Friday, October 29, 2010

A Pilgrimmage

I am not a cheesehead. I still don't know for sure if that's a derogatory term or not.

I don't know much about Vince Lombardi or Bart Starr.

I wasn't born when Super Bowls 1 & 2 happened and I don't remember Super Bowls 31 or 32 either.

I don't like Brett Favre.

BUT ... I am a Green Bay Packers fan.

I have only been a Packers fan for about 3 years. I appreciate the history of the franchise, but I don't claim to have any recollection of it beyond the past 3 years.

For those of you who don't know, here's how I became a fan of the Green Bay Packers:

My first job after college was at the Niles (Mich.) Daily Star, where I was the sports editor. Niles High School was a member of the Big 8 Conference, which included St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, Kalamazoo Central, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, Portage Northern, Portage Central and Battle Creek Central.

My first year in Niles just happened to be the junior year of a football, basketball and track star at Kalamazoo Central High School. That player was Greg Jennings.

It didn't take long to recognize that Jennings was a gifted athlete. I always looked forward to Niles' matchups with Kalamazoo Central because I knew I'd get to watch Jennings. Even after he left high school I tried to keep track of his career, which continued at Western Michigan University.

He did well at Western and was then drafted by the Packers in the second round of the 2006 draft. It didn't take Jennings long to grab a spot in the starting lineup for the Packers and I always found myself checking box scores to see how he did.

Eventually my interest turned into fanhood and now I am a full-blown fan of the whole team. I like a lot of the players currently on the team. QB Aaron Rodgers, CB Charles Woodson, LB Clay Matthews and RB Ryan Grant are some of my favorites. (I remember watching Woodson during his Heisman Trophy-winning season and I saw Grant play live several times at Notre Dame)

In a little more than a week, my fanhood will take the next step when my family and I make a trip to the other side of Lake Michigan and go to a Packers' game at Lambeau Field. It's a night game against the Cowboys and I am thrilled!

Maybe this trip will help me gain more knowledge of the franchise's history. But even if it doesn't it's a pretty awesome opportunity for a new fan of the Green Bay Packers.

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