A Packer Fan's Insane Dance with Superstition

Published on: 1/18/2011

I’d imagine that it would be pretty hard not to know that there’s a HUGE Packer game coming up this Sunday. As a Chicago native/converted Cheesehead, the fact that the Packers and Bears are playing each other for the right to go to the Super Bowl seems monumental. Almost like a Super Bowl before the Super Bowl.

Normally, I’m not a very superstitious person. We used to own a black cat, a mirror has been broken in our house and if there’s only one way to get around a ladder, I’ll walk under it (although reluctantly.)

But now that the Packers have been doing well…REALLY well, I admit to becoming totally superstitious. For instance, I’ve noticed that my doing the following has been very fortuitous:

  • I get too nervous watching Packer games, so I try to distract myself with chores or conversation. Things go much better when I leave the room. Seriously.
  • Although I have the time and the space, I haven’t hosted a Packer party. I still remember the gathering at our house in January of 1998. Sigh.
  • At a party on Saturday, I made the people around me stay with me until the game was over. It seemed like a lucky seating arrangement.
  • I will not delete the HBO “Lombardi” special on our DVR. Doing that feels like tempting bad fate.

Look, I understand that this is completely illogical, if not insane. But if there’s a will, there’s a superstition. And I’m not the only one. I Googled “Packer superstitions” and look what I found here. I am not the only Packer fan with a screw loose and fingers crossed. All over America, Packer fans are refraining from washing lucky jerseys and making plans to go through the same game day routines.

Regardless of what happens on Sunday, the sun will rise again on Monday and far more important world issues will still remain. But I can’t help but hold out hope that the silly little gestures and rituals that Packer fans and I do might be that extra little bit of magic for the Packers. Remember, “fan” comes from the word “fanatic.”

Go Pack Go!

UPDATE - 1/19/11

I had to share this funny anecdote: This morning I was talking on the phone to my dad, who just turned 80. I mentioned that everything up here (he lives north of Chicago) is all about the Packers and the Bears. He's not much of a football fan so I didn't think he'd care very much. He then casually said: "Oh, hey, I just remembered. I was AT that last Bears-Packers playoff game at Wrigley Field in 1941. I was 11 years old. My brother took me. The Packers had a pretty good running back named Don Hutson." Needless to say, I was stunned! He said he doesn't remember much about the game or whether it was very cold, but he does remember being there.