John Mark Reynolds has been a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan and he believes that loving the Packers has done him some good. Here is a snippet:
And yet I think loving the Packers has done me good. What good?
First, it gave an eccentric man like I am some common ground with other folk. My life has been enriched by countless football discussions that were gateways to getting to know people who would not have been fascinated by my theories about Anastasia or my love of High Elfish.
Second, the Packers were very, very bad for most of my growing up years. I am too young to remember the great Bart Starr as anything other than a not-so-great coach. When 8-8 is a promising year, you are not following a team for band-wagon reasons. Sticking by the Packers is not morally praiseworthy in itself, but when tempted to root for “better” teams it did me some good.
Lombardi was wrong. For a man in love winning is not everything, in fact it does not matter much at all. You hope for it, you wish to see it, but you will go on rooting for the Green and Gold regardless. There are not many places that encourage this kind of loyalty and it did me some good.
Rooting for flawed football players also taught me that heroes in one area sometimes are not so good in other areas. I was lucky to admire Lombardi and Starr . . . two men whose character has held up well over time in other areas of life. I had, however, to accept that Starr, a good guy and a great quarterback, was not a great (or at least successful) coach. This taught me to accept limitations in my heroes.
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