By Marcela Vargas Reynoso // @ethne88
I never cared about football until January 9th, 2011. Growing up in a country with its heart set on soccer, and born within a family of soccer enthusiasts, football was always the odd sport for me.
Even when I went to study at a football-crazed high school and college (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education), I never attended a game. I went out of my way to avoid interacting with players, coaches, and matches. Why, then, am I now writing an article about my love for the Green Bay Packers?
It all comes down to January 9th, 2011. It was the wildcard game against the Philadelphia Eagles for the 2010 playoffs. One of my best friends came to Mexico City for a few days and I went to pick him up at the airport. He’s a HUGE Packers fan —has been since they won Super Bowl XXXI on the date of his 10th birthday. We wandered around town looking for a suitable bar or restaurant so he could watch the game. “It’s very important”, he said.
We settled around halftime, and he started explaining the game to me while drinking a few beers. He was patient, kind, enthusiastic, and everything a good teacher should be. He answered every question, no matter how dumb it might be, and it did help that the Packers gave a fantastic match. After an amazing interception by Tramon Williams with less than a minute to go, the Packers clinched a 21-16 score and moved on to have an amazing playoff season all the way to winning Super Bowl XLV.
Their defense won me over. I sat there, amazed at this sport I had overlooked for so many years. The strategy involved, the physicality of it, I started appreciating every detail I could absorb from that single match. I followed up on the team for the rest of the season.
I cried when they won the Super Bowl. I called my best friend and thanked him for introducing me to the football experience. My love has grown over these past years, and I have dragged family and close friends down the rabbit hole with me.
Why the Green Bay Packers? I didn’t know anything about them while watching that first GB-PHI match back in 2011. But now I’ve learned. It’s a community-owned team, the only in NFL. They truly care about their people, because they are literally owned by them. They have one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history: Aaron Rodgers.
The current roster is both young and experienced. Thor, the God of Thunder commands our defense (that’s got to be Clay Matthews’ secret identity, there can’t be any other explanation). Jordy Nelson is an excellent receiver. Our players are versatile, fast, and steady.
We carry the torch of Vince Lombardi’s legacy and wisdom. It might have taken me a while, but on a cold January evening six years ago, I discovered with delight that my blood is and will forever be, the colors of green and gold.
Go Pack, Go!
Follow Marcela on Twitter // @ethne88