COMMENTARY | Few professional sports teams command the type of loyalty that the Green Bay Packers franchise receives. You can find Packer fans all across the country; they aren’t just found in Wisconsin. And the holidays are approaching even faster than the playoffs.
For the “Cheesehead,” on your shopping list, I interviewed Anne Lacey Whitaker, a public relations manager for Fanatics, Inc., the largest online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise, as well as Linda Remeschatis, the founder and CEO of Wisconsinmade.com an internet specialty food and gift store. These two provided all kinds of gift ideas from the standard to the unusual to the hilarious to those that go for a good cause. These go in no particular order.
1) Halloween Special: Zombie Packer. Injuries have piled up for the Packers, leading them to be described as “the walking wounded.” But this figurine combines football with “The Walking Dead.”
2) Ladies’ Special: High Heel Shoe Bottle Holder. Football isn’t just for guys, of course. And it’s the best holiday present since “A Christmas Story” featured a lamp leg in the window.
3) The Complete Special: Cheesehead Gift Basket. You knew it wouldn’t be long before the foam fromage from Fon du Lac would make an appearance. This would be a great idea for teachers (in one teacher’s opinion).
4) For The Youngest Packer Backers: GBP Packer sippy cups. What better way to keep a family tradition going than football for the pint-sized rookies?
5) The Most Appetizing Packer Gift: The only tastier treat than a loose ball for a lineman is a plate of Green Bay Packer cookies. And what are the holidays without something sugary decked in green and yellow (if not red)?
6) Headgear for the Holidays: On-Field Player Sideline Sport Knit Hat. Few folks North of the Mason-Dixon Line are without a knit hat. But how many have an On-Field Player Sideline Sport Knit Hat with the “G” that says “Greatness?”
7) When is Pink a Packer Color? It is when it involves Breast Cancer Awareness products. And these can range from everything from gear you wear to food you eat. “For the 13th year in a row during the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are giving away 10% of all sales to two Wisconsin Breast Cancer Organizations,” says Remeschatis in an online interview. Similarly Fanatics.com “donates a portion of the proceeds to breast cancer research,” according to Whitaker in another interview online.
8) Cheesy Aaron Rodgers Support: I (Cheese) Aaron Rodgers T-Shirt. And there are plenty of alternatives if you prefer something more traditional.
9) What’s in a Number? Pick a Packer Jersey. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a fan favorite, but so is cornerback Sam Shields, whose signed print is much desired.
10) A Nutty Idea For A Packer Christmas: A Green Bay Packer Nutcracker can shatter almonds and walnuts like Clay Matthews Jr. shatters a Chicago Bears pass protection. You can get a 14″ for decoration or hang a smaller one from a tree.
Most Packer fans desire another Super Bowl. But that’s up to the guys wearing green and yellow. So choose one of these gift ideas which will be appreciated by any Cheesehead well past December.
John A. Tures, born in Milwaukee, Wisc., a professor of political science at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga., remains a Packer fan, even in the Deep South.