Thoughts on Green Bay

I really enjoyed the game last night in Green Bay.  It is impossible on TV to communicate the energy and decibel level of that crowd, particularly in the first half before Dallas opened up a large lead.  But even with victory pretty much out of reach with 5 minutes to play, virtually no one left  (our Arizona fans would already have been out of the parking lot by then).

The game featured a 72,000 person crowd in a town of 100,000.  In a world where traditional groups are increasingly fragmented, the entire town is united in their dedication to the team.  The Packers are ubiquitous in town, so much so I can't even think of any good major-city analogy.  The best analogy I can come up with is that the game was more like a
high school football game in west Texas than a typical NFL game.  Even the cheerleaders look like a high-school cheer squad with girls in jumpers and guys with megaphones, in a world where the other 30+ teams all have pinup girls with breast enhancement. 


  1. John Dougan:

    I expect the ubiquity is at least in part because the city owns the team.

  2. Brian Dunbar:

    I expect the ubiquity is at least in part because the city owns the team.

    No, the Packers are a publicly owned company.

    Also, please note that everywhere you go in Wisconsin is 'Packers country'. Stores empty out during the game. Traffic in smaller burgs dies completely down. It is a lot like high school football in Oklahoma. Or Texas.

    I can't explain it: but it's not just a Green Bay thing.

  3. bort:

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  4. gadfly:

    Once a Packer fan, always a Packer fan ...through thick and thin, with or without Brett Farve, Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Fuzzy Thurston, Jerry Kramer, Reggie White, Ray Nitschke, Don Hutson or even second-stringer Max Magee.

    Packer fans are everywhere ...and most of them cannot get a ticket to see their team in Lambeau. I lived among the Wisconsin cheeseheads for almost 20 years and was able to attend only one game in Green Bay.

  5. Bears Fan:

    Pinup girls with breast enhancement?

    Is there a problem there?

  6. Brian Dunbar:

    Is there a problem there?

    Do you want a show or did you come to see football?

  7. ErikTheRed:

    I don't know about most of the other teams, but for the Chargers most of the girls seem to be "natural." That being said, there's some serious push-up work and costume padding going on.

  8. Another guy namded Dan:

    The Packer's cheerleaders resemble high school or college cheerleaders because that's who they are. The team is recruited from local high schools and colleges.

    Green Bay is probably the only team left that has real cheerleaders instead of a dance team.

    As far as the ownership, legally the Packers are the fundraising arm of the Green Bay Packers Charitable Foundation, which is a publicly owned, not-for-profit corporation. Through a twisted series of historical events, Miller Brewing is the single largest shareholder, but controls only about 5% of the outstanding stock. Most shares are held by individual shareholders, most of whom in turn own only a single share. That entitles them to a seat at the anual meeting of the corporation, where the president and GM address the assemblage once a year.

    Lambeau field is owned by the City of Green Bay, and leased to and operated by the Packers organization.

  9. mjh:

    As a Wisconsin native, I agree with Brian Dunbar. It's a much bigger phenomenon than just Green Bay. I only spent a lot of time in southeastern Wisconsin (Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay triangle), so I can only speak to those locations. But the Packers are a *very* big deal there.