10 Superstitions of a Green Bay Packers Fanatic
Giants fans, sincere congratulations on winning this round of what is becoming a classic playoff matchup. We took Lombardi from you and the Packers may have the most championships in football history, but you definitely put a beat-down on our beloved team in this year's playoffs.
Now that the land of cheese and beer is slowly attempting to recover from one of the worst losses at Lambeau in its great history (let's remember we survived 4th-and-26 against the Philadelphia Eagles, though it took many years), I thought it would be worthwhile to do a lighthearted piece on Packer fan superstitions.
Picture the piece starting similar to a pharmaceutical commercial for restless legs syndrome (possibly utilizing the movie guy voice or even Morgan Freeman for narration):
"Do you or someone you know insist the seating order of your friends in the living room has an impact on the Packers' performance during games?
Explaining Green Bay Packers Fans Superstitions: The Football Gods Must Be Crazy
When he's not getting ready to jump in race cars, Morgan Freeman is one of the best voices in Hollywood.
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"Have you ever worried the new blue LED Christmas lights you had on during the game were aiding the Giants through telekinetic electrical transmissions?
Does your father or grandfather have to turn off the TV for a exactly three minutes to get the 'victory mojo' working again?
Many Packer fans suffer from acute devotitis packerosis, a common condition that affects the brain's ability to believe in superstitious behaviors and rituals only cured by a Clay Mathews sack, Aaron Rodgers bomb for six points or game-winning play. Severe cases involve repeating, 'The precious, the precious is back home' over and over during Super Bowl years. Please do not take Packer cheese curds if you suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other heart conditions. Consult with a doctor..."
Here's a list of my own recent Packers superstitions (at least the ones I'm willing to admit for public ridicule) and some that were sent to me from Packers fans nationwide.
Tell us, what are your superstitions before, during or after games (only those fit to print in public!)? Do you have any facial hair or other winning-streak rituals as well? Have a 'lucky shirt' your lover will throw in an incinerator for health reasons after the season? Need to invoke specific touchdown dances to ensure continued success?
The infamous Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame third-baseman Wade Boggs and his chicken-eating superstition has nothing on us Packer fans!
Don't worry, here at B/R all innocuous, oddball, absurd, quirky and demented superstitions won't be sent to your doctor's office for psychological evaluation. Have at it.
10. Baby Clothing in a Family Divided and Packer Jerseys of Fans in Mexico
Did Giants fans steal this young fellow's lucky stocking cap last week? Do all true fans need a Clay Mathews mini-me on our side?
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
This family in Arizona is not divided in the relationship sense of the word, but the wife is a dedicated Packers fan and well, the husband suffers from a proclivity for the blue cheese of NY.
When the family bought their toddler daughter a Packers shirt before one of the longest winning streaks in NFL history started, the shirt became a weekly aspect of her garb.
When said tiny person decided (or was it a conspiracy orchestrated as a game-day scratch by the father?) not to wear the Packers shirt during the KC game, after 19 straight wins, everything in the Packers cosmological balance went haywire and a hapless, losing team with a coach named Romeo somehow beat the Packers.
Then, after careful painstaking statistical research, measuring the tides, orbits of the planets and the physics of football, the Giants fan husband came to a dangerous epiphany: "What if I hide the Packers shirt for the divisional playoff round?"
Once again, the most excellent green and gold ghosts of Lambeau, Lombardi and Andrew B. Turnbull must have been agitated as the Giants kept their arrogant promise of defeating America's team.
Here the baby exhibits her true allegiance to the Green and Gold.
Sticking With the Clothing Theme
A Packers fan in Mexico reports him and his wife were given Packers jerseys as a gift after last year's Super Bowl triumph. The idea was both members of the matrimony had to wear the jerseys on game day in solidarity. The husband explains, "On days when she didn't want to wear it and we argued, the Packers started slow (at Carolina and one of the Minnesota games).
For the Kansas City Chiefs game, she decided not to wear the jersey—we learned on that day what the jerseys meant."
Look out, fashion capital of the world New York City; fashion impacts the gridiron as much as the catwalk and Tim Gunn's reality show.
9. Living Room Tableau: The Staging for Victory
When a Wisconsin living room is believed to be causing dropped passes, many move their victory formation of stands, tables and coolers to the great outdoors.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
One of my own superstitions is starting the game sitting on the eastern-most part of the couch.
This spot has the best view of the flat-screen glory and a winning cushion (clearly says so on the label, by stating "do not remove!").
When cheddar hits the fan and the Packers need a boost, I move to the other side (heading west if you're doing football GPS, geo-cache scoring at home), believing an imbalance of football gravity has its axis at the center of my living room. Geologists have described this strange phenomenon as "the frozen tundra's tectonic plates shifting; resulting in odd, often malevolent flights of the prolate spheroid ball."
The percentage of time this superstition aids the Packers is debatable depending on the beverage consumed during games, but multiple occasions in this current season the results of "tilting the pinball machine of NFL plight," as I like to call it, resulted in a Charlie Peprah interception.
This is the stuff of champions and Yoda-like wisdom, my fellow Packer fans.
8. "They Play Well When I Leave the Room... Bad When I'm There"
Years later, Stevie Wonder would find his "Superstition" earning him a gig at the 2006 Super Bowl halftime show.
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
For years, my father has found there are certain losses where he feels they are playing bad when he's watching, but for a break or when returning from a halftime walk, the Packers are hot again.
Once aware the football spirits are watching, he tries to out-duel the jinx. Sneaking in when others cheer or trying a few distractions to pull away from the action, only to rush back when the announcers' voices seem to rise in excitement.
In the end, he decides to just watch the game, laughing at himself, declaring, "I know it's meaningless but everyone's got their superstitions."
Stevie Wonder took this advice to heart, writing the lyrics to what became a mega-hit and all-time great song while in a Green Bay bar in 1972 as a 22-year-old budding musician. The rest is history.
7. Refrigerator Blunder
BJ Raji reminds fans "The Freezer says make the right pre-game food choices!"
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Top confirmed refrigerator blunders for Packers fans:
Upon waking up before the epic Jan. 10, 2010 playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals (Good Guys 45, Cards 51), a Madison, WI woman was hungry for a brunch snack. When she wanted to add cheese to her omelet she reacted in horror: The cheese, born and made in Wisconsin, had expired as of Jan. 9, 2010. Would eating it be sacrilege? Kurt Warner thought so and Packer nation became sick after that gun-slinging shootout.
Your best friend has a craving for cheese steak before 4th-and-26th sent shockwaves across Lake Michigan through the hearts of Wisconsinites everywhere.
Your friends in Chicago come to Milwaukee for the Bears game: You find an XXL William "Refrigerator" Perry jersey duct-taped to your fridge after running an errand. B.J. "The Freezer" Raji's emergence in 2010 eases this nightmare.
The cake someone brought has Aaron Rodgers' image on it. How can we ever cut this? Can it be cryogenically frozen?
5 and 6: Radiowaves Versus TV Broadcast
These fans surely earned their tickets to last year's superbowl through diligent superstitious practices.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Since the rate of oscillation of a radio broadcast is between 3 kHz and 300 GHz, if many in Packer nation switch to the radio broadcast, who knows what sort of electricity we can bring to the team!
Packers fans know more about physics and the electricity of a football game than any other fanbase. Why do I say this? Because some have the wild superstition that if the game isn't going well, and they're only listening to Troy Aikman and Joe Buck's television analysis, that the great Packer radio announcers can bring them back.
So they switch to the radio while watching TV (despite the new delay caused by HD broadcasts) and boom, the Pack is back!
Serious Sidenote (news since I initially was editing this article): The longtime voice of the Packers, Jim Irwin, died Sunday of kidney cancer. All of Packer nation including this author express sincere condolences and well wishes in memory of this legendary announcer and to his surviving family members.
4. "Too Much Talking, Too Little Football"
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Many Packer fans I've spoken with say they don't like to watch the big games at a bar because they can't get "into the zone" for the game (too many distractions) as much as in their living room.
One Packer fan from Milwaukee, WI reported to me that she tells her fellow girlfriends at the gathering to "be quiet" during the plays. Talking is only encouraged during commercials for this strict Packer fan who also believes the good karma of victories come from diligent observation and analysis, not chit-chat.
3. What Is the Winning Percentage When the Bikini Girls Are in the House?
Do the bikini girls bring good luck?
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Of all the bad-ass hunters in Wisconsin and tough-guy jobs people take in the tundra, how many can make it through a game in December or January without a jacket let alone without a real shirt?
The bikini girls come to many Packer contests and have weathered the storm through pleasant September all the way through late season's below freezing average temps and snow.
2. Leaving the Game at All Is Taboo
Don't let this NFL owner Packer fan see you leaving the game prematurely!
Matt Ludtke/Getty Images
Come to any city or town in Wisconsin and you'll notice during the Packers games, nobody is in the stores, walking on the streets and traffic in Milwaukee seems to have stopped. Aside from a rare halftime run for munchies or adult beverages, Packers fans take their fandom seriously.
Similarly, you don't want to admit to your friends that you took a walk with your dogs during the second half of the Giants playoff game for fear of being ostracized from the community.
I jest, but nearly 80 percent of this slide is 100 percent truth (to borrow from Yogi Berra's famous quote).
Lastly, Packers fans have weathered the best of times as well as the worst of times, and you'll never see the stands emptied during a blowout like we saw Falcons fans doing during the divisional round game last year (by halftime no less!).
1. Your Suggestions
Hopefully no players take on the superstition of riding kids' bikes beyond training camp into the regular season! Ouch!
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
What's your No. 1 superstition for Packer games? Send them to us or post in the comments below!
Here's to next year, fellow devout Packers fans...