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Bits & Boredom: Feels good to be an owner

Welcome back to the weekly bits and boredom. Let’s get going.

NFL Ownership

The biggest Packers talking point of the week has been the announcement by the team of the sixth stock sale in their illustrious history. Like many others around my age, until this week, I had only dreamed of being part of the largest group of NFL owners in the league. I’ve known many owners for a long time, but I’m honored to now be able to call them my colleagues. But, of course, a stock sale in which people make a decision to spend their own money cannot pass without those in both the media and other fanbases getting riled up about how Packers stock is a “scam.”

“It’s not actually worth anything! You can’t make any money from it! You’re not actually an owner! What a waste of money!” These are common refrains from those who will spend $400 for tickets and $15 for a beer at a game that will last three hours and then fade into history. Not to mention the countless dollars spent on other memorabilia–from third party vendors, mind you.

The problem with calling the Packers’ stock sale a scam is that no one who purchases a share does so without being fully educated on what they are buying–the offering document presented at the start of the purchase process lays out, in no uncertain terms, that the stock is a noneconomic investment and it is impossible to turn any sort of profit by purchasing a share. I can guarantee you not one single person purchasing a share of stock in the Green Bay Packers is under the impression they are going to get rich because of it.

Now, you might still be saying, “Well, it’s still a scam because it doesn’t actually give you ownership,” to which I would ask: Does your team allow you to vote on its Board of Directors? Do you have any assurance that the money you spend on your team goes directly to sustaining and improving your experience as a fan? If you bought a share of Packers stock, you could answer both of those questions with a resounding yes.

I suppose my biggest issue with criticisms of the Packers and their fans for their public ownership structure is the fact that fans of other teams would line up around the block if they were ever given the chance to buy into the franchise. They will never get that chance, though, because every other team in the league is owned by deep-pocketed billionaires who are too cheap to pay for their cookie-cutter stadiums, and so they ask for money from taxpayers–many of whom haven’t the slightest interest in attending a game there.

And therein lies the difference–Packers stock keeps a legendary team and a legendary stadium viable. Put simply, I have now paid into the greatest franchise in professional sports, helping to ensure they continue to thrive in the smallest city in professional sports. If you thought I was insufferable as a Packers fan, wait until you see me as a Packers owner.

Vikings Week

The Packers take their 8-2 operation on the road to Minneapolis this week to meet the 4-5 Vikings. Residing in the Twin Cities, I get a lot of jabs from both friends and strangers when I wear my green and gold in public. Even in years such as this, when the disparity between the two teams is striking, I hear all kinds of trash talk. But, hey, it’s all in good fun, right? So, I thought it would be fun to breakdown the top three comments I’ve been hearing from Vikings fans this season (even though two of them are evergreen and perennially overused) and give my counterpoints to each.

  • “Blow Pack Blow!”
    • Counterpoint: Wow. I mean…wow. Your creativity has once again stifled my brain. No, really–my mouth is agape at your rapier wit. You took our beloved stadium chant and you…you just replaced a word with a rhyming word that turns it around on us as an insult! I shall never recover.
  • “The Vikings have been in so many close games this year! They should be at least 7-2!”
    • Counterpoint: They’re not, though. Because they, y’know, lost those games.
  • “Imagine having 30 years of Hall of Fame quarterbacks and only two Super Bowls!”
    • Counterpoint: Did you know that since the Vikings came into the league in 1961, they have the fifth most wins in league history? And did you know that of the top 14 teams on the list, they’re the only franchise to have exactly zero Super Bowl wins? That’s a real stat–you can look it up for yourself. Can you imagine have that much sustained success over a 60-year period and NEVER winning the big one? It’s got to feel bad. I know what you’re thinking–the Super Bowl era didn’t begin until the 1966 season, so maybe they racked up a bunch of those wins in the five years between when they came into the league and the year the first Super Bowl was played. In fact, on the list of total regular season wins in the Super Bowl era, the Vikings actually jump up a spot to number four, three spots ahead of the Packers. Yet Green Bay has four Super Bowl titles, and Minnesota’s trophy case still sits empty.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ve cursed the Packers by 1. Writing this and 2. Buying tickets to this game. Alas.

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