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Are The Packers made of common stock?
December 6, 2011 5:04 PM   Subscribe

The Green Bay Packers are not unique solely for being undefeated this season. The Financial Times' blog reports on the only publicly owned and essentially non-profit NFL team, the shares of which cannot appreciate, do not pay dividends or capital gains, are non-transferable, and cannot be concentrated in the hands of any single owner. Beginning today, the defending world champs opened their fifth common stock offering, with shares priced at $250.
posted by airing nerdy laundry (114 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
By the way, the NFL won't ever allow another team to be founded and financially backed in this manner. The Packers are really a fluky situation.

That said, the NFL is a remarkably socialist organization.

Maher came under fire for this rant, with plenty of people correcting him on his usage of the term. But the TV revenue really is shared in "one big commie pot" that's split 32 ways.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:27 PM on December 6, 2011


The Packers ownership system works great. The team is always one of the national favorites, they have a good record of fielding competitive teams year after year, they fill the stadium every time, and even though it's a small city that gets really cold they have no problem attracting top players.

Naturally, we could never let this system be used ever again.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:31 PM on December 6, 2011 [52 favorites]


the shares of which cannot appreciate, do not pay dividends or capital gains, are non-transferable

I don't get it - what's the point of ownership then?
posted by namewithoutwords at 5:37 PM on December 6, 2011


I don't get it - what's the point of ownership then?

Well, you get a certificate.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:38 PM on December 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Other stadium improvements are built on the backs of millions who don't ever attend the games.

But 250 bucks for what amounts to a souvenir ? It's larceny. Or would be if those hicks deserved any better. Green Bay and parts surrounding - you've seen "Deliverance" ? Imagine it with snowsuits and you've got northern WI.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:39 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


COMMON STOCK DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN INVESTMENT IN “STOCK” IN THE COMMON SENSE OF THE TERM. PURCHASERS SHOULD NOT PURCHASE COMMON STOCK WITH THE PURPOSE OF MAKING A PROFIT.

Echoing others...

Then why buy it? For the profit of being able to say I am an "NFL owner"?

This is loaning money to a wealthy NFL team for free and I see nothing redeeming about that.
posted by three blind mice at 5:40 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


But 250 bucks for what amounts to a souvenir ? It's larceny. Or would be if those hicks deserved any better. Green Bay and parts surrounding - you've seen "Deliverance" ? Imagine it with snowsuits and you've got northern WI.

But damn if they don't love their football up there.
posted by entropone at 5:42 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have you guys priced an authentic jersey lately? $250 for a share of stock is a much better deal.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:48 PM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


I like this system better than the one in here in Minnesota where all taxpayers are being asked to fund a new stadium.

Want some improvements to your football stadium? Let those who enjoy football 'invest' their money in it rather than making us all do it. We can give them a shiny piece of paper for doing it.

Meanwhile, we've got teachers to pay, bridges to fix — innumerable other better things to do with state/county/city monies.
posted by localhuman at 5:50 PM on December 6, 2011 [23 favorites]


If it were up to me, all pro sports teams would be owned by their fans in exactly this way. Teams would probably never again move between cities, LA would have a football team in no time, and Steelers Nation would get confused and apply for UN Membership.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:52 PM on December 6, 2011 [24 favorites]


If you love the Packers, it's worth an awful lot of money to know that no owner can move your team out of town, sell your team to some awful owner who will run the team into the ground (e.g. LOTS of other teams), etc. Those who aren't into football probably can't imagine how much money true fans sink into season tickets, NFL trinkets, and let's not even go into the emotional investment. I don't think it's as crazy as it seems on the surface.
posted by Patapsco Mike at 5:59 PM on December 6, 2011 [19 favorites]


My wife received a share as a gift the last time they offered them (in the 90s or something), and she gets invited every year to go to a 'shareholder's' meeting at Lambeau. She also 'gets' to buy shareholder merch. But mostly she gets to joke with her dad about how she's managing 'her' team.

She became a fan because Commander Keen wore a Packers helmet in the good old days... so not the typical football fan, really.
posted by Huck500 at 6:02 PM on December 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


If it meant keeping shitbag owners away from historic sports franchises, I would gladly chip in a couple hundred bucks for a meaningless certificate to put on my wall.

Green Bay is the only small market in any North American sport that doesn't have to worry about losing their team overnight because a billionaire found a better lease in Oklahoma City. And that's worth something to a lot of people.
posted by auto-correct at 6:07 PM on December 6, 2011 [35 favorites]


This is loaning money to a wealthy NFL team for free and I see nothing redeeming about that.

Lenders don't get to elect the board of directors.
posted by mullacc at 6:07 PM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Packers ownership system works great. The team is always one of the national favorites, they have a good record of fielding competitive teams year after year...

Except for a tiny little period between like 1973 and 1993.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:08 PM on December 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


But 250 bucks for what amounts to a souvenir ? It's larceny.

You don't understand the relationship between the Green Bay Packers and their fans. If I had the $250 to spend, I'd absolutely buy a share. No question.
posted by slkinsey at 6:09 PM on December 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Well, you get a certificate.

Voting rights, too, if memory serves, which is more than I got with my Terrible Towel. I don't even like the Packers and I want to buy one of these.
posted by box at 6:10 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is loaning money to a wealthy NFL team for free and I see nothing redeeming about that.

It's not a loan.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:10 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Except for a tiny little period between like 1973 and 1993.

I can think of a couple major market teams that dream of that kind of success.
posted by auto-correct at 6:12 PM on December 6, 2011


Except for a tiny little period between like 1973 and 1993.

SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!

I can remember my best friend getting the first of his many reprimands for goofing off on the air at Lawrence University's WLFM circa 1986 by fading up the microphone behind a classical number and softly chanting, "bring... back... Lynn... Dickey..." over and over.
posted by slkinsey at 6:12 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bears fans should organize a hostile takeover.
posted by auto-correct at 6:13 PM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


So why doesn't the NFL want any more publicly owned teams?
posted by jcreigh at 6:14 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


That said, the NFL is a remarkably socialist organization.

"If football was a politician, it would be some kind of reverse libertarian: staunchly conservative on social issues, but freethinking on anything related to policy."
posted by Midnight Rambler at 6:16 PM on December 6, 2011


I am not (by and large) a sports fan, but I do live in MN and the State right now is going trough all sorts of contortions to work out a stadium deal to keep the MN team here. It's amazing the amount of effort that is going into this all sorts of deals and counter offers, the amount of time and energy involved would make your head spin. If only public officials would work 1/2 as hard at solving real economic and social troubles, we'd be living in a flipping paradise. The GB solution may strike some people as a sham, but godalmighty it is the only sane way to fund a professional sports team. The people who care about it get to pay for it, and the ownership may be a little bit of a joke, but compared to the absolute fucking fiasco all the other teams put their fans and their states trough the GB system is sanity personified.
posted by edgeways at 6:21 PM on December 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


You don't understand the relationship between the Green Bay Packers and their fans.

Well, I grew up in Philadelphia where the relationship between fans and the Eagles is one of barely concealed contempt. Lucky for the team, the only thing Philly fans hate more than their own team IS ALL THE OTHER TEAMS. Especially the ones from New York and Texas.

So maybe I'll buy some shares of Greenbay Packers and permanently eliminate the positions of quarterback and head coach and outsource the defensive front line to a troupe of ballet dancers. That could be worth some money, for the joy of seeing other teams suck is the only joy an Eagles fan can reasonably hope for.
posted by three blind mice at 6:22 PM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Except for a tiny little period between like 1973 and 1993.

I remember playing Madden on Genesis in the early 90s and every team had a little blurb about their strengths and weaknesses... and the Packers blurb basically said not to choose them because they had no strengths at all. I wish I could remember the exact wording.
posted by Huck500 at 6:23 PM on December 6, 2011


Isn't the point that the fan "share holders" elect the board and/or the managers? Fans adore pontificating about sports. These corporate elections might get better turnout than their government elections.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:23 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


So why doesn't the NFL want any more publicly owned teams?

Billionaires gonna billionaire. They want to protect their assets and they don't want public ownership of teams. To describe it as "socialist" is really misleading. The Packers, who as a corporate entity could be defined as the most "business-like" team, is also the most "socialist." Really, the economic terms mean nothing. The NFL, like most professional sports leagues, are little more than gaming opportunities for extremely rich men. The product they compete with, though, is entertaining, so we watch.

I root for the Packers strictly because of their ownership structure. There should be an entire league where teams are owned by the communities in which they are located. Can you imagine? It would be glorious. And Dan Snyder would be just some fucking guy.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:23 PM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Hey, we LOVE the Eagles in Philly. We just hate the owner, management, coaches, and players.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:24 PM on December 6, 2011 [18 favorites]


I'm a Giants fan, but I've always had a soft spot for the Packers, because of stuff like this which shows how dedicated a team can be to a small market town like Green Bay, and because they they've been one of the great franchises.

*has some cheese*
posted by jonmc at 6:25 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


But 250 bucks for what amounts to a souvenir ? It's larceny. Or would be if those hicks deserved any better.

Yeah, stupid sports fans. Paying money for improved sports stadiums to watch sports in. What do they think they're going to get out of it? A better place to watch the sports they enjoy watching? Stupid hicks.

They should do like people in the big cities do and have a billionaire come in to extract tax dollars from the state and municipal governments.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:28 PM on December 6, 2011 [36 favorites]


So why doesn't the NFL want any more publicly owned teams?

The owners are the 1% and wrote up bylaws to prevent something like the Packers from ever happening again. Can you imagine if local communities rose up an engineered a hostile takeover of Jerry Jones' personal money press? Can't let rubes in on the profit stream.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:28 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


If it meant keeping shitbag owners away from historic sports franchises, I would gladly chip in a couple hundred bucks for a meaningless certificate to put on my wall.

The writer of Angela's Ashes owns the Dodgers? Ok, I kid, but good job with those links. You hit my favorite team-owning shitbag.
posted by Michael Pemulis at 6:28 PM on December 6, 2011


Tomorrowful: "If it were up to me, all pro sports teams would be owned by their fans in exactly this way. Teams would probably never again move between cities"

I wonder how this would effect teams like the Giants, Jets, or Redskins, none of which currently play in their "home" state. The Giants haven't played a home game in New York for as long as any of their current players have been alive.

Under such a structure, would the team actually stay in its home city (a la Green Bay), or would they too have moved to the suburbs, as the football-watching demographic grew increasingly suburban? Furthermore, is it even a good idea for football stadiums to be located in big cities?

As our mayor blows his horn about bringing the Redskins back to DC, many planners have stepped up to say that, apart from the lost tax revenue, it was actually a pretty good idea to move the team out to the suburbs. There's simply not enough room in DC for a NFL stadium and the requisite (ie. insane) amount of parking that goes along with it.*

So, I wonder. Would fan ownership have kept the Redskins in DC, and would that necessarily have been a good thing? Although I suppose that anything would be an improvement over Dan Snyder (who keeps a "30-year" waiting list for season passes, but somehow can't fill the stands or win games, among other things). My personal gut is that fan-ownership would very quickly pull the Redskins into Virginia, where most of their fanbase reside.

I guess I don't really have a point here other than that Football would be a lot different

*Public Transportation's nice and all, but is completely unsuited to handle the massive burst of traffic that you'd see from a football game -- the DC Metro can't handle more than 20,000 people an hour from a single station if you're lucky, nothing goes wrong, and nobody else in the city is on the train.

This is all an issue because football stadiums need to be really big, because football has one of the shortest regular seasons out of any professional sport due to its ridiculously high injury rate. This creates another issue wherein this gigantic building/parking lot is so big as to be virtually useless for anything else, and sits completely vacant 345 days a year, which is a terrible use for land in a city.

posted by schmod at 6:40 PM on December 6, 2011


You hit my favorite team-owning shitbag.

Now now, the owner of the WASHINGTON REDSKINS should not be made a victim of racist caricature.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:44 PM on December 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Packers fans take it seriously.

My uncle was a lifelong smoker, I think two packs a day. He was getting pretty ill from it, too... he really didn't look good, pale and haggard. For years and years and years, his wife had been after him to stop, and he always came back with the same refrain, "When the Packers win the Superbowl."

It's been explained to me that this was the same as saying "when pigs fly", or "when Hell freezes over", a promise that he never thought he'd have to keep. He'd been a hyper-fan for his entire life, and for his adult memory, the Packers had been terrible. I just now checked on Wikipedia, and they only had 5 winning seasons out of 25, between 1968 and 1991. But by God, my uncle had Packers banners on his wall, and various bits of their memorabilia; in many ways, he defined himself by that Packers fandom. Even when he moved to Texas, his team loyalty never quivered. But, the Packers? Winning the Superbowl? Yeah, right, as if.

Well, then Brett Favre happened. Each year they got better and better, and my uncle actually started to realize they could win. I've never been told the full story of the 1996 season, but I'll bet it was a mixture of elation and dread for him -- the thought of his team maybe finally winning on the one hand, and the thought of finally having to keep that old promise on the other. His wife was most emphatically not letting him forget.

I don't know the details of that game anymore; I'm not sure if it was tense because the game was difficult, or just because of his conflicting desires. He reportedly smoked like a chimney the entire game, and when the Packers won for the first time in 31 years, he stubbed out that last cigarette, quit cold turkey on the spot, and has never smoked since. Fifteen years later, he's still alive, and as far as I know, cancer-free... considering how he looked, I think it was just in time.

I think this only makes him medium-devoted by Packers fan standards.
posted by Malor at 6:53 PM on December 6, 2011 [117 favorites]


But 250 bucks for what amounts to a souvenir ? It's larceny.

My family grew up in Texas but my dad has always been a Green Bay Packer fan. For years I asked him why and he always just said, because they've always been my team or something like that, something real generic like that. A few years back, when I was struggling through a serious addiction, my dad, for some reason, finally told me why.

My dads father was a die hard Cowboy fan. His father was also a mean son of a bitch who just fucking tormented my grandmother, my dad, his 4 siblings and basically everyone else he ever came in contact with. I have never, ever heard anyone say a single good thing about him. As much as my dads father hated everyone and everything else, he loved the Dallas Cowboys. In 1967 my dad was thirteen and the Dallas Cowboys played the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Championship game in the game which became known as the Ice Bowl. His dad made everyone gather round to listen to the game on the radio and the entire family rooted for the Cowboys, except my dad. He cheered for the Packers, not because he cared about them or knew anything about them, but because his dad loved the Cowboys and hated him, so he hated the Cowboys. All throughout the game his dad and brothers mocked and ridiculed him for cheering for the Packers. But, when the game ended and the Packers had won, my dad got beat within an inch of his life by his own father, over a fucking football game. But, my dad didn't care. He had won. After years of torment, he had won against his father. It didn't matter to him that he ended up at the hospital with a broken jaw and a broken arm. That he got 17 stitches above his eye. That he missed over a month of school and was eventually held back a grade. That he bit off part of his tongue with the blow that broke his jaw and he talked for the rest of his life with a lisp of sorts and was ridiculed about it for years after at school. None of that mattered to him. He had beaten his father at something. It was the best day of his life. The next year, his dad died when he fell down a flight of cement stairs leaving the apartment of some woman he was cheating on my grandmother with.

My dad has been a Green Bay die hard ever since. He has stuck with them, like all true fans, through thick and thin (and with the Packers their was a lot of thin for many years). In the early 90's when the Cowboys were winning and beating Green Bay seemingly every year, I always noticed my dad took the losses really hard. I always thought it was just because everyone around him-family, friends, coworkers- were Cowboys fans, but actually it was because his dad was beating him again. It was torment for him, watching the Packers lose to the Cowboys, year after year.

During the last stock sale, 1997-98, my dad was fighting through brain cancer, was in and out of the hospital with two surgeries, the chemo, then a burst appendix. We did not find out about the stock sale until after the fact. It was disappointing to us all. I heard about this stock sale some weeks back and told my sisters and everyone not to tell Dad (he is not internet savvy) and that we could surprise him for xmas. But, that was not my plan. He never told my sisters the story about his dad, I don't even know if my mom knows, so, very greedily on my part, I wanted to surprise him by myself. So, I took a day off of work today, drove the six hours to their house, and was waiting for him when he got home from work. He thought something had happened to one of my kids or something. But, I said "Dad I got a surprise for you." I took out my laptop and navigated to the sight and as he read it and it all started registering his eyes welled with tears. We filled out the registration and all of that and once every thing was confirmed, and we were both crying he said "Part owner of THE GREEN BAY PACKERS. Take that mother fucker."
posted by holdkris99 at 7:00 PM on December 6, 2011 [332 favorites]


I was at Lambeau Field about a month ago for a conference. I find it extremely surprising that they could have financial problems considering the cost of the numerous items at the team store. They had different tiers of jerseys with the high end "authentic" jerseys going for somewhere over $200; the same issue was prevalent with footballs. I know there was also things that you supposedly could not buy unless you were a Packers shareholder.

In other news, I only moved to Wisconsin about 5 months ago. Everything about the Packers has been an experience. I've never found an occurrence where so many grown adult men get tears in their eyes talking about something. Suffice to say, I've kept up with games and learned a bit for my own safety, but it just isn't something I get.
posted by graxe at 7:11 PM on December 6, 2011


holdkris99, I'm so happy for your dad. What a story.
posted by misozaki at 7:15 PM on December 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Thanks misozaki, it's been an emotional evening to say the least
posted by holdkris99 at 7:22 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


good job with those links

Thanks; those were just the ones I could think up off the top of my head. I swear there's something about franchise ownership that brings the roaches out of the woodwork.

I had a brief dream during the NBA lockout that the players and agents would sack up and form a players' co-operative league and just shut the owners out completely. Some day. . .
posted by auto-correct at 7:22 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


schmod,

Yeah I don't understand where Vincent Gray is coming from with this rush to try to bring the redskins back to DC.

It's insanity: an entirely new, metro-accessible and needed neighborhood could be built in the RFK parking lot now, and they want to bring back the redskins.

grrr...
posted by stratastar at 7:29 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is very similar to the required ownership model in the Bundesliga, where 51% of the club has to be held by the club's members.* (I believe Bayer Leverkusen and VfL Wolfsburg are the exceptions as they're factory clubs.) Every year there's an annual meeting where they theoretically vote on things. (It seems club elections in Germany are not nearly as contentious as they are in Spain.)

AFC Wimbledon is held primarily by a trust set up for that purpose. I'm not sure what the actual ownership structure of FC United is, but it's also owned by the supporters.
posted by hoyland at 7:30 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


holdkris99, I heard elsewhere the first online purchase for the stock today was made in Texas.
posted by edgeways at 7:34 PM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


holdkriss99, you got me tearing up over a football story. Thanks for sharing it :)
posted by doctor_negative at 7:35 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Out of curiosity, do shareholders at least get first dibs on tickets?
posted by Gilbert at 7:39 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is all an issue because football stadiums need to be really big, because football has one of the shortest regular seasons out of any professional sport due to its ridiculously high injury rate. This creates another issue wherein this gigantic building/parking lot is so big as to be virtually useless for anything else, and sits completely vacant 345 days a year, which is a terrible use for land in a city.

You know, I'm surprised that more cities with both NFL and MLS (Major League Soccer) teams just don't share the stadium. That's what the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders FC do, with very little conflicts in terms of scheduling. It keeps the stadium in use for most of the year (as MLS starts in March and ends in October/November), it keeps the stadium staff employed (as they work both Seahawks and Sounders games), and it keeps the business around the stadium happy and healthy. And because the stadiums tend to be more centrally located, they're easy to get to using public transportation. I tell visitors and tourists that Century Link Field is home to both kinds of football.

There's no way I'd be a Sounders supporter if I had to bus out to Issaquah or Burien for every match.
posted by spinifex23 at 7:42 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Have you guys priced an authentic jersey lately?

Yes, it costs exactly one government.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:42 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


holdkriss99, that story is amazing. Thank you very much for sharing it.
posted by King Bee at 7:49 PM on December 6, 2011


I find it extremely surprising that they could have financial problems considering the cost of the numerous items at the team store

It's not so much they are having financial troubles as it is they want to make stadium improvements without forcing the taxpayers to pay for it. You can say that the stock sale is a tax, but it's a voluntary tax.
posted by holdkris99 at 7:51 PM on December 6, 2011


Out of curiosity, do shareholders at least get first dibs on tickets?

No. There's a waiting list like a zillion people long for season tickets. People pass down their spot in line in their wills, hoping that their descendants may one day hold season tickets.
posted by King Bee at 7:55 PM on December 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


holdkriss99, that story is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. My dad is another Texan Packers fan, and the Cowboys are also the Evil Ones. Growing up that was literally all I knew or cared about football; my family honor was sworn to defend one team and curse the name of the other, and heaven help you if you mixed them up!
posted by nicebookrack at 8:02 PM on December 6, 2011


This sounds like the equivalent of paying an outrageous amount for a CD or tote bag from your favorite public radio station. For the fans, it's not really about what you get, it's about being a member.
posted by hot_monster at 8:20 PM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


1) holdkriss99's story is great.
2) furiousxgeorge's Philly/Eagles comment is sneaky the best of the thread.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:22 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's time to move the Packers to a real market like Los Angeles (I keed, I keed!)

Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn urged Congress Friday to pass the “Give Fans a Chance” Act which would allow fans to buy stock in the team.
posted by mrhappy at 8:41 PM on December 6, 2011


Hey, we LOVE the Eagles in Philly. We just hate the owner, management, coaches, and players.

I've come to find that being an Eagles fan is self-hatred by proxy.
posted by hellojed at 8:55 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is this season, anyway.
posted by box at 9:00 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Top 10 Things related to the Eagles not hated by Eagles fans:

1) Brian Dawkins
2) Randall Cunningham
3) Jim Johnson
4) Buddy Ryan
5) "Fly Eagles Fly"
6) The Vet
7) Jeremiah Trotter
8) Trent Cole's bow hunting sack dance
9) Deuce Staley
10) Norm van Brocklin

Discuss.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:25 PM on December 6, 2011


Shit, forgot Westbrook and Akers.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:25 PM on December 6, 2011


Also forgot Kelly green, turns out there are like 20 things Eagles fans like.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:28 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Top 10 Things related to the Eagles not hated by Eagles fans:

11. Michael Irvin's neck injury
posted by holdkris99 at 9:29 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


^ not their finest moment
posted by nathancaswell at 9:31 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


But 250 bucks for what amounts to a souvenir ?

A souvenir and a share of the fucking Green Bay Packers.

Either that means something to you or it doesn't. If it does, it's one of the biggest bargains around, and barely short of miraculous that it continues to exist.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 9:38 PM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


auto-correct, you linked to the wrong Frank McCourt
posted by various at 9:39 PM on December 6, 2011


11. Michael Irvin's neck injury
^ not their finest moment

OMG, they were chucking shit at him while he was being wheeled out with a broken neck on a board. I was never an Irvin fan, but that was cold.
posted by Gilbert at 9:46 PM on December 6, 2011


Packers Annual Shareholder meeting

I was born in Green Bay during the Lombardi years. My Dad was AT the Ice Bowl. My Uncle is good friends with a guy on the board of directors. I have always been a Packer fan.

My earliest memories of them were right after the glory years. To me they were perennial losers. I lived through coach Starr who was always in a rebuilding period. I lived through coach Gregg who turned us into a team of thugs. I lived (somehow I survived) through Lindy Infante picking Tony Mandarich over Barry Sanders.

20 god damn years of futility.

And along came Brett Favre, Reggie White and Mike Holmgren. When they made the playoffs a few people jumped on the bandwagon and they were welcome. When they won the Superbowl the bandwagon became a stampede and they too were welcome.

Now we have another MVP quarterback. Some football fans might think that is too much luck for one team and they are probably right.

But I don't care. I fucking earned this.

I cheered Lynn Dickey and I cheered David Whitehurst and I swear I even cheered for Randy Wright. I intend to enjoy every start Aaron Rodgers gives us.

Go Pack Go
posted by Bonzai at 9:56 PM on December 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't even like the Packers and I want to buy one of these.

Shit, I'm a Vikings fan and I thought about it. These are cool.

OMG, they were chucking shit at him while he was being wheeled out with a broken neck on a board. I was never an Irvin fan, but that was cold.

They also booed Santa and threw snowballs at him.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:02 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


20 god damn years of futility.

Yes, 20 god damn years is right. When the top highlight of a two decade stretch was a few great games by Don "Majik Man" Majkowski and the key play of a two decade run is an overturned illegal forward pass call (still, to this day, my vote for the greatest reversal in instant replay history) then, yes, 20 god damn years of futility is god damn right.

But, I'll be damned if that is not my favorite Packer memory anyway.
posted by holdkris99 at 10:05 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


What I wouldn't give for a tape of that game, Packers vs Bears, Nov 5th 1989.
posted by holdkris99 at 10:09 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


My partner bought two shares. His mood today might best be described as "unholy glee".
posted by ElaineMc at 10:13 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


9) Deuce Staley

Duce Staley. Really loved him, he ran the screen better than anyone. There were times at the Vet when the Eagles were on the goalline that the "Duuuuuuuuuuce!" chants started well before the play so everyone knew where the ball was going, and he could still pound it in for the TD.

It's amazing the Eagles got even better at RB going to Westbrook, and then McCoy.

You can also add Dick Vermeil to that list.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:13 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah, poor Favre. As an outside observer his move to Minnesota and the reaction of Packers' fans was similar to an ugly divorce. Wisconsin was the wronged wife whose husband decided to abscond with the floozy, younger sister. Because they were family you did not wish him/her ill per se but would definitely be satisfied by the punishing hand of the lord afflicting them at least once, maybe twice.
posted by jadepearl at 10:14 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don Majowski's famous play

Don't have the whole game but maybe this will do.

Remember Chester Marcol returning a blocked FG for a TD against the Bears? I would pay hard American currency for that clip.
posted by Bonzai at 10:18 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can also add Dick Vermeil to that list.

I also feel like Sheldon Brown will always have goodwill for the hit he put on Reggie Bush. One of the greatest hits I've ever seen.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:18 PM on December 6, 2011


Thanks Bonzai. That clip is all I have ever been able to find as well. Then and now, I love that fucking hat Ditka is wearing.
posted by holdkris99 at 10:22 PM on December 6, 2011


"I'm sorry - you were saying? This 'American football' stuff is really quite beyond me." - Dr. Who, gone back in time to witness the Baltimore Colts get stuffed into a van and stolen in the dead of night.
posted by newdaddy at 10:36 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Eagles fans, Redskins fans, Cowboys fans...you can all throw your hat in the ring for most poorly-run franchise, money grubbing owner, and taxpayer-crushing stadium deal....but NONE of you can beat the Cincinnati Bengals and owner Mike Brown in any of those categories.

The franchise, run by the son of one of the most lauded football minds ever, has been historically terrible. Brown runs a business - spending as little as possible (resulting in 2 winning seasons since he took control in 1991) but continuing to rake in the dough from their piece of the communal pie. Brown offers nothing in the way of community service. There is no respect for the history of the franchise - there is no Bengals Hall of Fame or Ring of Fame. And their stadium deal is pretty much the most lopsided, team-benefiting, taxpayer-screwing, county-bankrupting stadium deal IN THE HISTORY OF STADIUM DEALS. As Hamilton County is on the verge of going bankrupt, he asks the city to pay for stadium improvements including a hi-def scoreboard - in a stadium for which he pays no rent and makes all profit. Google "Mike Brown worst NFL owner" and you'll get it.

I could go on and on about what a terrible owner this guy is, but the point is that I'd pay a thousand dollars to feel like the team I support gave one good damn about their fans, players, ticket holders, history, or winning a Super Bowl.
posted by buzzkillington at 10:45 PM on December 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


buzzkillington speaks the truth NFL fans. He speaks the gospel. The only sports team that has it almost as bad, owner-wise, is the Los Angeles Clippers with Donald F'n Sterling.

In Dallas, people bitch and whine about Jerry Jones and I don't think he is liked too much across NFL cities, not sure about that, but we bitch and whine about his general manager decisions. As far as owners go, we are lucky to have him (and Cuban and Nolan Ryan all in one city!!).
posted by holdkris99 at 11:00 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, I'm surprised that more cities with both NFL and MLS (Major League Soccer) teams just don't share the stadium.

They're getting away from that for the same reason we move from combined MLB/NFL parks -- bad fit. The Chicago Fire rattled in the 61,500 seat Soldier Field -- one of the smallest capacities in the NFL, but are quite happy in the 22,000 seat Toyota Park.

Of the 19 MLS clubs, 12 of them play in stadia explicitly built for soccer, one (Portland) plays in a former multi-use facility that they've renovated into a soccer-only park, one (Seattle) plays in a combined NFL/MLS stadium that was explicitly designed for both games* and one (Houston) is building a soccer park.

Of the remaining 4 teams, San Jose is in the planning stages for a soccer-only park, because they play in one that's too small, DC United plays in the former MLB/NFL RFK Stadium, and New England plays in Gillette Field with the Patriots. The latter two are looking at building new stadia.

Vancouver doesn't share a field with an NFL team, but this is a technicality, BC Place hosts both the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps and the CFL BC Lions.

Montreal plays in the smaller, but soccer built, Saputo Stadium, but until expansion occurs, they have a deal to use Olympic Stadium if they are looking at a very large crowd.

MLS has very different needs than the NFL, and even very popular clubs like the LA clubs, Seattle and Portland can't fill a 65K seat stadium. They get a much better atmosphere in a 25K seat stadium, and everyone gets better sight lines when the stadium is built for the game.




* In Seattle, they tarp off the upper bowl, reducing the 67,000 seat NFL capacity to 38,500. CenturyLink field was built to host both the NFL Seahawks and the USL1 Sounders, when Seattle won an MLS franchise, the USL1 Sounders dissolved and the MLS Sounder FC had a home.
posted by eriko at 11:02 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


As an outside observer his move to Minnesota and the reaction of Packers' fans was similar to an ugly divorce

In that last year with Minnesota, the Bears were basically useless. Except for one game, where they beat several sorts of tar out of the Vikings.

I got thank you emails from several Packers fans.
posted by eriko at 11:04 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I'm sorry - you were saying? This 'American football' stuff is really quite beyond me." - Dr. Who

If soccer is a gentleman's game played by thugs, I can only conclude that the Doctor is a fan of Canadian Football. Why not? The rules are just different enough as to suggest that they were developed in a parallel universe (a universe where the 20th century belonged to Canada).
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:16 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


But 250 bucks for what amounts to a souvenir ? It's larceny.

It's the truest expression of a free market. People who absolutely believe in a product, and understand the positive economic effect said product can have on their community, willing to put their own money into it to ensure the product survives. It's a long-term view.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:37 AM on December 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm a long-suffering Vikings fan but this year I am rooting for the Packers to run the table and win the Super Bowl. Why? So the goddamn Miami Dolphins can finally SHUT THE FUCK UP!
posted by Ber at 4:22 AM on December 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


I don't even like football, in fact, I think it is quite the damn waste, but if I had the spare $250 I would buy a share of the Packers. They are the only team that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out as they don't treat their fans as if they don't matter.

My one nephew picked the Packers as his team. He is five and surrounded by Cowboys' and Redskins' fans (yes, football season in my family is annoying.) Why he picked them I don't know, but I am sure glad he did.
posted by SuzySmith at 4:39 AM on December 7, 2011


Ah, Majkowski and the "replay game" (or, as it is known in Chicago, the "asterisk game"). I was in college in Appleton, WI when I watched that game. A Boston-bred kid surrounded by cheese heads. I didn't know much about the Packers at that time, but for understandable reasons I hated the Bears. That was the first game the Packers had won against the Bears in a half-decade. And I can remember some of my friends tearing up a little bit when they finally did it. These were kids who had heard stories about the glory of the Packers their entire lives, but who hadn't seen the Packers beat the Bears since they were in junior high.
posted by slkinsey at 5:24 AM on December 7, 2011


Bears fans should organize a hostile takeover.

They could try, but they'd probably fumble the attempt in the red zone.
posted by drezdn at 5:35 AM on December 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


If this sale came at a different time of the year, I would have tried to jump on it. I'll admit it is just a souvenir, but it's the only souvenir that gives you the possibility of owning a super bowl ring if the Packers win it all.
posted by drezdn at 5:37 AM on December 7, 2011


They could try, but they'd probably fumble the attempt in the red zone.

Sure, kick me while I'm down. Hanie is bad enough, but losing Forte too?
posted by Ghidorah at 5:44 AM on December 7, 2011


Sure, kick me while I'm down. Hanie is bad enough, but losing Forte too?

Brett Favre is still available.
posted by drezdn at 5:50 AM on December 7, 2011


Brett Favre is still available.

And McNabb!
posted by inigo2 at 6:28 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a cheesehead, I feel like I should have something to add to this thread, but I've barely watched them this season. Football is, indeed, a religion here, but somehow I've turned into an agnostic. I'm surprised I haven't been burned at the stake yet.
posted by desjardins at 6:37 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


desjardins, you are missing some historic shit. Aaron Rodgers is playing at a level that I have never seen a Green Bay quarterback play at. Jordy Nelson made a catch in last Sunday's game that I would easily put in my top 10 catches OF ALL TIME, it was that impressive.

Also, the Giants thought Donald Driver was too old and let him catch 2 TD passes.

You must start watching.
posted by King Bee at 7:05 AM on December 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Jesus, holdkriss99 just made me a Packers fan. And I'm from Missouri. And I don't even really like football. That was unexpected.

Go Packers.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:50 AM on December 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


If you think of it as an investment, it's incredibly stupid. It's not an investment. You're not paying for the souvenir; you're paying to be a member, as someone else mentioned.

I know somebody who owns a share and believe me, the understanding is clear. The people who do this aren't stupid and aren't hicks who don't understand what they're getting. They understand exactly what they're getting. Some people think it feels good to go lie on the beach, and they're willing to pay for that. Other people think it feels good to own a share of the Packers, and they're willing to pay for that. They do it out of devotion, and frankly, I think considering it larceny or stupidity sells them a bit short.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 8:04 AM on December 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm from Edmonton, so I think that makes me a Packers fan by the transitive property of team colours.
posted by Zozo at 8:06 AM on December 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


@holdkris99

Write that story down, and send it to the Packers. Their mailing address is:
Green Bay Packers
P.O. Box 10628.
Green Bay, WI 54307-0628
The people on the other end actually do tend to read the stuff that people send them. You'll be sure to make somebody's day over there.

Maybe it's just because of the positions I've been in, but I've found NFL teams to be surprisingly accessible; I tangentially helped out with a project for the Make a Wish Foundation, and as much as I hate the Eagles, their staff were completely and absolutely fantastic to work with. I also currently work with a bunch of guys who got their start on the sports broadcasting circuit, and have anecdotally gotten the impression that the NFL's support organization is a surprisingly decent place, and a close-knit community.
posted by schmod at 8:43 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I agree with several others on this thread. If I had the money I'd buy one in an instant.

I lived through coach Gregg who turned us into a team of thugs.

Hey now, that's my cousin. Also, he's not doing so well right now.
posted by popaopee at 8:44 AM on December 7, 2011


holdkris99: awesome. You just made me tear up with a story of football and stock purchases.

My dad, too, grew up in Dallas, and I discovered this Thanksgiving that unlike his devoted Cowboys-fan mother, he is adamantly against them. Don't know why. Your comment has got me thinking though...
posted by Navelgazer at 9:17 AM on December 7, 2011


My husband and I are die-hard members of the Steeler Nation (me by birth, him because he's not an idiot and wants to stay married to me). I might still buy him a share for Christmas. The fact that it was Green Bay that beat Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl ON MY 40th BIRTHDAY, and not some other team (goddamned Cowboys, those fuckers can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, America's Team my ass) is the only reason I didn't have a completely shitty birthday. So, the Packers are OK by me.

And I like to pretend Aaron Rodgers is a distant cousin, thanks to the spelling of his last name.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 9:25 AM on December 7, 2011


Aaron Rodgers is playing at a level that I have never seen a Green Bay quarterback play at. Jordy Nelson made a catch in last Sunday's game that I would easily put in my top 10 catches OF ALL TIME, it was that impressive.


This one? Aaron Rodgers is so disgustingly good at back shoulder throws. And that catch is just preposterously athletic. The timing between receiver and QB, the explosion to get away from the DB like that, the hands to make the catch, and then the Cris Carter toe tap. A fantastic catch.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:27 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember when the Browns were being brought back and they were struggling to find owners. I wanted to scream, "Be like the Packers! Let the fans own the team!"

Alas.
posted by charred husk at 9:28 AM on December 7, 2011


nathancaswell: Yep, that's the one. Watching the game in real time at the Packers bar in Austin, we all were like "oh crap, he was obviously out of bounds". When the referee started signaling a catch, we all thought "whatever, no way". Then they showed the replay. I had like 10 orgasms simultaneously at that moment.


Also, for the haters: Packers shareholders in their own words
posted by King Bee at 9:41 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have never voluntarily sat through an entire American football game in my life and I am distressingly tempted to buy a share JUST BECAUSE I CAN.

and also because I want to leave it in my will to my annoying ex, the diehard Cowboys fan
posted by elizardbits at 10:08 AM on December 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I live about an hour outside of Green Bay. Some people here paint their houses green and gold. What never fails to get me are the people who show up to shovel out Lambeau whenever it snows, including the day after the Superbowl when it was needed for a pep rally; it's the love, not the $8/hr. And I love the tradition that the players ride local kids' bicycles to the practice fields while their owners run alongside; a linebacker on a pink bike with a bananna seat and a sissy bar is hilarious. The affection given to players enjoying a celebratory Lambeau Leap is genuine and it flows both ways; the Packers appreciate their fans too.
posted by carmicha at 10:15 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


elizardbits: The shares can only be "passed on" to a member of your immediate family (this includes spouse) or lineal descendent. You can't even gift them to your nephew without gifting them to your brother/sister first.
posted by King Bee at 10:20 AM on December 7, 2011


I see I’m not the only non fan thinking about participating. I actually can’t stand football, but love this idea and would love to see more of it. If it were the Diamondbacks I would do it in a heartbeat.
posted by bongo_x at 11:04 AM on December 7, 2011


Where to begin? I think I favorited like 20+ comments on this thread. I almost teared up too reading holdkris99's story. I just bought a share this morning and it gives me the greatest feeling that I just can't describe. Rather than go off on tangents relating to all the great topics discussed here. I just want to say I've really enjoyed reading everyone's Packer stories. As an 11 year transplant to NYC I look forward to football season and particularly mingling with all the great Packer fans down at the Kettle of Fish. In fact I had the utmost pleasure to tailgate before and attend this last week's game at the Meadowlands with many of the great Packer fans I've met here in New York. That Nelson catch was amazing, and my new favorite gif! And the amount of cheeseheads in the stands was truly inspiring to see. I've also got to say that the Giant's fans were super cordial and many of them downright nice, which sort of surprised me, but kudos to them!!!

Well anyway, let's keep doing this G-Force, it's been a helluva season and I hope it just keeps going and going through to the Bowl. Just remember to take time to stop and smell the cheese Packer Backers(screw the roses, it's all about the delicious stinky cheese!)

GO PACK GO!
posted by Capricorn13 at 12:38 PM on December 7, 2011


I got up early and bought my wife a share. She's a NFL fanatic and couldn't be happier. Her best friend, whose father lived in Green Bay, also bought a share.

That's fandom for you.

No different really than a souvenir vinyl from your favorite band or a original poster from your favorite sci-fi movie.
posted by Argyle at 3:40 PM on December 7, 2011


Bayer Leverkusen

Whoa. I just now realized it's not Bayern Leverkusen. I'd just always assumed they were a club from another city in Bavaria named Leverkusen. But nope, they're owned by Bayer!

More on topic, I was always amused whenever I visited the Mars Cheese Castle just north of the Illinois/Wisconsin border. You're guaranteed to find absolutely no Bears gear amongst the oodles of Packers paraphernalia. Cubs stuff though? Hangs right there along with some meager Brewers accessories.
posted by kmz at 3:57 PM on December 7, 2011


I'm much more a fan of college football than the NFL, and I didn't start following that until I lived halfway across the country from Louisiana while in graduate school. When I was younger I just didn't get the sports thing. I was not an athletic kid, and didn't enjoy sports. But as I've gotten older and started following LSU football, I've gained a much greater appreciation of what sports can bring to a fan's life. There was a time when, sadly, I would not have really understood holdkris99's story. I'm glad that I can now, and I'm he shared it with us.
posted by wintermind at 4:58 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ack. "...I'm THANKFUL he shared it with us."
posted by wintermind at 5:00 PM on December 7, 2011


Maybe it's just because of the positions I've been in, but I've found NFL teams to be surprisingly accessible; I tangentially helped out with a project for the Make a Wish Foundation, and as much as I hate the Eagles, their staff were completely and absolutely fantastic to work with.

Yeah, the Eagles have a pretty good history with this kind of outreach.

1974: The first Ronald McDonald House opens in Philadelphia thanks to Dr. Audrey Evans, Philadelphia Eagles’ player Fred Hill (whose daughter, Kim, had leukemia), Leonard Tose, owner of the Eagles, Jim Murray, the Eagles’ general manager and Ed Rensi, the McDonald’s regional manager.


Christina Lurie heads up the Eagles Youth Partnership at the moment has done a fine job.

Eagles fans, Redskins fans, Cowboys fans...you can all throw your hat in the ring for most poorly-run franchise, money grubbing owner, and taxpayer-crushing stadium deal....but NONE of you can beat the Cincinnati Bengals and owner Mike Brown in any of those categories.

So, joking aside, the Eagles have quality ownership right now. The stadium deal is as much of a ripoff as they always are and they once tried to ban outside hoagies over "terrorism concerns" but otherwise they have done a good job.

The reason I am envious of the Packers is we have had previous owners like Tose who, despite being a great guy for a lot of reasons, gambled away tons of money and almost moved the team. There is no telling what the quality of the next owner will be.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:40 PM on December 7, 2011


holdkris99, that was The Best Gift Ever. Well done! I just sent a link to your post to a Packers PR guy. Who knows?

Raised in MN but never developed full-blown football fandom given proximity to the "Vi-Queens" (as they were often called in my home).
posted by wenestvedt at 8:45 AM on December 8, 2011


Apparently, if you do by one of these, you can't gamble on NFL games. (Wouldn't change whether I would buy one, but it might for some people)
posted by drezdn at 9:01 AM on December 9, 2011


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