Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Each year in late November, we commemorate a truly American holiday that is older than our nation’s founding. The fact that we celebrate it with food, family, friends and football only makes it more enjoyable.
While the 2022 season has been a struggle for the Packers who presently have a disappointing 4-7 record, there are still many things to be thankful for as Packers fans.
Here is a look at 10 things Packers fans should be thankful for this year:
- Lambeau Field
The Packers have the most iconic stadium in the NFL today. The Packers played their first NFL game there in 1957 and then Vice President Richard Nixon was on hand for the occasion.
The late John Madden always spoke about how special Lambeau Field is and quite honestly, he was right. The stadium has outstanding sight lines and a unique fan experience.
Many football fans who don’t even root for the Packers have a trip to Lambeau Field on their bucket list and with good reason.
The stadium now combines tradition and modern conveniences and provides football fans with a unique experience.
The Packers are the only team in the four major American pro sports leagues that are owned by the fans. The team will never be held hostage by egotistical and poor owners like NFL fans in Washington (for example) have been for decades.
When fans own the team, it creates a different type of camaraderie among fans and a different relationship between the fans and the team.
It also guarantees that the franchise will not be threatening to move out of Green Bay where they’ve played since 1919, two years before they joined the NFL.
- Three Decades of HOF Quarterback Play
Packers fans have been extremely fortunate to have back-to-back Hall of Fame quarterbacks under center to add to the legacy set by Bart Starr.
GM Ron Wolf traded for Brett Favre before the 1992 season and he started every game for the team from Week 4 of that season through the 2007 NFC Championship Game. He led the Packers to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances and their first championship since the Ice Bowl in 1967.
Aaron Rodgers took over in 2008 and led the Packers to another Super Bowl title in 2010.
Both Favre and Rodgers have provided the Packers and their fans with outstanding and exciting football and 22 playoff appearances. That is something to be thankful for.
- Aaron Jones
Aaron Jones has been the Packers most dynamic offensive weapon this season. The former UTEP star is a threat to make a big play every time he touches the ball and is likely to be the Packers only Pro Bowl player this season.
Off the field, Jones is involved with the community and many charitable causes.
It’s been great to watch Jones work his magic on and off the field this season and throughout his Packers career.
The tailgating experience at Packers home games is part of what makes the Lambeau Field experience unique. While beers and brats are the first things you think of, there are a variety of food and drink choices available for fans.
The best part of it is how friendly Packers fans are while tailgating. Even fans of the visiting team are often welcomed to join in the festivities and strangers suddenly become your friend in the hours leading up to kickoff.
- Most Titles
The Packers have won 13 NFL titles, the most in the history of the NFL. The Packers had six titles under founder Curly Lambeau, five under the legendary Vince Lombardi and then one each under Mike Holmgren and Mike McCarthy.
No other team has reached double digits in titles and this is something Packers fans can be proud of.
- So Many Hall of Famers
LeRoy Butler was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, making him the 28th player who entered the hallowed halls of Canton, Ohio, as a Packer.
From early stars like Cal Hubbard, Johnny “Blood” McNally and Don Hutson to Lombardi Era stars like Jim Taylor, Herb Adderley, Willie Davis, Paul Hornung and Forrest Gregg and more modern players like James Lofton, Favre and Reggie White, the Packers have had so many special players put on a Packers uniform.
- Packers Weather
Packers fans should be thankful their team still plays outdoors and not in a sterile dome setting. That makes for memorable games played in “Packer Weather.”
It could be the cold of the Ice Bowl, the blizzard conditions of the 1985 Snow Bowl or just a typical November or December game at Lambeau that helps bond Packers fans together and makes for memories that last a lifetime.
- The Lambeau Leap
The tradition was started by Butler back in 1993 but it’s become a big part of the Lambeau Field experience. After scoring a touchdown at home games, Packers players jump into the stands in the end zone and celebrate with the fans in the stands.
It’s a beautiful bonding moment which other teams have occasionally imitated but have not matched and adds yet another unique experience to being a Packers fan.
- The Legacy of Lombardi
The Packers legendary coach passed away more than 50 years ago but his legacy lives on. Lombardi believed in dedication, teamwork and chasing perfection knowing that in that attempt, they can catch excellence.
Lombardi was a winner on and off the field and he was ahead of his time at fighting prejudice of all kinds. All Lombardi wanted was to win with the best players he could find and he and his team won five championships in seven years, something that will likely never be duplicated in the salary cap era.
Lombardi’s legacy is something all Packers fans can be proud of and thankful for.
I am also thankful for all my readers who share my passion for the Packers and share their comments with me on social media. Have a great Thanksgiving.
Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers
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