Ciao a tutti! That's Italian for hello for all my non-Italian friends out there. My name is Josh Burton and whilst I'm not even a fraction Italian, I've always grown up loving Italy and the culture for some odd reason. I'm an avid AC Milan and Italian National Team supporter in the other football world, love pasta, talk loud, am very passionate about the things I do, and even have started learning the language (some). I call myself "Pseudo-Italian".
Now while I can't explain why I love Italy so much, I can give you a better understanding of my love and passion for the Green Bay Packers. I'm sure you've read my friend and teammate of this blog, (Phil Dexter) first entry post explaining where his love for the Packers began, you will probably notice a similar path for myself.
My family, which consists of; Jason (Father), Sherri (Mother), Myself (Oldest), Courtney (Sister), and Peyton (Brother), is a sports family through and through. I grew up watching every sport imaginable with my family and going to dirt track racing. When other families planned vacations around beaches, we planned our trips around games and races. It was no big deal for all of us to gather around the TV to cheer on the Packers or watch the Reds & Yankees play baseball, or really any sport that was on. It was Awesome to put it frankly! The Packers however hold a special spot in all our hearts, why you ask? Simple. It's the only team we all agree on and love together as a family!
It all begins with my father, Jason. As a kid, he played bantam football, essentially what is called pee wee in other parts of the country. He played for the Packers, Dolphins, and Cowboys. He actually had his best years as a Cowboy and won a championship but it's the Packers that hold the key to his football heart.
There's just something special about your first sports team. Add in the fact that in the mid-late '70s there wasn't an NFL team in Indiana yet, the Packers became his team of choice. At that juncture around here, you either rocked with the Bears, Bengals, Steelers, or Cowboys mostly as your favorite team.
As Phil mentioned in his blog, living as a Packers fan in the '70s & '80s saw a lot of down years. It took a real fan to stay with the Green and Yellow through those periods. I was born in 1989 and thankfully I was able to grow up as a Packer fan too and just at the right time.
Brett Favre will go down as one of Green Bay's all-time greatest players in franchise history, and will also forever be on my sports Mount Rushmore. The many years of entertainment he gave my family will never be forgotten. From watching #4 carving up defenses, to him messing with opposing linebackers by calling out their play at the line scrimmage, or how emotional he made us with the performance he gave on Monday Night Football the night after his father passed, He made us proud to be cheesheads!
I recall as a family watching the Pack destroy the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The sheer joy of all of us dancing around and high-fiving each other as Desmond Howard took a kick back to the house. It felt like WE were in New Orleans watching! The loss to the Broncos the very next year broke my heart and is still the reason I dislike Denver to this day.
In 1999, my youngest brother, Peyton was born. He was born into this fandom like my sister and I had been previously. My sister has 3 children herself now and they have kept the tradition of being a cheeshead alive and kicking. Now when we get together on a Sunday for a game, it's a whole clan of us clapping or crying. The seasons will come and they will go, the Packers have won (a lot) and they've broken our hearts with losses (Stupid 49ers), but the one constant is that the Burton family will gather around the TV, wear our Green & Yellow with Pride, and scream "Go Pack Go" as a family.
It started with one man and has morphed into generations of Packer fans and that's pretty damn alright by me.