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Sports Greatest Fans: Cheeseheads!

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TOPHAT, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22258569/

    The nation's best sports fans are in Green Bay. They may be called Cheeseheads, but they are knowledgeable, gracious.

    I just returned from arguably the best sports trip of my entire career. I had the pleasure of planning a trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin for a friend of mine who is currently fighting a courageous battle with cancer. I wanted to make sure that my friend had the opportunity to go to his favorite place on earth with as many of his friends that could possibly join him to celebrate his life and take his mind off an upcoming surgery. To every Green Bay Packer fan, Lambeau Field is home. It's a place not only to go to watch professional football but to also gather with the best fans in all of sports. I came away from this trip with the opinion that the best sports fans in country are Green Bay Packer fans. I'm fortunate to get many chances to travel to sporting events and I believe that I have my hand on the pulse of what makes a certain sports fan base better than another does. I grew up going with my father to Yankee Stadium to see the most successful franchise in baseball history. I’ve been to Philadelphia and have sat next to some of the most bitter fans in the entire NFL. I've been fortunate to sit on top of a motor home in the infield at the Daytona 500 and was honored to have my name hang in the end zone at the "Black Hole" in Oakland. I like to soak in the atmosphere at each event that I attend with the die-hard fans that help their franchise compete in what is called a “home field advantage”.

    Looking into the eyes of a fan while on a road trip can be an uplifting experience or a nightmare that stays with you for years to come. I generally believe that the most loyal fans tend to live on the east coast and get softer as you move west. Fans that live in cold weather environments tend to watch more sporting events inside during the winter months while fans in warm weather cities look forward to going to the beach or riding their bikes instead of sitting on the couch for their entire Sunday. Of course, there is no exact science when describing fans from a particular city or region of the country, but I have seen or interacted with just about every type of sports fan that this country has produced in the last 30 years and I have concluded that the Green Bay Packers fans are the best. Even though they may be called “Cheeseheads”, they are knowledgeable and gracious. They don't have a mean streak in them and they all seem to want to get to know you when you travel to their city.

    I didn't rent a car while in Green Bay last weekend and didn't have to worry about getting around town. The owner of a restaurant that I had lunch at offered to drive a few friends and me around town and give us a tour of the city instead of looking out the window from the back of a taxi. It was refreshing to walk around an NFL city in which you didn't feel like someone was going to talk down to you or start a fight because your were wearing the colors of the visiting team. Green Bay fans actually own their team and want to make sure that opposing fans continue to return to Wisconsin and pump money into the local economy for years to come. My friends and I hosted a party for our dear friend on Saturday night at a local restaurant in Green Bay and Packer's head coach Mike McCarthy came by to offer support to our guest of honor who had been battling cancer for the past seven months. It is rare to see an NFL coach agree to take time out of his busy schedule the night before a game that started at noon on Sunday to make an appearance to lift another man spirits when he needed it the most.

    Before Coach McCarthy left our dinner, I interviewed him for television and he told me that he was "living a dream and had the job of a lifetime in Green Bay". I could easily tell that he was just like every other resident in Green Bay, a person who felt honored to represent the Packers and would do anything to help promote the future of this proud franchise. We got to our tailgate party on Sunday morning at 9 am ready to meet the potential of brutally cold weather in the hopes of living the experience that Packer fans get to enjoy before every home game. It didn't disappoint. Our hosts fired up the grille and raised a flag high into the air as directions for our guests who have never been to this parking lot before. No one hesitated to take off a glove to hold on to a bratwurst before sinking their teeth into what could be the best sports themed food in America. I couldn't count how many fans stopped by to say hello during the hours leading up to the game and I was surprised to see how happy even the ticket takers were when we entered the turnstile.

    Even though I was rooting for the Silver and Black to win the game I got a chance to spend some quality time with my dear friend who needed to get away from months of chemotherapy and enjoy a weekend with the people and team that makes him the most happy. The shirts that we wore throughout our weekend in Green Bay had a famous quote from Vince Lombardi on the back that said "Winning is the Only Option". Those words motivate my friend as he continues to fight cancer and will be the words that we use to toast the day when he beats back this terrible disease. I am proud to call the Green Bay Packer fans my friends and I can't thank them enough for showing me their great hospitality while I passed through their great city. It will take a lot to knock this fan base off the top of my list of "greatest sports fans in America" and I salute the good people of Green Bay for simply being the best!


    :USA: :agree: :eek:mg: :yeah: :USA:
     

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