When Elle was born, my Uncle Larry in Wisconsin sent her a one-piece zip-up Green Bay Packers pajama sleeper. As she grew older, she acquired newer and better fitting fan gear: a pair of ankle socks or a #4 Favre t-shirt, I think even a pair of green and yellow pom poms made it into the mix. Other Wisconsin-based relatives supply my family with Green Bay Packers Christmas ornaments and other Packers memorabilia. My best friend in Milwaukee sends me postcards of legendary Lambeau Field and posters of Brett posing with wheels of cheese as the spokesperson for the Wisconsin Cheese Association (totally serious).
My family isn’t taking Super Bowl XLV lightly. This is a significant moment for us, all of us. And there are a lot of us. There are so many members of my family, in fact, that we take up at least two states. My family is big.
Green Bay Packers football has played a considerable role in keeping my very large family together, especially for us here in Jacksonville. It’s just…well, us. We have no cousins, no aunts and uncles, no grandparents anywhere near us. As a military family, the separation from the other relatives was a part of life and still…it’s just us. Even now my older brother is separated from us by about 3 hours. But I am damn sure he’ll be rooting for the Packers come Sunday. This is how he was raised, how all of the cousins in Wisconsin or South Florida were raised. It’s how all of us were raised. Every Sunday, every Green Bay Packers game, the entire family gathers around the television set. Whether that television set is in Jackson, Wisconsin or Fort Myers, Florida or right here in Jacksonville – we’re screaming GO! GO! GO! at exactly the same moment, just in different time zones.
Super Bowl XLV might be just another football game to some. A lot of people probably gave up on the game as soon as their favorite team was taken out of the equation (you know, like when your star quarterback *fav-hack-re* practically hands the division title over to the opposing team). Trust me, as a Packers fan I’ve had my share of disappointment. We Packer Backers have collectively resigned any hopes to advance to a championship title for many, many years.
But not this year.
Not in 2011. Finally, it’s our turn.
There is an undeniable excitement in all of us, a definite charge in the air. Do I want the Pack to win? ABSOLUTELY! But what if they don’t?
Well, even if Ben Roethlisberger walks away with a win, he’s still a loser to me.
In exactly one week, my entire family from Lake Michigan to the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean will be sporting Green Bay Packers t-shirts, hoodies, face tattoos, earrings (believe me, I’m looking for some), cheese wedge necklaces, and – yep, you know it – the Cheesehead.
That’s three generations of cheeseheads, folks. Laugh all you want…we’re used to it. Besides, what is your other option – a terrible towel? At least we’re creative.