5 ways to make Green Bay and the Packers as sexy as the rest of the NFL
Wisconsin has always taken pride, justifiably, in the fact that the Green Bay Packers are the little team that could, nestled in a tiny town smaller than the suburbs of most NFL teams.
We like it when people talk about seeing players shop at the local K-Mart. We think it's cool when we keep naming streets after one player or coach after another. Tradition may be the most important product of this city. We love the present but we revere our past.
All of that is well and good, but it is probably time the Packers take some steps to move into the 21st century.
Watching the game against the Kansas City Chiefs Monday night, it suddenly dawned on me that this franchise is in need of a shot or two of sex appeal. The Packers hired a woman named Gabrielle Valdez Dow last year to ride herd on the gameday experience for fans. But it's not just the fans who come to the game. The Packers, and Valdez Dow, need to do some stuff to create some sex appeal for the rest of the world.
It doesn't have to be anything gigantic, just a few small things that might make all those fancy-schmancy people who make fun of us shut up.
Some of my regular readers may may think this is supposed to be a humorous column. Not true.
1. Ban all things made of foam
The famed and vastly passé cheesehead is the most egregious offender of good taste. But all the other stuff should go as well. The fingers and mustaches and hats with horns and fake helmets. We get enough national criticism for the way we look. There is nothing at all flattering about a cheesehead. It makes people look like, well, a cheesehead.
2. Never let the "Beer Barrel Polka" be heard again
Mike Tirico even mentioned it during the game. Really? Let's also ban anything by Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, U2 or Bruce Springsteen. Green Bay is an interesting city. Almost 80 percent of the people are white. According to the Census Bureau, there are more Asians and Native Americans than black people in Green Bay. The Packers need to recognize they have some responsibility to help make the whole fan experience more diverse.
Plus, we need a song. But not some song we adopt. Green Bay is a franchise that has a lot of class, so our song needs to have class, as well. Hire some classic hip-hop guy like Dr. Dre or a new hitmaker like Kendrick Lamar to write a song just for the Packers. It would capture national attention, and we'd put all the other teams to shame.
3. The cheerleaders
During the telecast Monday night, the cameras showed a few seconds of the Packer cheerleaders. They look like, and probably are, either high school or college cheerleaders. Maybe some Christian college. I can only imagine the howls of laughter from fans in Dallas or New York or Philadelphia or Tampa when they see our cheerleaders. Sex sells in this world. You may not like it, but it's a fact.
4. Put Kroll's front and center
Get Kroll's restaurant to provide burgers to all members of the working press and the announcers and crew for the telecast. Once they have what may well be the greatest cheeseburger in the world, nobody would dare say a negative thing about Green Bay. If you haven't stopped at Kroll's West, then you haven't lived. Let's capitalize on the few things that can stand up to any kind of national or worldwide competition.
5. Invite celebrities to the games
Eminem. John McEnroe. Olivia Munn (make her sit in the stands). Donald Trump. P Diddy. Jason Kidd. Rachael Ray. Viola Davis. Michelle Obama. It doesn't really matter who it is. Just draw up a list of celebrities, make sure who is coming and tell the director of the telecast exactly where they can shoot them. It will make Green Bay look more cosmopolitan than it is.
There you go, Ms. Valdez Dow. Take the ball and turn Green Bay into a sexy NFL city.
How about updating the uniforms? I remember someone submitting new designs for the emblem, incorporating the letters "G" and "B" into the emblem rather than just the "G". The new ideas looked good to me but were never seriously considered by the team. And tinker with the color scheme, I would like to see a different shade of green. I would prefer an emerald green and a more metallic gold helmet rather than yellow. (They didn't always were green jerseys, the old throwback jerseys are deep blue). The cheerleaders are a joke, why bother.
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