LIZ VAN PAY

the ramblings of a music journalist and nearly-published author.

Posts Tagged ‘green bay packers

This is our team.

leave a comment »

Since Sunday, I have been piecing together just what to say to explain what happened to Green Bay that night.
If you don’t know me, you should know this: I was born and raised on the west side of Green Bay, Wisconsin. I grew up fifteen blocks from Lambeau Field, went to gymnastics class with Reggie White’s children. The Packers were a giant part of my childhood, and as an adult, nothing has changed. The weekend after the NFC Championship game, I got a G tattooed on me.

When the Packers won Super Bowl 31 in 1997, I was in fifth grade. ESPN came to my elementary school. I remember standing on the side of the street and Gilbert Brown slapping my hand when the buses came by with the welcome home parade. Those memories will never leave me, much like the new memories made on Sunday, February 6th.

The Green Bay Packers are not just a football team. Sure, we’re the smallest market in the NFL, but the love for our team is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, or felt, in my entire life. The city is full of shareholders who either bought stock after the last Super Bowl win or when it was first offered for sale. We financed the renovations to Lambeau Field with our sales tax. Did people complain? Yes, but not as much as you’d think. The Packers are the heart and soul of Green Bay, and their fans tie not only the city, but the team together.

The Packers didn’t just win the Super Bowl on Sunday. Green Bay, Wisconsin won the Super Bowl, and goddamn did we celebrate.

The game was easy going in the first half and nail biting in the second. I remember sitting at the party making people hold my hand because I was so nervous. Watching the clock tick down those last five minutes, I was speechless. I couldn’t form words. When the clock went from 30 seconds down, the feeling was indescribable. We ran around, hugged each other, and then took to the streets.

We ran downtown as fast as was humanly possible, even though it was freezing and the fireworks weren’t for another hour – I wasn’t even wearing a jacket. We ran downtown to be part of it. Cars were driving up and down the streets, horns honking, people screaming, everyone running around. When we got to the corner of Walnut and Washington, there were police cars in a road block, a van from the WIXX radio station playing Weezy’s version of “Green and Yellow” on a loop, and the street was full. Reps from the Press-Gazette were selling copies of the ‘WORLD CHAMPS’ special edition. I remember taking a swig of beer from an old friend I hadn’t seen in forever, hugging and high fiving everyone, and dancing in a slew of cop cars. I remember smashing bottles on the bridge. I remember how elated everyone was. We’re all family, and it was proven on that night. Green Bay exploded, and the feeling is incredibly difficult to explain.

We have always been known as Titletown, and today, we brought that trophy home for the first time in 14 years. The words are hard to find, but there are two words I can think of to try: hell yes.

Advertisements

Written by Liz Van Pay

February 8, 2011 at 11:26 pm