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Answering Steve's burning question: why do I root for the packers?

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Took me long enough. Steve of Norway has asked me only about a billion times why, if I live in New York, am I a Green Bay Packers fan? I knew I wrote an entry about it at some point - it just took my forever to track it down (for some reason, none of the appropriate keywords were coming up in a search of my site).

First, let it be stated that I root for the Jets as well as the Packers, basically because this is their home (meaning Long Island, where they train and practice), and it gets me on my father's good side.

So, from September 9, 2001: Why I am a Green Bay Packers Fan

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The question of the week in my mailbox is this: Why am I a Packers fan when I live in New York? People seem to be very interested in the more mundane aspects of my life, and that suits me just fine. So, for the inquisitive; the poignant, touching history of why I love the Green Bay Packers:

I have always been a football fan. My father was a Jets fan since the beginning, and we grew up watching them. Joe Namath was an early hero of mine, and when my father met him and got his autograph, we lived in this heady state of euphoria for days. We loved football. We loved the Jets.

Eventually the Jets ripped my heart out and moved to New Jersey. I was pissed. I was hurt. I felt as if a long time lover had abandoned me for a sexier, prettier girl. I, in turn, abandoned the Jets. No longer was I one of their biggest fans. I couldn't look them in they eye. I couldn't stand the pain.

I lost interest in football for the most part, and didn't come back to it until I joined a football pool at the local deli a few years later. I came back to the game full force, back to spending my Sundays in front of the tv, cursing and muttering and cheering.

I had no team, though. I was like a man without a country. I had no banner to wave, no colors to wear, no allegiance to pledge. This went on for a few years, with me just rooting for the point spread and some extra cash.

Enter Xavier. I met Xavier several years ago, when I was in the waning stages of my marraige and about to end it. Xavier became a great friend, my one man group therapy and confidant. He was spiritual without being religious, generous to a fault and dying of cancer. He was in the last stages of a hard fought battle, and he gave up on hospitals and chemo and doctors in general. He just wanted to fade away peacefully.

We spent a lot of time together that fall, examining life and talking football. Xavier was a Packers fan through and through. He was from Green Bay. His blood was green and gold. His mood was determined by the accuracy of Bret Favre's arm on any given Sunday.

Towards the end of November that year, Xavier told me he wouldn't make it to Christmas. He was ready to let go of whatever rope he was clinging to. He had enough. He wrote me a letter shortly after Thanksgiving, after he lost the use of his voice, and asked me to honor a few favors he had of me. He asked me to take care of myself, to be good to myself. He asked me not to settle for just anyone just because I didn't want to be alone.

He asked me to always remember him. And he asked me to pledge to him that I would always and forever remain a Packers fan, so I could root for them in his place. I readily agreed to all. I told him I would try to keep most of the promises, and the last one was certainly the easiest.

Xavier died the first week in December. The Packers made it to the Super Bowl and lost to Denver. Of course, I have never forgotten him. I have been mostly good to myself and no, I didn't settle. And I am still, and always will be, a Packers fan.

So here's to the Packers, Xavier and keeping promises to friends.

**********

And that's the story.

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Comments

MotherCrap! That's a great story! Damn it all to hell!

Doesn't matter, though. Come football season, you and I are still gonna dance! We don't play each other in the regular season, so it will have to be in the playoffs. I can't wait.

Oh come on, I think I just asked twice, but that is very nice of you to do that for the man. Make me feel differently about you New Yorkers, slightly...and the NFC North better be prepared to try to defend Driver/Walker/Ferguson/Franks. Good luck.

Ok. We need to get you to Lambeau.

Just a word of advice - don't use the expression "Root for the Packers" (or any other sporting team) around an Australian. I initially thought you were about to engage in some sleazy group sex orgy with some boofy football jocks.

A more antipodean-acceptable term would be "Why I barrack for the Packers".

Confused? "Root" is Aussie slang for "engage in sexual intercourse with".

And the problem with that is?

I think I asked about that a few years back. I might even still have the e-mail you sent me. Great story. Come to Wisconsin sometime and I will get you into Lambeau Field.

That is a helluva story. I'm not a Packers fan, but I can't help but admire their devotion to their team. I didn't realize it extended all the way to "rooting", though...

I root for a record-setting football team that went without a winning season from 1971 to 1994.

Damn streak was broken but my team has a solid hold on 2nd place.

My team went from winning the Rose Bowl in 1933 to 2002 with 12 winning seasons.

Beat THAT!

Neener neener neener.

Whoops that was 1934

Gee, in my house it was a lot easier.

Root for Green Bay or dad kills you.

And I will not barrack for anyone. Barracking is what loose women do on military bases, as in sleep with the entire ---.

After the Jets disappointed you, you should have become be a Bills fan. The are the ONLY New York team in the NFL. Now, now, don't give me this 4 years in a row losers crap, they were still the BEST AFC team of the 90's... and once a fan, always a fan. Cheesehead.

That's beautiful. I actually teared up. (no, I'm not being sarcastic).

The Packers still suck, though, regardless of WHY you route for them..... so do the Bears as a matter of fact.

here it comes: PATRIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!

A friend of mine gave me a page from his ESPN calender:

date: FEBRUARY 19, 2001

Dubious Distinctions >> "The Patriots are the oldest existing franchise in any major sport to have never won a championship. New England entered the AFL in 1960 and is winless in two Super Bowl trips."

This, of course was less than two weeks after they beat St. Louis.

Oh, why do I hate the Bears and Packers? think about it......