One of the great things about life is how sometimes the most ordinary events can bring about the best conversations. And how those conversations produce phrases one will never forget.
Last night, my wife and I visited a local car dealership, starting the process in replacing one of our cars. As we walked in, we were approached by a salesman, and got the regular spiel from him. No pressure, take your time, I’m here if you need me. We’ve all been through what I’m referring to.
After a few minutes, we informed the salesman the type of car we wanted to take a look at. He picked up a dealer plate from the desk, assuming we would want to test drive the car, and began the long walk out to the car.
It was virtual silence on the way to the car. Little chit chat, where do you live type of questions coming from him, in an effort to not have the noise of the cars driving by as the only accompaniment during the walk before the test drive. Not one to offer much info about myself, I kept quiet, focused on the task at hand.
Following the test drive, the three of us began the walk back to the showroom. It was at this point he noticed the “G” on my jacket, and where the conversation began to take an interesting turn.
“Is that your favorite team?” he asked in his very heavy accent.
“Indeed it is, lifelong Packers fan,” was my response, again not offering too much to this salesman.
“Let me tell you something, as you can tell, I’m not from around here,” he joked, breaking the ice a little bit. “But I do know about the Packers.”
I was suddenly intrigued about which direction this conversation was going to go.
“I remember the first time I saw them on TV. It was either 1996 or 1997. And I remember hearing about how their stadium has been sold out for years. Is that still true?”
“Absolutely,” I responded. “I’m right around the 70,000 mark on the season ticket waiting list.”
He then went on a soliloquy about the Packers which was one of the best I’ve ever heard.
“There is something special about that team. How many championships do they have? Isn’t it more than anyone else?”
“Sure is,” I quipped back. “Thirteen, more than anyone else. In the 92 years they’ve been in the NFL, they have roughly 16% of the championships.”
“What is it about the Packers that makes them better than every other team? Is it the coaching? The players? The desire? Because to be that good for so long is very impressive.” he continued, really grabbing my attention with this question.
I responded with a simple, “I think it’s all of the above. The coaching. The players. The desire. And most importantly: pride. Packers players have great pride playing for them.’
The follow up sentence he gave was something I will never forget. And it is something all Packers fans should keep in mind when asked why they cheer for the green and gold.
“You’re right. It is pride. Because I’ve noticed that Packer fans…you fight for the cheese.”
And with that, we reached the showroom, and continued with the car shopping process.
It could be said that this conversation was just a salesperson trying to get to know his potential clients, by spotting an “in” and going with it. But I sincerely doubt that in all of his training, anyone ever suggested using the phrase he did in an effort to win a soft spot, and hopefully a sale.
I will remember this short conversation for the rest of my life. In five words, this person who I had never met summed up why Packers fans cheer louder than any other fans. Why Packers fans make going to Lambeau Field a pilgrimage. Why Packers fans are obsessed with the green and gold.
We do it, because we fight for the cheese.
GO PACK GO!
John Rehor is a staff writer at PackersTalk.com and co-host of Cheesehead Radio. To contact John follow him on Twitter @jrehor or email firstname.lastname@example.org