I am a Packers fan.
Stop right there! Don’t ask any more questions. I already know all the questions you’re going to ask, and this FAQ covers everything I’ve ever been asked about being a Packers fan:
Q: When did you first become a Packers fan?
A: When I was 4 years old, I saw my first trading card. It was an NFL running back. He looked so cool in his team colors, and I had an immediate connection: even though this player played for a team from the Midwest, so many miles away from where I live, I needed to pledge my allegiance to this team. Then my Dad took that Corey Dillon Cincinnati Bengals card out of my hand, ripped it to pieces, and told me I was a Packers fan.
Q: Why the Packers?
A: November 1972 – My father, Lyndon Johnson Pasternack (later changed to OJ Simpson Pasternack) was a young lad wandering the streets of Brooklyn. Back then Brooklyn was a mystical land, filled with upstanding citizens like Big Scissors Alfresco and his wife Bambi. It was better back then, there was broken glass everywhere and people were still bitter about the Dodgers leaving 14 years ago. It was a golden age in Brooklyn, before hipsters decided to overrun Williamsburg because Manhattan was too expensive and the vegetarians wanted to ironically live close to Luger’s. And did you hear that Grimaldi’s is closing? I know! Those bastards. Brooklyn used to be Italians right off the boat from Sicily and Jews right off the boat from Katz’s Delicatessen, but I just don’t know anymore.
Anyway, the local butcher where my Dad lived was Vince Lombardi’s brother. Brooklyn was filled with Packers fans back in the good old days, when a kid from Sheepshead Bay was the legendary coach. Now they’ve got a guy from Pittsburgh coaching their team. Big Scissors is probably rolling in his grave right now.
Q: Ok, so you’re a Packers fan because your father is. Do you want to ramble a little bit more about your dad’s hometown?
A: No, I think I got it out of my system.
Q: Are the Packers named after grumpy former CBS announcer Billy Packer? Why couldn’t they be the Green Bay Johnsons to honor Gus Johnson?
A: Well when the Packers were founded a few years ago, running back Green Bay Johnson was still playing for the Houston Texans, and the most important rule of mid-90’s football – and an old adage of the Arizona Cardinals – was this: Never Confuse Green Bay Johnson.
Q: Have you ever seen the Packers play in person?
A: I secretly wore my AJ Hawk jersey underneath an Eagles poncho at a Packers/Eagles game in Philly, and I secretly wore my Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila jersey underneath an Eagles poncho underneath a Mexican decorative mariachi poncho at a Giants game in New York.
Q: Dude, just go to a home game in Green Bay and root for your team. Man up.
A: That wasn’t a question.
Q: Just shut up and tell me why you haven’t been to Green Bay.
A: Planes haven’t been allowed in Wisconsin since the Bratwurst Explosion of 1987. If I wanted to get to Green Bay, I’d have to get a connecting flight from New York to Puerto Rico to Detroit and walk the rest of the way.
Q: Are you ever going to trek to Green Bay?
A: Of course, when I get my season tickets. I’m already on the waiting list.
Q: Oh cool, so you’ll have tickets in a few years, right? Did you just get on the waiting list?
A: I have been on the Green Bay Packers season ticket waiting list since 1994, currently the 13,928th person in line for tickets, but I started at 28,762nd, so I’m moving up!
Q: So you wait 40 years to get tickets, then you have to make your way to Green Bay 16 times per year at least. Very few of your friends are fans of the Packers, and you have to answer dumb questions like these more days than not. So what keeps you going as a Packers fan?
A: I don’t care if it’s unpopular to root for the Packers on the East Coast. I’ve worn cheeseheads, I’ve had cheese curd induced heart attacks, I’m like any other Packers fan, and I’ve been this way my whole life. The Al Harris interception, the Antonio Freeman MNF catch, Favre’s MNF game against the Raiders, all a part of my childhood. I’ll be rooting for my team this weekend, the one without a greedy owner in the background, the one with the rich history despite playing in the middle of nowhere, the good guys in the Brett Favre breakup, the ones who find more undiscovered running backs (Samkon Gado, Ryan Grant, James Starks) than they know what to do with. That’s why I’ll be rooting for the Packers this weekend.
But if you like polka music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naaU8YHvoGc&feature=related)
then you should probably root for the Steelers.