Often geography is the largest determining factor in fandom. It’s rare then, how my fandom began because of anti-fandom. My grandfather was living in Texarkana, Arkansas when the legendary Ice Bowl was played.
Living in a border town between Texas and Arkansas, the Dallas Cowboys were only a few hours car ride away, but even more present as “the team” of the area. In spite, he rooted for the Green Bay Packers.
That choice led to my father to be a Packer fan for his entire life. Through the good times and eventually the doldrums of the ’70s and ’80s, until the turning point of the early ’90s when his son was just becoming old enough to toss the ol’ pigskin in the front yard.
As I, now seasoned from almost 30 seasons of memory myself, look back on the chapters of two Hall of Fame QB careers that might be taking the curtain call — I can’t help but appreciate that fateful decision of my grandfather to choose Bart Starr and Titletown on that momentous occasion.
As is often pointed out in Packer Nation, with the exception of a few franchises over a decade-or-two period, the Packers are among the half-a-dozen teams that have given fans meaningful games nearly every season.
In the hearts and minds of all fans are those disappointing years, but oddly because of the success of the Packers over the years, I’ve come to enjoy the non-playoff years sometimes. No stressful weekend to anticipate, enjoying a camping trip or even just a laid back hangout with friends while the other franchises’ fans stress. (The early mock drafts are fun too.)
That feeling speaks to the success the Packers have had over three decades. Beyond that success as a team, the ability to call two Hall of Fame QBs as “my quarterback” is even rarer (in fact only the second time it’s happened back-to-back, Montana/Young).
With the uncertainty of the new season palpable, I’m choosing gratitude for the time being. So much has changed in the last few years. I was so hopeful the Pack would get over the top this year more than the last several, and the disappointment of knowing an NFL with Aaron Rodgers not playing for the Green and Gold is numbing.
As the NFL turns the page without Brady, Brees, Manning, and Big Ben; without a team named for its city (newly monikered as “The Commanders”); potentially without Rodgers playing at all or as a Packer — the game is as engaging as ever with more games, more points, and more stories written every Sunday in the fall.
As the Super Bowl fades, I’m ready for the Last Dance (again). I’m ready for Jordan Love. I’m ready as a fan, and a Texas Cheesehead, to Carry the G again next year — and thankful knowing the games will be meaningful, if for no other reason than watching alongside Packer nation.
How does that classic line about love go? Oh yea…
“It’s better to have loved one team, than never to have had a team at all. “
Lee carries the G from Texas. Yes, the “C” stands for Cheesehead. When not watching the Packers or writing for Packerstalk.com, you can find Lee cooking or camping. You can follow him on twitter at @leecjaster.