me hope to follow my dreams and Im really proud to have you as a fellow Packers fan!
Sun 30th Dec 07
A truly brave decision, rewarded with a terrific season by the Packers. To be able to say “Yes, I was there - I saw Favre at his top” - money can’t buy those memories. I’ll switch on the TV here in Sydney tomorrow morning at 5am to watch the Packers in action and get my weekly dose of NFL - I’ll keep an envious eye out for you! Enjoy the cold, enjoy the snow, enjoy the play-offs mate! “GO PACK, GO!”
Mon 31st Dec 07
Cangratulations on completing the entire Packer season. Hope you will remember it forever as I am sure you will! Sorry I have not done anything remotely close to what you have done but don’t worry when the time comes Green Bay, Wisconsin will see me too!
Good luck in the near future and Go Pack Go!
P.S. Thank you for being our good luck charm for the year!
Tue 01st Jan 08
hey awesome story. Still can’t believe it. I’m from Parkes NSW, Australia. we have a population of around 12000 and around 6 nfl fans (me being the only cheesehead). We are heading to America next sep/oct and this story has got me wanting to get over there right now!! Can’t believe you were there for all those records this year. I am so jealous!!!
Wed 02nd Jan 08
Hello - Just found out about your website from a new Member of our Club. We call ourselves LAMBEAU MIDWEST, right here in central Indiana. This has got to be one of the better, if not best, stories I think I’ve read in quite some time. It’s incredible!
For myself, I grew up watching Bart Starr on TV (black & white) and got to see the ICE BOWL while in Junior High School. During the 70’s the Pack fell from the top and it was the Steelers (my 2nd fav), but I never lost my feel for the Packers. I moved to Wisconsin right after my stint in the USAF (1977), and stayed for almost 15 years. I have two daughters who still live there. After moving back here where I grew up, in central Indiana, it was a couple of years when I found out about this Packer Fan Club called the IndyPackerBackers. Of course, I joined up. By 1995, as we all know, the Packers look destined to go back to the SuperBowl and watching Thigpen drop the ball was outrageous. At the time, we were at a local Hangout called The Clubhouse, downstairs at the Ramada Inn in Beech Grove - it was a Damon’s. The whole place was filled with nothing but Packerfans & Steelerfans, which we were forced to split down the middle to keep the owner from calling the Cops. What a day!
Like anyone else, life gets in the way and after a time, I came back to the Club, which seemed to have lost its identity and was now just a group of fans who would just try to find a TV that could get the games. In 2001, I was able to get a bunch of photos of all the Cheeseheads we had grouped at a place called TD Alibi’s. But, by 2002, we were once again needing a Hangout and that’s when I decided the Group needed a Leader who could corral the essence of Lambeau Hospitality and keep it alive.
I’m happy to say that the IndyPackerBackers are alive and well, today, celebrating our 5th year at the Castleton Fox & Hound. This is the longest stay at any location the Club has ever been able to achieve and we’re pretty proud about that fact. We have our own website, our own Tee-shirts and our own Sponsors. As the Club Custodian, I like to maintain contact with, and keep looking for, other Clubs around the Country. We have a link that displays all of the other Clubs we have found. We now have over 500 Official Members and are working on getting the full-blown website up and running this off-season.
If you are ever travelling and end up going thru Indianapolis, make sure to check out the website and click the EMAIL link. We get Visitors all the time and are proud to tell the Nation of how much fun we have. You will notice we also have a comprehensive Sports Desk and are working with a team of budding (lay) SportsWriters who have a distinct approach to critique-ing the Green Bay Packers each and every game. Our website is nonstop all year round with keeping tabs on Free Agency and the Draft, not to mention what also happens each and every Summer.
Right now, we are working to coordinate the Membership going to a game at Lambeau next year, for either a bears (always a small b) or possibly the Colts game in 2008. It’s great fun every week here with IPB and if you know anyone who lives this way, have them get in touch with us.
GO PACK - GO IPB
Wed 02nd Jan 08
I read your story and am very impressed by it. Im 20 years old and a Green Bay native and for some reason never had the ambition to be somewhere else. Green Bay to me is like its own country. A rare breed of americans. The vibe you get from being in the packers stadium, let alone the town its self is something no one has the words to explane. Its like everyone is one and we all come together that one day a week, the day when the packers take to the tundra. and the packers arnt just a team them selves. the fans are as much part of it as the players. I am a believer that in green bay the fans are like no other. They are the heart of the team, the spirit. So with that, Welcome to Green Bay. Hope to see you at the play offs!
Thu 03rd Jan 08
Wayne (and family):
stumbled upon your YouTube postings today and am enjoying reliving this wonderful season through your eyes. Following a heart attack in 2004, I resolved to make the drive to Lambeau at least once in my life and made it happen back on November 6, 2005 with my nephew. Pack lost 20-10 but the experience was wonderful. I think the nine-hour drive from Sudbury, Ontario was impressive. How I envy your year with the Packers, but am delighted you did this in what has been a magical year for the Pack. I’m looking forward to following your experiences right up to the Super Bowl. Happy new year.
Fri 04th Jan 08
Growing up my dad was a dreaded bears fan. I was forced to be one for the younger part of my life as well because he was. NOWWW however i have finally grown the balls to tell him to his face i am a packer and theres nothing he can say about it. to put the exclamation point on it i toped it off by getting packers bears tickets for the two games this season. Unfourtunatlyy the games didnt go are way and i didnt hear the end of it from my dad but hey like i told him.. what are the bears gonna be doin the first week of janurary HAHAHA
GO PACK GO!!
Mon 14th Jan 08
It has been so much fun following along with you on this site. You have done a wonderful job portraying the days-in-the-lives of our great Packers and their fans.
I will be leaving on a trip to South Australia to visit my brother and his family tomorrow. Last night I received an e-mail from them requesting a few of those knit, yellow and white sideline caps. I am afraid that I will be arriving empty handed. I hope you were able to get one for yourself.
Thanks for the entertainment and wonderful recognition.
Tue 15th Jan 08
Welcome to the Frozen Tundra!! I am glad you had a chance to experience a little snow storm at Lambeau Field. Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay.
Tue 15th Jan 08
Well my story is pretty much the opposite of yours, I was born and raised in Green Bay and have been to about 5 Packer games in my lifetime. One of the most memorable was when I was 9 years old, my father sang the National Anthem to open up the game. That day was September 20, 1992, when the Packers were playing the Bengals. I remember when our quarterback, Don Majkowski, got injured close to our endzone. I was so nervous… then this guy Brett Favre stepped in and brought us a come from behind victory. We actually were on our way out of the stadium, because we thought we were gonna lose, but I insisted we watch the rest on the monitors. We were just outside the gate and I watched Brett bring the Packers to his first come from behind victory. I witnessed the beginning of greatness. 15 years later it’s still fresh in my mind.
Now my goal is to go down there and watch an Australian Rules game and see how different it is. Have a blast on Sunday and GO PACK GO!!!