Yet another strange Packers story

Jan. 21, 2008

by Jesse Menden

Just when you thought you’d heard everything, this story comes along.

A Portage, Wis. man was so upset that his 7-year-old son wouldn’t wear a Packers’ jersey during the team’s win over Seattle that he restrained the boy for an hour with tape and then taped the jersey onto his son.

The man pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge after his wife (probably soon-to-be ex-wife) showed cell phone pictures of the incident to authorities. She has also taken out a restraining order on him.

To be honest, I would be surprised if this story came from a place like Dallas or San Francisco, but Wisconsin . . . not so much. With that considered, it is still a strange story, even for the land of the cheese heads. It makes you wonder if alcohol had anything to do with it. That is probably a dumb question.

Hey, at least the kid wasn’t cheering for a rival like Chicago or Minnesota. The dad might have tattooed a jersey on his son if that was the case.

Then again, maybe it was the kid’s fault – he reportedly was cheering for Seattle and against Green Bay during the divisional playoff game. He should have known better than that.

When I was born, every cell of the blood in my veins told me to hate the Packers and love the Vikings. It was instinct, like a tiger tackling a gazelle or like stealing towels from a hotel room before you leave. However, I don’t think my dad would have taped a jersey on me if I was a little misguided as a 7-year-old, although you never can be too sure.
In all seriousness, this story does make a person think about many things, the least of which has to do with sports. Is this where we are now in society? We’ve succumbed to taping jerseys on our children because they don’t think like we do?

All of this does beg the question whether sports are taken too seriously across the board in this great country. I would have to give a resounding YES.

What put me over the edge was listening to a couple of fans from the visiting team during a wrestling match last week.

Even though they were fans of a highly-ranked squad and were almost assured a win, that was not good enough. They had to repeatedly yell and send sarcastic cheers at the referee. Some were even yelling at the wrestlers.

At that point, I think everybody just needs to take a step back and realize exactly what is going on.

Of course, I am in no position to lecture about taking sports too seriously. I drove all the way to Chicago last weekend to take in a Wild-Blackhawks game. And when Minnesota took a 4-1 lead in the second period, yours truly was the first person to stand up and gloat in front of the sold-out United Center. (I finally gave mercy onto my car and rode the bus for eight hours to get to Chicago. I figured I had earned the right to get a little excited.)

As funny as that story out of Wisconsin is, it is also part of a disturbing trend of taking sports too seriously. But in the end, all you can say is “only a Green Bay Packers fan.”