I'm a fan first and foremost. And like most fans, I have my crazy superstitions when it comes to watching my Green Bay Packers. I remember it began during the 1995-1996 season, the year the Packers won their third Super Bowl. I noticed I always knocked on wood whenever sports announcers talked about Brett Favre's success. I'm not sure why I started doing it but the more I did it, the more Brett thrived, winning three MVP awards. This strange exercise continues today with Aaron Rodgers. Call it OCD, call it playing my part for the team... it seems to be working.
The art of my game day ritual began in Chicago in the late 1990's. Me and my friends made it a Sunday tradition to dress up in our favorite Packers gear and head to Will's Northwoods Inn to catch the game. As their slogan suggests, it's "A Little Bit of God's Country in South Lakeview." Back then it was a bar reserved for the most die hard fans and wasn't nearly as packed as it is for games today. During our run in Chicago, my group refused to surround ourselves with anyone that wasn't a true Wisconsinite and Packer fan. It didn't matter if you had a boyfriend or girlfriend, if they weren't from Wisconsin, they weren't allowed to sit with us. Was this neurotic behavior? You betcha. Did it work? Heck yeah. During the span of 1996-2007 (the time I spent in Chicago), the Packers were 123-69, went to two Super Bowls, four NFC Championships and had winning seasons 11 out of 12 years.
As I got older and more mature, my Packer fandemonium got tamer and more mild. Games spent at bars morphed into Sundays watching the games with my kids. While I still suited up in Packers gear and knocked on wood, I added new routines to my repertoire. I added a special "touchdown dance" where I'd throw my two boys high into the air and catch them, all while Todd Rundgren's "Bang the Drum All Day" played. The best part of games was seeing the pure joy in my boys' eyes as we celebrated together.
My Sunday Fundays have now evolved to another offspring as I'm watching games with my wife and 1-year old daughter. Our game day rituals focus on food to a much higher degree. Usinger cheese and sausage, Saz's mozzarella sticks and Atlas BBQ are staples for us, and we highly recommended to anyone looking for an authentic Wisconsin foody football experience.
For me, game day rituals are all about the memories; whether you're at the game or watching from home. My Green Bay Packer blanket is the perfect accessory for snuggling with family and loved ones and cheering on the Pack. I know I'll never watch the game any other way.
Shop for your favorite NFL or College team blanket at Denali and you, too, can experience Pure Fandemonium.
Tell us your favorite game day rituals in the comment section below. I'd love to hear that I'm not the only crazy one out there!