How I Became A Green Bay Packers Fan

[Edit:] Note: my brother says the first game we saw might have been an earlier Packers/49ers game from 1996. He could be right because the only thing I remember for certain was that it was those two teams playing each other. [/Edit]

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many success stories regarding the teams that I follow. The Toronto Blue Jays last made the won the World Series (or made the playoffs) since before I moved here in 1995. The Toronto Maple Leafs have not won a championship in 44 years and haven’t made the playoffs in 5 years. The Toronto Raptors had minor success making the playoffs 3 years in a row from 1999-2001 and twice in 2007 and ’08 but have struggled mightily the rest of the decade. The Green Bay Packers have won the division four times in the past nine years and made the playoffs seven times this decade but have not reached the championship game since 1997 (when they did back-to-back years). The last time the Green Bay Packers were in the Super Bowl, I was only 10 years old at the time and still had not started following football.

There is a funny story that goes with me and how I got introduced to the game of “football”. I moved here from Pakistan in the winter of 1995 and was just getting to know the western sports when I started school here in the 3rd grade. I went up to a new friend of mine and asked him if he wanted to play ‘futbol’ which I had known and meant as soccer as it is known here. The kid looked at me like I had three ears or two noses and probably thought why is this skinny, tooth pick of a kid wanting to play football? After spending all of recess trying to convince him that I knew and had played ‘futbol’ before, I gave up for the day. I did come to know the sport as soccer but I had forgotten about what the kid thought I meant when I said “football” – until 3 years later. I still chuckle to this day thinking what might have happened if I had played American football that day.

However, It wasn’t until the playoffs of 1998 when the Green Bay Packers were robbed of a playoff win against the San Francisco 49ers that I watched my first ever American Football game with my brother. That game had NFL legends like Brett Favre, Reggie White, Steve Young and Jerry Rice – not a bad time to catch your first game. Even though they lost, that was the defining moment where I became a Green and Gold fan for life and my brother took the 49ers. Neither of us has waivered since.

We have had a tradition going back many years of gathering up a whole bunch of family members and watching the big game together. I’m not certain how well that will be this year since I am north of the border but I’m guessing there’s got to be some pack of Cheeseheads here that want to watch the game. On a related note, I had scheduled a trip to Boston last year which happened to fall on this upcoming Super Bowl weekend. Initially I had no problem with it because my plane would land in downtown Toronto just in time for a “normal” kickoff time because I had thought it would be around 8:30PM but apparently they go with a much earlier kickoff time of 6:30 which I only noticed a couple of days ago. I will be making a friendly call to the wonderful people of Porter Airlines later today and hopefully get that switched up with the one that will get me here in time for the game.

Boy, do I wish I was back home – just for that weekend. I have got to schedule a trip home for the Super Bowl weekend if I am still here next year.

One more game, Green Bay. One more.

Quick Working Stats

While there is some down time at work, I pulled up a file I created when I started work here which has been breaking down the data of how much I am working and when. By no means am I complaining of the hours I work because the things I have learned so far and people I get to work with have taught me a tremendous amount in a very short time span but I am a math major and we do these types of things so here is a quick snapshot:

Time In Time Out Avg/Day Avg/Week
Jul-10 8:33 17:06 8:32 42:42
Aug-10 8:09 17:40 9:30 47:33
Sep-10 8:10 17:31 9:21 46:46
Oct-10 8:12 18:15 10:03 50:15
Nov-10 8:09 18:07 9:57 49:49
Dec-10 8:10 17:21 9:10 45:53
Jan-11 8:09 18:15 10:06 50:30
Time In Time Out Avg/Day Avg/Week
Q3 2010 8:17 17:26 9:08 45:41
Q4 2010 8:10 17:54 9:43 48:37
Q1 2011 8:09 18:15 10:06 50:30

Just interesting to note that following the very first month, the time that I can into work got pulled back half an hour and the time I left pushed forward one half. A fantastic start for January so far and we’re barely half way through since I was here unexpectedly until almost 10PM last week which did well to push that average up near record levels although I don’t think (and hope) it won’t sustain during the next two weeks as lots of things are progressing steadily.

The end of December was kind of nice with people going on vacation and not a lot of things on my plate before the year but I still averaged leaving at pretty high 5:21PM leave time given those numbers includes a 1:30PM, 2:00PM and 3:00PM dismissal in consecutive weeks leading up to the new year.

Monday 9:40
Tuesday 9:17
Wednesday 9:49
Thursday 9:23
Friday 9:19

One surprising note was that initially hit me what that Friday HAD to be the day which I worked the longest but the average per day just didn’t show that. It just turns out that if I take away those “early dismissal” prior to long weekends, the Friday average jumps a whole 41 minutes to 10 hours per every Friday which includes a 13+ hour day this past Friday.

With that, I’m off to lunch.

Please Help A Friend In Need

I hope this reaches all of you in good health. This is part of an email I got earlier today from my cousin who is looking to help out a close friend. Any support you may be able to provide would certainly go a long way and hopefully will come back to you should you ever need it one day. To do my part, I will be donating 100% of my commercial revenue off this site for the remainder of the year.

Many of you might already know, one of my friends has been in the hospital for a while now and is very weak needing medical attention 24 hours. She was diagnosed with cancer when she was 17 but was holding through. Now she is in critical condition. She’s the oldest of 6 siblings, her youngest sister is three years old the others are all under 20 and it’s not easy for the family at all. Also, Her father passed away about two weeks ago from a brain tumor. You can imagine how hard it would be for the family. Best thing to do is make lots and lots of dua (prayers) for the family. We don’t know why things happen but Allah (swt) puts us through all types of tests and we are also tested from others hardships as well. We should support each other in times of need and make dua for her health and for the pain shes suffering from, dua for sabr and strength for her mom and family, dua for the patience for her family and friends. We don’t realize it but we take way too much for granted.

My request is for financial assistance. Anyone who is able to contribute would be greatly appreciated. They are in need of financial support as well as emotional support. They don’t have family here but everyone’s trying to help in any way they can. Her mother is not in a position to take on employment, having to take care of 5 kids at home and then her daughter at the hospital it’s becoming very hard.

This is a family going through very tough times and any support you may be able to provide will go a very long way. The button at the bottom of this post and on the sidebar have been specially tagged so all donations will be marked with HelpAFriend. 100% of these donations will go towards the cause and I hope you will join me in helping them out.