One man’s quest to become Packer Fan of the Year
January 13th, 2012 by Chris Humpherys
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Gary Green.
Like many of us, Gary has a bit of a sports problem, which he’ll soon tell us about. By reading on, you’re going to learn about Gary, his family, and his quest to become Green Bay Packer Fan of the Year. By winning this award, with our help, Gary would gain enshrinement into the Packer Fan Hall of Fame. To think, we can say we knew him when.
I think you’ll find Gary makes a solid case, not to mention he’s promised us all cheese in return for our votes.
Without further ado, readers, I give you… Gary Green.
SportsChump: Gary, you and I met through a mutual friend who informed me that you, Mr. Green, are not only the biggest Packers fan any of us care to know, but are also in a contest to become Green Bay Packer Fan of the Year.
Tell us a little about yourself, the contest, how you became a Packers fan and how often you wear cheese on your head in public.
Gary Green: Being a Packer Fan is in my genes. I was born in Florida, but conceived in Wisconsin. My dad became a fan and at age 10. I remember the Pack winning their first championship under Coach Lombardi. My son nominated me for this honor. He wrote an essay which was selected as one of ten finalists.
SC: Did your father ever take you to Lambeau Field? Have you ever been and what was it like? And have you taken your son there?
GG: I never went to Lambeau with my dad, but he and I went to the NFC – AFC Championship Game, also known as Super Bowl II: Packers vs. Raiders. Ironically my first game at Lambeau was also the Pack versus Raiders. It was just last month: Week 14, 2011. My son and I went together. It was a fantastic experience. Something he and I had talked about all his life.
SC: Let me go ahead ask the obligatory question one must ask all Packers fans and get it out of the way. What were your thoughts during the whole Brett Favre-Aaron Rodgers controversy and what are your thoughts on Brett Favre now?
GG: From what I understand about how Favre and the Packers parted ways, I believe the Packers made the right call. I really don’t believe it was a Favre/Rodgers controversy. The whole thing was really between Favre and the Packers.
I think Favre made some bad decisions. I don’t dislike him and I think in five years he will be inducted in the Hall of Fame as a Packer and majority of fans will applaud him. His Packer legacy is tarnished but not ruined.
SC: With that being said, with one more Super Bowl victory (or more), does Rodgers go down in history as the better Packer?
GG: As everyone knows, Rodgers has [put up] incredible numbers and Favre was 1-for-1 in Super Bowls, so even if Rodgers wins two, I think time will tell. Brett was an iron man.
SC: Way to sit the fence on that one, Gar. I’m wondering whether I should press you or not on which of them you like better but I’ll leave it alone. Instead, let me ask you…. who are your favorite five Packers in history and why?
GG: In order…
#1 – Bart Starr, my first hero. I remember hearing them say “nice guys finish last” but not in the case of Starr. His stats don’t compare to today but one I always remember is his low interception %. He was a nice guy, family man and leader on the field. I met him in 1985.
#2 – RG, Jerry Kramer. Yup #2 on my list and #64 on the field. He and Fuzzy led the power sweep and provided “the block” in the ice bowl victory. I read his book Instant Replay. He also wrote one called Lombardi. That may be a big influence on why he is at #2. I met him in 1969 and had him sign Instant Replay. Did you know he is not in the HOF?
#3 – Brett Favre. See? I don’t dislike him. He took the Pack back to the Super Bowl and is one of the greatest QBs in football history.
#4 – Reggie White. His leadership on the field, defensive stats and like Favre, he was crucial in getting [us] back to the Super Bowl.
#5 – Don Hutson, mostly because he is one my Dad talked about. Obviously I never saw him play but I know he still holds [a number of] NFL records
How’s that for a list?
SC: Not bad. Not bad at all.
I just wanted to make sure you were gonna go old school on us.
How do you feel about fair-weather or bandwagon fans? For example, I was at my local supermarket the other day and overheard a customer at the deli tell the meat counter guy that he’s been a Packers fan “ever since the days of Antonio Freeman and Dorsey Levens.”
Now obviously the guy was younger but it gave me the impression that, particularly with teams like Green Bay, there’s a lot of hopping on and off the bandwagon.
Considering you’re a Green Bay Super Fan, and have been for some time, does that sort of thing bother you or do you embrace new fans as they come along?
And when’s the last time, if ever, you’ve had to show a fan up?
GG: I know there are plenty of people jumping on the band wagon and I try not to be annoyed by them. Everybody wants to be part of a winning team so this is to be expected. I don’t want a repeat of the 70s and 80s, but a fan like me stayed loyal during those times. Where will these fair weather fans go? And yes, I think a lot of these younger types who wanna wear the team gear, which is great for the team, you know. $$$$$$$
And no I have never nor would I every show a fan up. I am not that type of guy.
Is this a good time to plug www.garytgreen.com? Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but in the competition for Packer Fan of the Year, the guy that is leading in votes admits he has been only a fan since 2003. I am wondering if that ain’t a bandwagon fan.
SC: Actually yes, tell my readers about the site, the webpage and why they should vote for you.
Keep in mind, you might owe us a lot of cheese when this is all said and done.
GG: www.garytgreen.com was created solely to make it easy for fans to register their email addresses and vote in the Packer Fan of the Year Contest.
The web page has the essay written by my son, which was selected by the Packers as one of ten finalists. From the click to vote link, the other finalists can be seen and their essays read. Chump, I will save your readers some time. Read the one written by my son and maybe one or two of the others. They can then decide. Of course, mine is the best story and I am trying really hard to objective. I would love to deliver truckloads of cheese if I could. But better than cheese, each email address that votes will go into a drawing for 2 tickets to a Packer away game in 2012, travel and accommodations provided. That should get everyone who reads this enough reason to vote… and vote for me.
SC: Okay, readers, there you have it. If you can find it in your hearts to vote for Mr. Green (who by the way did not change his name for this contest…. or did he?), we all get the cheese we can digest and the opportunity to visit Lambeau ourselves.
Gary, I won’t ask who you’ll be picking to go to the Super Bowl, that much is obvious, but I will ask you what you traditionally do for Green Bay games, where and with whom you watch them, and where you’ll be watching this Sunday.
GG: You gotta remember, I live in South Florida. Not exactly the Frozen Tundra. I don’t have the NFL Sunday Ticket (I hear them now, booo what kind of fan are you?) I usually watch the games at home with my wife. My 87 year old mother lives near me and you should see this lady on game day. I should win just because of her. I think she is a little jealous that my son nominated me and not his grandmother. Oh, well. Anyway, she dresses up in all sort of Packer gear on game day and I think scares the heck out of some of the old folks in the condominium where she lives.
Last year’s Super Bowl was really special. My son, Andy, his 4 year old daughter, my mother and myself all watched the game at my house. Four generations of Packer Fans. Very cool!
On Sunday I will be in a sports bar with hopefully the majority of other Cheeseheads and friends.
GO Pack Go!
SC: Well, I’d wish you the best of luck this Sunday but I don’t want to alienate any of my Giants readers and trust me, they’re out there. As you know, they’re avid as well.
I do, however, wish you the best in your contest. Readers, vote for your boy.
Gary, thanks again for the time, and be sure your mom doesn’t beat the tar out of any Giants fans this weekend.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
GG: No, that is all.
Thank you very much. Win or lose life will go on, and I will remain a Packer Fan.