Being from Tennessee most people would assume that I’m a Titans fan, but I most certainly am not. Although I don’t have anything against my home team, my heart truly belongs to the New York Giants aka Eli Manning. This should be evidence enough to prove that I have nothing against out of state teams. I actually had no real opinion, good or bad, about the Packers (or the Bears for that matter). This quickly changed after one year in the Wisconsin.
I understand that this is a risky post as I’m surrounded by die-hard Packers fans, but it’s a necessary topic for anyone moving here.
Where is everyone?
My first issue with the Packers is that the entire town basically shuts down whenever a game is on. I understand loyalty to a team, but Wisconsin takes it to a new level. Although Whitewater is a small town, there are almost always students out and about either at the dining halls, downtown, or at least entertaining themselves at Walmart. But during a Packers game, this all changes. I remember going to the library on a Sunday my freshman year and hesitating after walking in because I thought it was closed. It wasn’t. There was just a Packers game on.
Over time I’ve learned how to adjust to the fanatic love for green and yellow. Game time has become one of the most productive hours during my week. I can grocery shop without waiting in lines, I never have to wait for a computer at the library, and I can go to the gym without worrying about whether people are judging how much weight I’m lifting. Although I wouldn’t say I enjoy them, Packers games have a couple upsides to them.
Just never plan a meeting, group project, date, etc. during a game, because, trust me, no one will show.
One of the strange traditions that Packers fans warmly embrace is wearing a wedge of cheese on their heads. You heard me right, a wedge of cheese. I’m not even surprised when I see students walking around with these on their heads on game day. The first time I witnessed my roommate, a Packers fanatic, wearing one of these I couldn’t help but hysterically laugh until I realized I was the minority in this situation. Almost all my Wisconsinite friends own some sort of cheesy hat, scarf, foam finger, etc. The cheese apparel is a staple article during a game. I am no longer surprised when I see the yellow wedges, however I will never be participating in this tradition…no matter how hard my friends try and persuade me to.
I would say that the most obnoxious part of living in Wisconsin is due to the Wisconsin-Illinois rivalry. Although it extends much further than football, the Packers-Bears competition is never ending. While Wisconsin fans are the majority, Bears fans are not far behind, and when the two teams play each other, the entire campus comes to a standstill. There’s endless trash talk, stats thrown out, and unfortunately, there’s always someone disappointed. It’s a lose-lose situation so It’s probably best to just avoid everyone until the game day atmosphere dies down.
In an environment where not being a Packers fan is almost a sin, I’ve managed to stay loyal to my Giants (let’s be honest, they need all the support they can get). It hasn’t been easy, but don’t let the overwhelming peer pressure get to you my Southern friends. I promise the Packers will ALWAYS have plenty of fans.
Until next time,
Next week: You don’t have sweet tea?!