As a native Wisconsinite, I am an absurd Green Bay Packers fan. Tis the religion I was raised in, I’ve been watching games since infancy. Growing up, watching Packers games was how I bonded with my father. Beyond that, I loved how the entire state would go quiet for games. Suddenly there would be no cars driving down the street outside my house in the tiny town I grew up in. No one was outside playing. Everything shut down as we collectively cheered together. Being a Packers fan was my first experience of community.
Then as I grew up, I discovered that my love of the NFL and vast football related knowledge was a superpower of sorts. As I interacted with the world as a young adult, I quickly realized that I could use talking shit about football teams as a way to make average dudes treat me like a human being. Before NFL smack talk, I was an easily dismissed woman. After showing that I had an real grasp of the league, I was allowed to speak without being interrupted or spoken over. Their body language would completely change. I was suddenly a human worthy of respect. Worth being listened to. I use this power all the time, and it has yet to fail me.
Of course, I’m also a feminist and socially conscious person. This has lead to a lot of conflicted feelings about my beloved sport, for what I believe are obvious reasons. The rampant violence against women that happens and is then swept under the rug by the league. While I do enjoy the violence of the league, I am also keenly aware that those players are sacrificing their long term health for my enjoyment. (If you have not watched League of Denial, you should. Right now.) The NFL itself is corrupt, far more than I could begin to cover in this post. There is really no denying that. Still, I watch.
I tell myself that being a Packers fan is acceptable because we are a community/fan owned organization. That the Packers haven’t had cheerleaders since I was in diapers. That we’re known as the friendliest fan base in the league. Our players really do a lot for the community of Green Bay as well as the state. That we’re the little guys who win through quality draft selections and taking time to develop our talent in house.
So I sit here typing while in Packers gear from head to toe. Green and Yellow socks. Packers lounge pants. Tank top, V neck and hoodie. When the
game comes on tonight, I will shamelessly wear a cheesehead that was purchased at Lambeau. It’s one of my most prized possessions.
This year I joined a feminist fantasy football league, this week is the end of our regular season and I’m in playoff contention. This is absurdly exciting for me. If you follow me on twitter (@pinkness) be warned that around 8pm my tweets will mostly be incredibly crass screaming. We can pretty much lock up our division with a win. I’ve bratwurst to eat and will even treat myself to drinking a single beer. It will be grand and glorious.
So tell me beloved readers: Am I alone in my sportsball love? Do you have conflicted feelings? Simply want to see the NFL burn? Most importantly, who is your team? (So I can mock you lovingly if the answer is anything other than Green Bay.)