Cool Thing #7 - Small-market Professional Sports Teams
The Green Bay Packers are my favorite football team. Not only is this because they belong in my home state (or because they have won twelve league championships and the Superbowl trophy is named after Vince Lombardi, though those are nice things), but also because no city in Wisconsin has any business with an NFL team. The whole population of Wisconsin is less than that of Chicago and its metro area. The Target I go to in Green Bay is right next to a dairy farm. Lambeau Field is on the edge of a residential neighborhood. The Packers are unique within the NFL as a small-town team with (if you ask me) unparalleled fan loyalty - every home game has been sold out for more than forty years. Even when they suck. Like they do now.
The Packers are the only non-profit NFL team owned by a bazillion stockholders, and for that reason, they will never leave Green Bay. And that is awesome.
When you're bored in Green Bay on a Sunday afternoon (not an unusual occurrence when it's winter and you've just moved here, and you only know your coworkers), you can pop on by the stadium to watch the (away) game and eat a brat. And in case anyone is curious, the Packer Pro Shop still has all the Favre merchandise you'd expect to find before he un-retired and went to a much lamer team.
It's a nice stadium. I hadn't been there since they added the atrium, but it's very swanky. On a day it isn't snowing, I'll take the tour.
There is no way Vince Lombardi was this tall in real life. Epic, yes. One of the most quotable people ever? Probably. A giant? No. But it's much more impressive this way. And it's really too bad that winning is the only thing, since they aren't doing it much these days.
The Packers are a cool thing.