Packers Win

I am a perfidious sports fan. The only time I watched regularly was when I was kid. I broke my leg when I was eleven-years-old at the start of the 1966 season. I was in the hospital in traction for six weeks, so it was enforced watching. My father and sometimes my uncles would come to visit me every Sunday and we would watch the game. They must have allowed them to bring in beer.

I became a very dedicated Packer Fan that season and the next. It kind of spoiled me. It is a colossal understatement to say the Packers were good in 1966-7, with Vince Lombardi, Bart Star & my personal favorite Ray Nitschke (he seemed like an ordinary good guy). At eleven years old, I really couldn't remember a time when the Packers were not a great team. In my kid sort of way, I just assumed that it was an order in the universe that the Packers would win most of the time. After the 1967 season, the universe was out of order.

As I said, I am not a great sports fan, but the Packers always remained my favorite for nostalgic and emotional reasons as well as a few others. The Packers are the only team in the league that is not located in some big city. Green Bay only has around 100, 000 people and it is not near any large commercial or population center. This is because of the unique ownership. The Packers are a non-profit, community-owned franchise, the only one in Americans sports. There are 112,015 shareholders. Nobody is allowed to own a large percentage of shares. The shares pay no dividends and it is stipulated that if the franchise is ever sold, all the profits go to charity. This removes the financial incentive for moving the team. It also means that the Packers are essentially owned by the Fans & the people of Wisconsin. I like that.

I wrote this during the half time show, which was not worth watching. They should just bring in a good HS band. When I wrote the Packers were ahead and now I can amend the post to say they won. Chrissy & I have been watching the playoff games and it is great to see the green & gold in the Super Bowl. It brings back lots of memories and feeling that I had forgotten.

But we probably will remain perfidious fans.

Posted by Christine & John at February 6, 2011 10:59 PM
Comments
Comment #318287

Sounds like………”Football Socialism” to me!!! ;)

Great read, and a great win for the Packers!! I knew Green Bay was small, but didn’t know the other details. Thanks……

Posted by: steve miller at February 7, 2011 7:17 AM
Comment #318291

What a great idea. A stock investment guaranteed to return nothing. I guess anything can sell if you dress it up enough. Perfidious?

Posted by: Schwamp at February 7, 2011 2:59 PM
Comment #318294

Steve & Schwamp

The guys who founded the Packers just liked football. The people who continue to support it think it is worth it. People are motivated by lots of things. Money is only one of them.

re socialist - socialist requires the use or threat of coercive force by government. People can choose any arrangement, within the rule of law, that they want under a free market.

One problem for the free market has always been that most of the people who write about it (people like Marx) didn’t understand it, so they reduced it all to profit. That is why people get to be more free market oriented as they get real world experience.

Posted by: C&J at February 7, 2011 5:31 PM
Comment #318331

Good for the people of Greenbay for essentially buying the franchise for their interests. It is a strategy that would by difficult to pull off today. The Packers were purchased for a pittance in today’s dollars. However, I wonder how many cities have considered forming a non-profit corporation to purchase a professional franchise that is threatening to desert them? It always seems that professional franchises are blackmailing cities and even states to fund new stadiums in return for their loyalty.

Posted by: Rich at February 8, 2011 7:55 PM
Comment #318336

Rich

The people of Green Bay and Wisconsin didn’t really buy the franchise; they created it from the ground up. You cannot do that anymore.

Maybe the municipalities should play a little harder when it comes to building new stadiums. They socialize the cost and provide private profits, it doesn’t get any worse than this.

Posted by: C&J at February 8, 2011 9:07 PM
Comment #318383

Some of the High School Stadiums in Northern Indiana would be able to host a pro football team if the mindset were there to support it. I’m amazed at how much school systems spend on property that sits unused until only they use it, and then without making a profit from it to support the sport. It’s easier to send the student home to coerce the parents to fork over the cash instead of teaching them how to raise money the old fashioned way.

As for the Packers, excellent job and congratulations. My Dad grew up in Milwalkee and supported the Packer’s effort in the Super Bowl, otherwise he is a diehard Notre Dame Fighting Irish fan. I cannot muster the same enthusiasm for the Packers as I could for Chicago’s team, da Bears, but my favorite team by far is the former Baltimore, now Indianapolis Colts.

I was happy the team moved to Indianapolis, and I am a fan of Payton Manning. To watch Manning score 3 touchdowns in less than 5 minutes is something I will probably never see again. To watch him fake-out even the referees is an impressive sight to see.

I am confident Payton Manning could play the same caliber of football on a Northern Indiana High School field as he could in the Lucas Oil Stadium. Could a Northern Indiana community field a team comparable to The Indianapolis Colts? I believe it could be done if they believed in themselves. If they are not allowed to do so then somethings wrong with the system, isn’t it?


Posted by: Weary Willie at February 9, 2011 4:37 PM
Comment #318389

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indianapolis_Colts#Lucas_Oil_Stadium

The stadium will host the Super Bowl for the 2012 season (Super Bowl XLVI) and has a potential economic impact estimated at $286,000,000. Lucas Oil Stadium will also host the Drum Corps International World Championships from 2009 until 2018.


Posted by: Weary Willie at February 9, 2011 5:34 PM
Comment #318404

“You cannot do that anymore.

C&J,

I am not quite sure why an incorporated public company cannot own or develop a professional franchise in today’s environment. It is an interesting question. With the exception of the Packers, professional sport franchises are privately owned. The corporate model of the Green Bay Packers as a public corporation with fan friendly charter limitations would seem on its face to be a viable model. Fans could directly exercise some control over the organization and feel the pride of ownership. Communities would not be subject to the whims and profit motivations of private ownership.

“Maybe the municipalities should play a little harder when it comes to building new stadiums. They socialize the cost and provide private profits, it doesn’t get any worse than this.”

Agreed. Having lived in a community (Miami) that built a basketball arena at tax payer expense only to tear it down a few years later and build a new and better arena, I appreciate the issue. It is frequently argued by municipalities and states that the investment returns more in local business, rejuvenation of blighted areas, enhanced property values, etc. However, I have yet to see a study that compares the impact of alternative investments for the money.

Posted by: Rich at February 9, 2011 7:14 PM
Comment #318410

What does that mean, Rich?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 9, 2011 8:18 PM
Comment #318412

Rich

I meant that you cannot start up a professional football franchise. I suppose you CAN, but you cannot expect to be successful.

I regret that professional sports have become so vulgar. Too many players have become just plain bad, i.e. actually committing crimes.

Posted by: C&J at February 9, 2011 8:35 PM
Comment #318417

Ouch! C&J!

Who are you to say we cannot start up a professional football franchise!

but you cannot expect to be successful

Why not, C&J? Why cannot we start up a professional football franchise?

Why can’t our public schools participate in this monopoly?


Posted by: Weary Willie at February 9, 2011 8:57 PM
Comment #318421

Weary Willie,

I was making the simple point that despite widespread fan interest, professional sport franchises are dominated by insider owners not responsible in any way to the very fan base that supports their team. The Packer model provides a viable alternative. I guess the point is simple, people have power. They are simply ignorant of the power or are unwilling to exercise it. I also suspect that the current individual owners and limited partnerships have made it extremely difficult for another Packer model to emerge.

Posted by: Rich at February 9, 2011 9:20 PM
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