There are not many ‘local’ rivalries in American sports, but one is Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. Separated by 200 miles Wisconsin and Chicago are intertwined by the transient nature of the people in America’s midwest.
I have a lot of friends from Chicago that are Wisconsinites or Cheese Heads to give them their real name, I adopted the University of Wisconsin and their college football team as my own and spent many a weekend up in the eastern ridges alongside the lake and the sparse but stunning sandstone buttes and moraines of it’s central plain drinking beer with friends proud of where they come from.
It’s hard not to like the people of Wisconsin. They drink beer, eat cheese and sausage and the ones I know can laugh heartily at themselves, so therefore when their illustrious football team beat my Bears in the NFC Championship title game a fortnight ago, I couldn’t help but root (as the Americans say) for the green and gold of that northern outpost of Green Bay despite the rivalry and the hundreds of jokes I have had at their expense.
In football parlance, real football that is, the Green Bay Packers would be considered a ‘proper’ football team. Prawn sandwiches do not go down well at Lambeau Field and in the too often sterile atmosphere of American sports stadiums, Green Bay is the contrary. So to all of my Cheese Head friends congratulations on winning last night’s Superbowl XLV.