“It’s a way of being, all on its own.”
My heart will be at historic Lambeau Field on Sunday, but I will be watching the Green Bay Packers playoff game on television in Louisiana.
My iPad will be handy for checking Facebook chatter. I will scroll Twitter on my iPhone for snippets from my favorite sports junkies (and scan messages to see if my sister, Mary Ann, has sent her “Go Pack Go!!!” text).
If I could pull in the Packers Radio Network in bayou country, I would tune it in the background like mood music. There’s nothing like play-by-play action from announcer Wayne Larrivee and colorful commentary by Larry McCarren.
As a transplant to Louisiana, I have altered my game-day experience during the professional football season. Everything is New Orleans Saints here. So I’ve sought out Packers coverage online more than ever.
But you can’t get the camaraderie of Packer Nation from news reports. My husband, an Illinois native, is a Bears fan. And although he backs the Black-and-Blue division in the post-season and will cheer for the Pack at times in the regular season, he’s not steeped in the Green-and-Gold tradition.
It’s a way of being, all on its own.
I think back to the pre-Internet days when I lived in Nebraska, and all I could find were Kansas City Chiefs or Denver Broncos games on Sundays. Occasionally I would see the Minnesota Vikings on the tube (gag), but they were worth watching only if they were playing the Pack.
It wasn’t much better when I lived in Dallas. I was so homesick for a game-day celebration that when the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Packers, my husband took me to the touristy West End district so I could spot other Cheeseheads. I wore my colors and so did they. It was like reconnecting with old friends I had never met.
Now social media offers similar connections.
I will be checking in with my peeps and monitoring the chatter before and during the playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers. It’s billed to be one of coldest game days in football history, frostier than the 1967 Ice Bowl game between the Pack and the Cowboys. I plan to share some of the more memorable Facebook posts and tweets on my blog after the game.
Watching the playoff game from Louisiana is not the same as when I lived in Green Bay. I can’t find bratwurst in Acadiana. So we will fix homemade gumbo and bread from scratch.
Also on the menu: Social media. #GoPackGo
I am a Green Bay Packers fan, a Ho-Chunk tribal member originally from Wisconsin and a journalist who digs digital media. Follow me on Twitter @karenmichel.