Monday, January 21, 2008

On Becoming a Packers Fan

Football has always been a big thing in our family. I’ll never forget the year that my Grandma refrained from putting up a Christmas tree because it would have gotten in the way of the television and her view of the Sunday afternoon game. Every year for the Super Bowl my Dad and Grandma would put a bet on the game; the winner would get his/her choice of dinner. These days, my Dad places these bets with my brother and me. Which, shit, reminds me that I owe him a dinner from our last bet.

Growing up in Illinois, my parents and extended family are big Chicago Bears fans. So, it was much to my parent’s dismay that both of their children would take permanent residence in Wisconsin and become Packers fans.

When I first moved up here for college, almost 10 years ago now, I was determined to remain a Bears fan. I think it had something to do with maintaining my identity as an Illinois resident. This may seem crazy to some, why in the world would you want to be a FIB? Speaking of being a FIB, my professor for my Tax Accounting class in college used to call me The FIB. As in, could everyone be quiet please? The FIB is speaking.

I maintained my Bears fan status through college, up until November 2002. That November my boss offered the girls in our group 4 tickets to the Packers/Vikings game. Even though I wasn’t a Packers fan, I loved football so of course I wanted to go. The three of us girls went to lunch, tickets in hand, and debated over who we should ask to join us. We decided to take Bret, one of the girls’ boyfriends, in hopes that he would be our driver. Bret agreed and when Sunday afternoon came we all headed up to Green Bay. It was a night game, so we were decked out in blaze orange and ski clothes. But even with 4 layers, it was So. Fucking. Cold. We snuck in a bottle of Doctors and added it to our hot chocolate and freezing or not, we had a blast! I remember the guys next to asking what we had, because they wanted some of whatever it was.

The thing I will never forget from that game, or any of the games we’ve been to since, was the energy in stadium. Packer fans are insane. They are crazy and fun and loud and drunk, but God Damn do they know how to have a good time. I converted that evening, and I have never looked back since.

As you probably know, last night was a sad, sad, night for the State of Wisconsin, and our faithful fans spread throughout the country. There were only four of us watching the game together last night and the ratio of f-bombs to people had to be something close to 60:1. And I am pretty certain if you were anywhere within a three state radius you heard a resounding FFFFFFUCK!!! as Tynes kicked that last field goal squarely between the posts.

The thing I love most about Packer fans though is that we’ll shake it off. Yeah, we’re disappointed - it sucks that we were that close to making it to the Big Game. But it will be okay; we don’t love our team any less because of this loss. And I can guarantee you that when next season rolls around the parties will begin in earnest, the beer and brats will be purchased in bulk, and yes, there will still be big shirtless men running around Lambeau in December.

Packers/Vikings Game

November 11, 2007

6 comments:

Aubrey said...

Okay, I have to ask what the heck a FIB is? Former Illinois Bitch? I just can't get that one. As for the football team, I can understand how you'd change moving to PackLand! It's super intense there. You'd have to be a die hard bears fan in order to maintain your bears fondness. And, it's pretty easy to back a team that's better than your old one!

Kate said...

Oh Aubrey, I hate to be the one to tell you this. FIB is the Wisconsin term of endearment for people from Illinois. It means Fucking Illinois Bastard. I think it stems from the way they drive. Which, I have to say, whenever we see an asshole driver on the road we always say, I bet they are from IL, and 9 times out of 10, they are. I think it is because the majority of people that come "up north" from IL are from Chicago, and we all know that Chicago should be its own separate state. Don't get me wrong, I love the city, but it is not the same as the rest of IL and it used to irritate me to no end when I said I grew up in IL and everyone always assumed that meant Chicago.

Em said...

There is another acronym: FISH...can you figure it out? Yes, poop-heads. ;) I also got that one from my WI college friends when I moved up to the U.P. after high school.

Kate said...

My guess is Fucking Illinois Shit Heads?

Em said...

Yup, you got it. :)

Aubrey said...

Well, I like Former Illinois Bitch. That way, your standing as a bitch still stays and you are no longer associated with the crazy Illinoians as it seems all you cheeseheads feel we are. ;) Yeah, and fish is just not a nickname girls want AT ALL!!

The only other name that I've heard with such strong emotion is Massholes for those from Massachusetts