I have read several articles of people criticizing the value of Packers stock and how those who spent real money on a share must be out of their minds. I have heard radio DJ’s (on a Green Bay Packers talk radio station, no less) calling us idiots. I’ve seen a lot of negativity and name calling on forums, and not enough about the fun and benefit of being a Green Bay Packers owner.
I made my second pilgrimage to Green Bay as an owner of the Green Bay Packers last week for the 2013 annual shareholder’s meeting. It was a 5-hour drive for me from the Twin Cities (each way), but was worth it for me. Here are 7 reasons why:
- It guarantees a free ticket to a Lambeau experience every year in the shareholder’s meeting. Any reason to get inside Lambeau is a good one.
- It’s the first opportunity to see last year’s team highlights video, on the big screens at Lambeau – amongst fans, no less. What better place to reminisce and cheer again for last season’s most memorable moments, with nearly half a stadium full of only Packer fans.
- You get to be the first to experience new stadium features. In 2012 it was exciting to hear the new sound system and see the new screens. This year I got to see the newly completed south end zone, and had the opportunity to take a tour of it.
- The shareholder’s meeting itself is actually pretty interesting. The stadium gets about 40% full, and everyone there is a die-hard fan. Mark Murphy’s speeches make me feel like part of the family (or company?), like I was getting insider information before anyone else. Ted Thompson as well, but to a lesser extent. It was especially fun to hear Mark talk about things like what he refers to as “wall of sound” (the new south end zone) as a new advantage we haven’t had in the past, “Lombardi time” and what’s in store for Lambeau Field in the future. The financial reports are pretty drab, but you don’t have to sit through it all.
- The “stock” itself: Some call it a just a worthless piece of paper, but I call it a piece of history. It’s a symbol of our devotion to our team. It’s sports memorabilia, of which there are a limited number of. And at the very worst, it’s a fun conversation piece. Also by owning it, I can say I helped build a beautiful stadium upgrade for my favorite team.
- It’s a great excuse to come to Green Bay and have a Packer-themed lunch or brew. Of course there is Curly’s Pub right in the Lambeau Field Atrium, but otherwise there are a few other fun places to go if you venture off-campus a bit. Titletown Brewing Co. has some very interesting food choices, but also award-winning beer and outstanding fried cheese curds. This is also now the home of “the receiver” statue that used to reside outside the old Packers Hall of Fame when it was across the street from Lambeau Field. It has since been converted to an updated version of the likeness of #80, Donald Driver. My personal favorite Packers restaurant though is Chili John’s, which lore has it was a favorite of several old-timer Packer players from the Lombardi era, as well as some opponents such as Fran Tarkenton. It’s a small hole-in-the-wall diner that serves Cincinnati-style chili, and it is excellent.
- It gets me charged up about football again, probably a few days ahead of most fans, as the shareholder’s meeting seems to always be held the day before players report to training camp.
We owners have put our hard-earned money where our heart is. I think Al said it best, that the shareholder meetings are a unique event, and the shareholders are an integral part of the team’s history. I’m so fortunate to be an owner of the finest sports franchise in the nation. Go Pack!