One thing that I learned during the course of my life is that there are times in which you can be on top of the world, and times when you lay in the agony of defeat. Through these times, we need to remind ourselves that there is something more important that we sometimes don’t see, but it’s there. It’s that life has its battles, and although you can’t win them all, the fact that you tried your hardest and gave it your all in something you believe in makes all the difference. Throughout this time I have changed a lot in my life, like switching schools, friends, and jobs, but one thing I still do the same. For about three hours on an early Sunday afternoon, and sometimes Monday night, I turn the TV on, pat my number 4 Brett Favre jersey for good luck, as I watch my favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers.
This famed franchise, which plays their home games in Lambeau Field, the crown jewel of the National Football League, has been a big part of my life. I have been there for all their nail-biting wins, and for their most crushing losses. When I think about it, I really can’t name anything that I have consistently done for years and years, except for watching Green Bay play every Sunday. I have seen them win the Super Bowl, and then come back the next year on the losing end of it, and although I remember the losses more than the wins, I have seen some incredible things over the years that I will always remember. When I first started following this team, they had arguably the best player in the history of the sport, Brett Favre. Now, he can still sling it like the best of them, and although he plays for another team now, I still can’t forget watching as he broke record after record, and making an incredible big play after another for the Packers. He has become my favorite player, and though his life and the type of player he was on the field was not even close to perfect, the way he played was. Amid these incredible things that have happened, my team has had its shares of bad misfortunes, and I still look up on them regardless. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, I was just happy to see them play.
Ever since I first came to this country and watched them, for the first time in my life I felt loyal to something other than friends or family. I considered myself a Packer fan. I had been so accustomed to watching soccer in Romania, my native country, that when I first saw football, I didn’t know what was going on. I remember that my dad was betting on Super Bowl XXI and since then I have been rooting for the Packers. Nowadays, it has become my favorite sport and my favorite team. At times when I couldn’t be at peace with what was going on in my life, I reminded myself that even though my week has been long and tiring, I was going to watch my team play and I always looked forward to that. All the happy memories include watching my favorite player having the best game of his life the day after his father died, or when, at the last day of the season, I was wishing that the Vikings would lose so that my team can go to the playoffs, and seeing them losing at the final play of the game as my friends and I cheered on. The list is endless. I don’t believe in miracles, but I believe in power of will, and every week I know that my team is going to have that drive.
The green and gold represents more than just a team that competes just like the other 31 for a chance at a trophy. They have a remarkable history that involves winning, and they have been on the winning end of the first two Super Bowls, and the coldest game ever recorded, in a win over the Cowboys in what is now known as the “Ice Bowl”. To me, they represent strive for excellence, loyalty, and tradition. What team in any sport can say that the trophy they compete for every year is named after one of their coaches? The Super Bowl winning team is awarded the Lombardy Trophy, named after legendary Green Bay coach Vince Lombardy. Did I mention that they have the best fans in the world? Whenever the Pack plays on Sundays, the streets of Green Bay are clear and it becomes a ghost town because everyone is either at the Packers’ game or at home watching it. Also, the Packers are the only team that has public ownership, which means that they are owned by their fans, about 100,000 of them. Not one person can make all the big decisions such as player salaries and relocating, which means that the franchise will continue to play in Green Bay forever. All sports’ franchises are owned by mostly one person or jointly by two, and the fact that the fans invest money in their favorite team is the ultimate fanhood. The way this is set up is what society is supposed to work, in my mind, by hard-working middle class men and women believing and working together, rather than rich tycoons that only care about making more and more money. It’s not about the money for these devoted fans, it is all about winning, and the Packers have not disappointed. Also, aside from their winning tradition, Lambeau Field has been selling out tickets ever since my grandmother was a teenager.
The Packers are a part of me and I will take them with me to my grave. I am proud to be a Green Bay Packer fan, and although I may not live there, my heart lies where those 22 players represent the green and the gold every Sunday. One day, I will be part owner for the team that I believe in, even if my role won’t be as big. As I will continue to watch them, through every win or loss, for every player that suits up and every fan that cheers on, the passion that flows through this team is something that can’t be matched, and this I believe.
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