Green And Gold Is In My Blood

Amy RadtkeContributor IMay 22, 2009

26 Jan 1997:  Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Holmgren celebrates after Super Bowl XXXI against the New England Patriots at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Packers won the game, 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allsport

I was born into a family of avid Green Bay Packer fans so it's no wonder I developed such a passion and love for the real "America's team" at an early age. Growing up in the 90's when the Packers were in their prime only added fuel to the intense passion I feel for the team.

Packer fans are unique in so many ways and I am certainly no exception. When I recall memories from my childhood, my point of reference is always what the Packers were doing at that time. Some of my favorite memories are centered around the green and gold.

Each Christmas Eve I find myself back in 1995 crouched in front of the television watching Yancey Thigpen mysteriously drop a winning touchdown at Lambeau Field, only adding to the mystery and legend of the infamous stadium.

Fast forward to 2004 and I'm at Christmas Eve Mass listening to the Packers defeat the Vikings to win the NFC North on my headphones.

This passion surely didn't develop overnight. I still remember back to the pre-Brett Favre days when I would have to leave the house during Packer games because my dad would get so mad we couldn't stand to be around him. This is where the story of my fan hood really begins.

In the early days I wanted the Packers to win so my dad would be happy, but then one day a quarterback from Southern Mississippi came along and transformed the way I felt about the Packers and football forever.

When Brett Favre took over for the injured Don Majkowski on Sept. 20, 1992, the Packers went from small-town pretenders to big-time contenders. From that moment on, I was captivated. I was caught up in the history of the storied franchise, and the bright future that suddenly lay before it. I couldn't help but be overcome with the incredibly unique bond that this team has with its fans.

The Packers are the only publicly owned team in all of professional sports. When they decided to sell stock for $200 a share in the late 90's, thousands of eager fans lined up to buy an essentially worthless piece of paper. Worthless to anyone except for a Packer fans. That piece of paper makes each owner a part of the team in some small way.

January 26, 1997 still remains the best day of my life. That of course was the day my beloved Pack beat the New England Patriots in Superbowl XXXI. Though I was only 11 at the time, I can still remember every detail of the historic day. I'll never forget the next day when thousands of people packed the streets of Green Bay and filled Lambeau Field to welcome home our heroes in sub-zero temperatures. The frostbite on my toe remains a souvenir from the heart-warming moment.

It's hard not to love the green and gold when you're surrounded by five million Wisconsinites who feel the same way. Lambeau Field is sold out for every game with no exceptions. In fact, it is sold out for every preseason game. Better yet, it sells out every year for an inter-squad scrimmage in August. That's right; people pay money to watch the offense scrimmage the defense under the lights at Lambeau Field.

While my love for the franchise began with Brett Favre's gun slinging ways and the success and Superbowls of the nineties, it continues on for many more reasons. The Packers are part of who I am. I have been to 12 games at Lambeau, including three playoff games. Each time I step in the legendary stadium I get goose bumps throughout my body (and not just from the extreme cold). I can't help but get caught up in the history and mystique of the building.

Even though Brett Favre is no longer with the Packers, my love for the team still burns strong. He got me hooked on the green and gold and I will always be grateful for the memories he gave me, but the Packers are moving into a new era and I will move on with them. Some day I will tell my children about the Packers of the 90's as my dad told me about the Packers of the 60's, and I'll usher in a new generation of Packer fans.