Green Bay’s strange way of celebrating

By all accounts, the citizens of Green Bay, Wisconsin, celebrated the Packers’ Super Bowl victory by flooding out of their houses to embrace each other in jubilation.  Also by honking their horns.  And by flocking to Lambeau Field with snow shovels to dig out the stadium in preparation for a big welcome home to the team.

But the fans didn’t overturn cars, set fires, fight each other, or smash store windows.  What’s with that?  Don’t they know how cities are supposed to celebrate?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    No, that’s reserved for Michigan State University in East Lansing.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    No, that’s reserved for Michigan State University in East Lansing.

  • Carl Vehse

    Celebrating with mindless rioting is a sub-culture activity, sort of like firing off guns in the air, mindless that gravity will bring the bullets down on something or someone.

  • Carl Vehse

    Celebrating with mindless rioting is a sub-culture activity, sort of like firing off guns in the air, mindless that gravity will bring the bullets down on something or someone.

  • LAJ

    Good for Green Bay!

  • LAJ

    Good for Green Bay!

  • WebMonk

    They haven’t had a Super Bowl to celebrate in so long, they forgot how it was supposed to be done!

    >:-}

  • WebMonk

    They haven’t had a Super Bowl to celebrate in so long, they forgot how it was supposed to be done!

    >:-}

  • Joe

    I am not at all surprised. I know it is an old refrain, but Green Bay’s devotion to its team is really different. We literally own that team, its ours. And it is in the blood. The team holds an annual shareholders meeting every summer at Lambeau Field and thousands of people show up and ask questions of the team president. The teams website has instructions on how to transfer your season tickets to “qualified heirs.” There are over 83,000 names on the season ticket waiting list – I have been on it for 22 years. I saw a stat this week that noted that 72% of the city’s population can fit in the stadium.

  • Joe

    I am not at all surprised. I know it is an old refrain, but Green Bay’s devotion to its team is really different. We literally own that team, its ours. And it is in the blood. The team holds an annual shareholders meeting every summer at Lambeau Field and thousands of people show up and ask questions of the team president. The teams website has instructions on how to transfer your season tickets to “qualified heirs.” There are over 83,000 names on the season ticket waiting list – I have been on it for 22 years. I saw a stat this week that noted that 72% of the city’s population can fit in the stadium.

  • Joe

    Oh WebMonk, its really that we have the most practice of any team. 13 NFL championships.

  • Joe

    Oh WebMonk, its really that we have the most practice of any team. 13 NFL championships.

  • Kirk

    It’s because they’re sissies.

  • Kirk

    It’s because they’re sissies.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    J. Dean; absolutely, and hopefully someday they completely burn down Cedar Village (the dumpy apartment complex where most of the riots have taken place….it always reeks of stale beer and vomit….yes I’m a Spartan).

    I guess there must be a lot of Spartans in other cities, though….if ya catch my drift, as sadly, it’s not limited to Cedar Village by a long shot.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    J. Dean; absolutely, and hopefully someday they completely burn down Cedar Village (the dumpy apartment complex where most of the riots have taken place….it always reeks of stale beer and vomit….yes I’m a Spartan).

    I guess there must be a lot of Spartans in other cities, though….if ya catch my drift, as sadly, it’s not limited to Cedar Village by a long shot.

  • Dennis Peskey

    While I can not disclaim the remakes by Mr. Dean and Bubba, the pietist in me is proud to proclaim I was a Spartan living in “Old” Cedar Village prior to the fires, fighting and smashing. My heart is sadden to see and hear accusations of misconduct; I do not know when nor how this behavior originated (another post perhaps?)

    As a life-long Packer fan, I do appreciate and understand the resident’s behavior in Green Bay. There is much to be said for this team alone being of the people, for the people and by the people. To fully comprehend this difference, I assert most of those celebrating were owners of this team (in actuality or in spirit) and more importantly, they were celebrating with their neighbors who held an equal share in this enterprise. Green Bay, being the smallest city among the NFL, is still and primarily a town of neighbors and they do act accordingly (see subsequent post on “Salt and Light.”) This is the difference between being and becoming.
    Go Pack Go
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    While I can not disclaim the remakes by Mr. Dean and Bubba, the pietist in me is proud to proclaim I was a Spartan living in “Old” Cedar Village prior to the fires, fighting and smashing. My heart is sadden to see and hear accusations of misconduct; I do not know when nor how this behavior originated (another post perhaps?)

    As a life-long Packer fan, I do appreciate and understand the resident’s behavior in Green Bay. There is much to be said for this team alone being of the people, for the people and by the people. To fully comprehend this difference, I assert most of those celebrating were owners of this team (in actuality or in spirit) and more importantly, they were celebrating with their neighbors who held an equal share in this enterprise. Green Bay, being the smallest city among the NFL, is still and primarily a town of neighbors and they do act accordingly (see subsequent post on “Salt and Light.”) This is the difference between being and becoming.
    Go Pack Go
    Dennis

  • WebMonk

    Yeah, those Green Bay fans keep bringing up those “13 NFL championships”. I imagine it makes them feel better. Reliving glory days and all that.

    But! It could be a new day! Maybe this Super Bowl is the start of something new! (or, it could be a one-time fluke and they’ll go back to relying on long-past glories)

  • WebMonk

    Yeah, those Green Bay fans keep bringing up those “13 NFL championships”. I imagine it makes them feel better. Reliving glory days and all that.

    But! It could be a new day! Maybe this Super Bowl is the start of something new! (or, it could be a one-time fluke and they’ll go back to relying on long-past glories)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Dennis; I think it has to do with “Cedar Fest” going from a small block party to a major bacchanal in the 1980s–and the subsequent association of the complex with bacchanals.

    That, and the abject refusal of the administration to discipline students for riotous behavior at that time–there was (and probably remains) a huge difference between the image of the school presented to parents and that which the students see. (condoms removed from vending machines for Parents Weekend, dorm visitation policies not being enforced, etc…)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Dennis; I think it has to do with “Cedar Fest” going from a small block party to a major bacchanal in the 1980s–and the subsequent association of the complex with bacchanals.

    That, and the abject refusal of the administration to discipline students for riotous behavior at that time–there was (and probably remains) a huge difference between the image of the school presented to parents and that which the students see. (condoms removed from vending machines for Parents Weekend, dorm visitation policies not being enforced, etc…)

  • Dennis Peskey

    Bubba – You hit that nail on the head with “bacchanal ” – from what I recall watching the local news, the devolved to a status below Caligula. I suspect not many are enrolled in ethics classes (if they’re even offered anymore.)

    Webmonk – First, please forgive me for referring to Pittsburgh’s team as the “Stealers;” unwarrented and undeserved. My “old Adam” was in full revelry after our victory and my delete button was idle. Now – for the bad news (that being for the rest of the NFL.) The Packers are the second youngest team in the NFL. We began this SuperBowl run in week 16 of the regular season (mandatory wins against the Giants then the final slugfest with da Bears.) The road trip to SB XLV went Philly, Atlanta, then Chicago – no easy road to travel. Now, we’ll get our fifteen players back from injured reserve – these are the ones you didn’t see (but we esteemed them better players before their injuries.)

    While “long-past” glories are fond to remember, fresh one’s are even better. I do recall several Steeler fans pointing out their SuperBowl record (most of which can be attributed to Chuck Noll – certainly wasn’t Bradshaw’s rocket arm.) These are well deserved and in this spirit, I extend the invitation to the Steelers to join us in Indianapolis on February 5, 2012 for a rematch. Should be fun. We plan on being 6-1 overall (which would make you 6-3 if my math is correct – please correct me if I err.)
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Bubba – You hit that nail on the head with “bacchanal ” – from what I recall watching the local news, the devolved to a status below Caligula. I suspect not many are enrolled in ethics classes (if they’re even offered anymore.)

    Webmonk – First, please forgive me for referring to Pittsburgh’s team as the “Stealers;” unwarrented and undeserved. My “old Adam” was in full revelry after our victory and my delete button was idle. Now – for the bad news (that being for the rest of the NFL.) The Packers are the second youngest team in the NFL. We began this SuperBowl run in week 16 of the regular season (mandatory wins against the Giants then the final slugfest with da Bears.) The road trip to SB XLV went Philly, Atlanta, then Chicago – no easy road to travel. Now, we’ll get our fifteen players back from injured reserve – these are the ones you didn’t see (but we esteemed them better players before their injuries.)

    While “long-past” glories are fond to remember, fresh one’s are even better. I do recall several Steeler fans pointing out their SuperBowl record (most of which can be attributed to Chuck Noll – certainly wasn’t Bradshaw’s rocket arm.) These are well deserved and in this spirit, I extend the invitation to the Steelers to join us in Indianapolis on February 5, 2012 for a rematch. Should be fun. We plan on being 6-1 overall (which would make you 6-3 if my math is correct – please correct me if I err.)
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • WebMonk

    Dennis, did you happen to mean that the Packers are the second oldest team in the NFL instead of the second youngest?

  • WebMonk

    Dennis, did you happen to mean that the Packers are the second oldest team in the NFL instead of the second youngest?

  • Orianna Laun

    They DID set fires. It’s Wisconsin in winter, after all; they just had the sense to build them in their fireplaces.

  • Orianna Laun

    They DID set fires. It’s Wisconsin in winter, after all; they just had the sense to build them in their fireplaces.

  • Dennis Peskey

    Webmonk – The current Packer roster is comprised of younger players active in the NFL by all but one other team (although Green Bay is also one of the original teams which formed the NFL, along with that other southern team at the bottom of Lake Michigan.)
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Webmonk – The current Packer roster is comprised of younger players active in the NFL by all but one other team (although Green Bay is also one of the original teams which formed the NFL, along with that other southern team at the bottom of Lake Michigan.)
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Joe

    Webmonk we’ve gone over this before – its not past glories; its the amazing ability to succeed in almost every era of football. Championships in the 20′s, 30′s, 4o’s, 60′s, 90′s and 2010′s. There are some gaps but that is a pretty solid tradition of excellence. Now compare that with the Steelers. They have existed since 1933 (5th oldest team in the NFL) yet never won a championship (under any format) until 1975.

    Given the youth of the current team, it is likely that Packers will be good for the next several years. May be even good enough to get the the big game a few more times. Its just the natural continuation of the winning tradition.

  • Joe

    Webmonk we’ve gone over this before – its not past glories; its the amazing ability to succeed in almost every era of football. Championships in the 20′s, 30′s, 4o’s, 60′s, 90′s and 2010′s. There are some gaps but that is a pretty solid tradition of excellence. Now compare that with the Steelers. They have existed since 1933 (5th oldest team in the NFL) yet never won a championship (under any format) until 1975.

    Given the youth of the current team, it is likely that Packers will be good for the next several years. May be even good enough to get the the big game a few more times. Its just the natural continuation of the winning tradition.

  • WebMonk

    Dennis, I get what you mean now. Their average age is the second youngest. They are the second oldest if you look at when they joined the NFL.

    Joe, that’s sort of my point – the Steelers have been a major contender for the last 40 years, winning 6 SBs, only missing playoffs 16 times, won the most games, and the most divisional titles. They’ve been one of the top teams for the last 40 years.

    Packers, though, missed the playoffs entirely 26 times in that period, including going 9 and 10 years in a row without making it to the playoffs at all, only won 5 divisional championships, only 2 SBs won, and just barely have a >50% win record.

    For the past 40 years, the Packers just haven’t been able to pull together any consistent success. Since 1993 they’ve been doing better, but it’s still not great, typically only getting into the playoffs through the wild card spot, only twice in that time did they make it to the playoffs without the wildcard slot.

    Basically, for the last 40 years they really haven’t been a consistently good team. Obviously, they have their “on” years, such as this one, but that has been the exception, not the rule. Most of the glory of the GBPackers has been long past.

  • WebMonk

    Dennis, I get what you mean now. Their average age is the second youngest. They are the second oldest if you look at when they joined the NFL.

    Joe, that’s sort of my point – the Steelers have been a major contender for the last 40 years, winning 6 SBs, only missing playoffs 16 times, won the most games, and the most divisional titles. They’ve been one of the top teams for the last 40 years.

    Packers, though, missed the playoffs entirely 26 times in that period, including going 9 and 10 years in a row without making it to the playoffs at all, only won 5 divisional championships, only 2 SBs won, and just barely have a >50% win record.

    For the past 40 years, the Packers just haven’t been able to pull together any consistent success. Since 1993 they’ve been doing better, but it’s still not great, typically only getting into the playoffs through the wild card spot, only twice in that time did they make it to the playoffs without the wildcard slot.

    Basically, for the last 40 years they really haven’t been a consistently good team. Obviously, they have their “on” years, such as this one, but that has been the exception, not the rule. Most of the glory of the GBPackers has been long past.

  • Joe

    Webmonk – Sure if you chop off the first thirty years of their existence, you can say the Steelers have been consistently good.

    Comparing the two teams. They both have 26 playoff appearances (starting in 1933 when the championship game was the only playoff game). For the Steelers only one of those predates 1972. Steelers:

    1947, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010

    The Packers 26 look like this:

    1936, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1944, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1972, 1982, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010

    Other than the 50′s the Packers have made the playoffs at least once a decade since there have been playoffs. That is consistency over the long term. The Steelers have a huge gap from 1947 to 1972.

  • Joe

    Webmonk – Sure if you chop off the first thirty years of their existence, you can say the Steelers have been consistently good.

    Comparing the two teams. They both have 26 playoff appearances (starting in 1933 when the championship game was the only playoff game). For the Steelers only one of those predates 1972. Steelers:

    1947, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010

    The Packers 26 look like this:

    1936, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1944, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1972, 1982, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010

    Other than the 50′s the Packers have made the playoffs at least once a decade since there have been playoffs. That is consistency over the long term. The Steelers have a huge gap from 1947 to 1972.

  • http://pastoralkorn.blogspot.com Alan

    How soon they forget. It was only last year when the Saints of New Orleans won the Super Bowl. Not only was there no riot–no burning or car-tipping or rapes or violence other unpleasantness–but they had the biggest and best party in the world.

    I appreciate the simple joy of the Green Bay faithful; but give me a New Orleans party any day! (And there will be another New Orleans party next year when they return as Super Bowl champs!)

  • http://pastoralkorn.blogspot.com Alan

    How soon they forget. It was only last year when the Saints of New Orleans won the Super Bowl. Not only was there no riot–no burning or car-tipping or rapes or violence other unpleasantness–but they had the biggest and best party in the world.

    I appreciate the simple joy of the Green Bay faithful; but give me a New Orleans party any day! (And there will be another New Orleans party next year when they return as Super Bowl champs!)

  • kerner

    Webmonk:

    Let me ge this straight. You’re telling us that The Steelers were a force in the 1970′s. And then you accuse us of living on our past glories?

    So what if the Packers went from 1968 to 1997 between superbowl victories? The Steelers went from 1980 to 2006 between superbowl victories, which is a pretty similar drought.

    The present glory is that the Packers just handed the Steelers their butts for lunch. The 2009 superbowl may be the last one the Steelers win.

  • kerner

    Webmonk:

    Let me ge this straight. You’re telling us that The Steelers were a force in the 1970′s. And then you accuse us of living on our past glories?

    So what if the Packers went from 1968 to 1997 between superbowl victories? The Steelers went from 1980 to 2006 between superbowl victories, which is a pretty similar drought.

    The present glory is that the Packers just handed the Steelers their butts for lunch. The 2009 superbowl may be the last one the Steelers win.

  • The Jones

    After the Saints won, everybody in New Orleans went out and got drunk off their rocker. That’s another way of saying the city didn’t do anything particularly noteworthy after the victory. I suppose N.O. and Green Bay actually DO have something in common in this regard.

  • The Jones

    After the Saints won, everybody in New Orleans went out and got drunk off their rocker. That’s another way of saying the city didn’t do anything particularly noteworthy after the victory. I suppose N.O. and Green Bay actually DO have something in common in this regard.

  • WebMonk

    kerner 20, if I made it sound like I said the Steelers are awesome because they dominated in the 70s, I completely mis-typed things. I very much didn’t mean anything like that. I merely picked the start date of 1970 for “modern” since that’s when the NFL formed. We can look at just the last 20 years if that will be a bit more modern for you – the same things show up for both teams.

    Joe, you’re making my point for me. I appreciate that.

    Making the playoffs once per decade is hardly something to brag about. On average teams should be making the playoffs every 2.7 years. Getting to the playoffs twice over 25 years isn’t “consistency”, that’s called sucking. And yes, the Steelers have had their long periods of royally sucking too, just not within the last 40 years. (or 20 years, kerner, or 10, or 5)

    But, looking at whether or not the Packers have been a consistently top-level team recently (which is what we’re talking about) doesn’t look at bygone days.

    For the past 40 years, as you have shown, the Packers haven’t been consistently good. They had a nice time 95-97, but that didn’t last, unfortunately. Let’s look at the last 20 years if the last 40 years is too long ago.

    For the last 20 years the Steelers have been in first place over half the time. Rarely below second.

    For the last 20 years the Packers … well, it’s been a mixed bag. Just barely better than a random average.

  • WebMonk

    kerner 20, if I made it sound like I said the Steelers are awesome because they dominated in the 70s, I completely mis-typed things. I very much didn’t mean anything like that. I merely picked the start date of 1970 for “modern” since that’s when the NFL formed. We can look at just the last 20 years if that will be a bit more modern for you – the same things show up for both teams.

    Joe, you’re making my point for me. I appreciate that.

    Making the playoffs once per decade is hardly something to brag about. On average teams should be making the playoffs every 2.7 years. Getting to the playoffs twice over 25 years isn’t “consistency”, that’s called sucking. And yes, the Steelers have had their long periods of royally sucking too, just not within the last 40 years. (or 20 years, kerner, or 10, or 5)

    But, looking at whether or not the Packers have been a consistently top-level team recently (which is what we’re talking about) doesn’t look at bygone days.

    For the past 40 years, as you have shown, the Packers haven’t been consistently good. They had a nice time 95-97, but that didn’t last, unfortunately. Let’s look at the last 20 years if the last 40 years is too long ago.

    For the last 20 years the Steelers have been in first place over half the time. Rarely below second.

    For the last 20 years the Packers … well, it’s been a mixed bag. Just barely better than a random average.

  • Cincinnatus

    Plus, Packers fans are dedicated and yet avoid the vortex of obnoxiousness so characteristic of “Steeler Nation,” perhaps the biggest bandwagon in all of history.

  • Cincinnatus

    Plus, Packers fans are dedicated and yet avoid the vortex of obnoxiousness so characteristic of “Steeler Nation,” perhaps the biggest bandwagon in all of history.

  • WebMonk

    LOL!

    Well, if the Packer fanbase was even half the size of the Steeler fanbase, I imagine the Packers would get their fair share.

  • WebMonk

    LOL!

    Well, if the Packer fanbase was even half the size of the Steeler fanbase, I imagine the Packers would get their fair share.

  • kerner

    Webmonk:

    First place of what?

    In the last 20 years the Steelers have been in the Superbowl 4 times and won twice. In the last 20 years the Packers have been in the Super Bowl 3 times and won twice.

    According to Joe, both teams have made the playoffs 13 times in that same 20 year period (I have no idea who won more playoff games).

    The only time the two teams met in he playoffs, the Packers won.

    In the past 20 years the Packers and the Steelers have played only 5 times during the regular season. The Steelers won the last 3 games, but the Packers won the previous 2 games.

    So, the Packers were probably better in the 90′s, and the Steelers were probably better in the 2000′s, until now, that is. But what’s your point?

  • kerner

    Webmonk:

    First place of what?

    In the last 20 years the Steelers have been in the Superbowl 4 times and won twice. In the last 20 years the Packers have been in the Super Bowl 3 times and won twice.

    According to Joe, both teams have made the playoffs 13 times in that same 20 year period (I have no idea who won more playoff games).

    The only time the two teams met in he playoffs, the Packers won.

    In the past 20 years the Packers and the Steelers have played only 5 times during the regular season. The Steelers won the last 3 games, but the Packers won the previous 2 games.

    So, the Packers were probably better in the 90′s, and the Steelers were probably better in the 2000′s, until now, that is. But what’s your point?

  • WebMonk

    First place in their division is what I meant. I guess that was a bit unclear. As a general proxy, making it to the playoffs can be used to look at team quality, but a team can be mediocre and still make the playoffs, which is why I prefer the divisional rankings, and add in the playoff results for a more detailed look.

    You need to check up on facts, kerner.
    In the 1990s:
    Packers were 1st (in division) 3 times and next to last 3 times.
    Steelers were 1st (in division) 5 times and next to last 1 time.

    In the 2000s:
    Packers were 1st 4 times, and next to last 1 time.
    Steelers were 1st 5 times, and next to last 0 times.

    That’s what I meant when I said the Steelers have been consistently over the last 40/20/10 years a top level team, while the Packers have been very sub-par when considered over the last 40 years, average over the last 20 years, and getting above average only when looked at over the last 10 years, but are still far from being a consistent powerhouse like the Steelers.

    To see when the Packers were last a consistently top-level team, you have to go way way back to the 1960s. Which is my point.

    Joe’s claim that because they made it to the playoffs once in the 1970s and once in the 1980s (only due to the strike that year; they wouldn’t have made it otherwise), they have been a consistently top-notch team, is silly.

  • WebMonk

    First place in their division is what I meant. I guess that was a bit unclear. As a general proxy, making it to the playoffs can be used to look at team quality, but a team can be mediocre and still make the playoffs, which is why I prefer the divisional rankings, and add in the playoff results for a more detailed look.

    You need to check up on facts, kerner.
    In the 1990s:
    Packers were 1st (in division) 3 times and next to last 3 times.
    Steelers were 1st (in division) 5 times and next to last 1 time.

    In the 2000s:
    Packers were 1st 4 times, and next to last 1 time.
    Steelers were 1st 5 times, and next to last 0 times.

    That’s what I meant when I said the Steelers have been consistently over the last 40/20/10 years a top level team, while the Packers have been very sub-par when considered over the last 40 years, average over the last 20 years, and getting above average only when looked at over the last 10 years, but are still far from being a consistent powerhouse like the Steelers.

    To see when the Packers were last a consistently top-level team, you have to go way way back to the 1960s. Which is my point.

    Joe’s claim that because they made it to the playoffs once in the 1970s and once in the 1980s (only due to the strike that year; they wouldn’t have made it otherwise), they have been a consistently top-notch team, is silly.


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