I was trying to think of creative titles for this post. Something WOW and EXCITING!!!!! But then I typed "The Packers won the Super Bowl" and it was so wowed and excited me so much I realized, that's it. No capitals or exclamation points needed. They did it. They won.
I have been a Packer fan for as far back as I can remember. My dad grew up in Green Bay...on the other side of the fence as some of the Green Bay Greats. He played football with them after practice was over. I went to my first game at 6 months old. When tasked with coming up with "something Wisconsin" for my speech in 6th grade, I chose Vince Lombardi. I memorized it. I think my dad cried. The first time I was allowed to babysit my brother alone for a full day & night was in '97...mom & dad were in New Orleans for the day. In middle school, my dad taught me more than just the basics of football and the Packers...said it would help me someday when finding a husband. My mom knows football. Her mom knew football. I went to the hearing of Mark Chmura and then was on the news. My father threatened a transfer of schools if I was caught wearing purple upon receiving my acceptance letter to the U of MN. One of the first conversations I ever had with the love of my life included the Packers. We have rituals around our Sunday game days.
I know the Packers. I love the Packers. I was raised on the Packers. I remember Super Bowl XXXI (not because of the game, but because it was the first day I was left alone with my brother and he sliced his finger with a pocket knife after holding a doll hostage...it was a long day). I remember my dad telling me what a big deal it was.
This time? I remember Super Bowl XLV because I knew what a big deal it was. What people don't understand is that it's not just a game. When you're from WI and you've been raised on Green Bay, it's so not just a game. I know it's not life or death. I know the world keeps going, problems and all (problems much bigger than a Green and Gold loss). But being a Green Bay Packers fan means more than wearing Green and Gold and cheering on 50+ people you've never met in your life.
The Super Bowl win means much more, especially this year. It means the little guy can win. That a small franchise owned by the people can overcome. That injury doesn't mean it's over. You step up when you're called. You earn your spot and give it your all for however long you're given. And adversity? Adversity doesn't stand a chance against heart, dedication and passion.
Green Bay fans love their team. We were ecstatic when they made it to the playoffs. Out of our minds when they made it to the Super Bowl. And down right out of control when they won it. But we'd love 'em still. Even if they never made it to the playoffs, we'd love them still. We'd cheer for them just as loud and strong next year.
We're a team from a little "city". One of our biggest controversies this year was about who was included in the Super Bowl Picture..and it was via Twitter. We don't have big personalities who overshadow. We've got good guys who play hard for a city who loves them to pieces.
I'll be honest, I cried (shocking, right?). But in that moment when the clock wound down and my boy Rogers took that knee I was surrounded by people who have stood by their team for 14 years between Super Bowl wins. People who proudly wear their green & gold every Sunday. We hugged, we danced, we high fived, and we celebrated.
The Lombardi trophy is coming home where it belongs...to Titletown. And I couldn't be more proud to support the team who brought it here.
GO PACK GO.
*Pictures taken from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel