Well, the Packers made it all the way to the NFC championship this year, but they couldn’t quite get over the hump. In retrospect, I feel like there is one missing, crucial ingredient that is holding them back from going all the way.
I am talking, of course, about their lack of a fight song.
You know what I mean. The cheesy big band songs from the 1920’s with the awful lyrics, like “We’ll never forget the way you thrilled the nation / with your T formation!” and “We’re gonna do it for our super fans!” While the songs are groan inducing when taken at face value, there is something about having a shared song or go-to chant that makes a universal bond between fans. Get a group of Boilermakers together, and there’s going to be a “Hail Purdue”, regardless of the race/gender/income level/background of the participants. It’s literally the one thing they have in common (also, it’s legally required by the ritual blood oath performed at all graduation ceremonies).
I’ve lived in two places with great fight songs, and I’m here to tell you what a difference it makes. If you get at least 2 Philadelphians together, you might not get the full “Fly, Eagles, Fly”, but you will at least get an, “E-A-G-L-E-S-EAGLES!” I am not kidding, you would not believe how often this comes up. I’ve heard it at fast food restaurants (during the offseason!). I’ve heard it while waiting in line to get into a haunted house. I’ve heard it basically every time I’ve gone for a cheesesteak. In Chicago, nobody really sings “Bear Down, Chicago Bears”, but I do hear the music quite a bit, and I’m sure any Chicago football fan would recognize the opening few bars of music.
Where is our “San Diego SUPER CHARGERS!”? Our “J-E-T-S-JETS-JETS-JETS!”?
The main thing the Packers have is shouting, “Go, Pack, Go!” Not very inspired. Some might say they have the “Beer Barrel Polka”, which is definitely played prominently in the stadium during game days. However, that is not Packer-specific; quite frankly there are a lot of places in Wisconsin you might hear the “Beer Barrel Polka” (including church).
Now, before you jump down my throat, I am aware that there is an official fight song, it’s exactly what I was talking about, and it even mentions bacon. However, there are a few problems with it. First and foremost, the original lyrics say, “On you blue and gold, to glory” which, you know, is a bit dated since they haven’t worn those colors since the 1930s. Second, and most importantly, have you ever heard anybody actually singing this thing?
If we ever hope to make another superbowl appearance, I’d say we have two options: embrace the “official” fight song, and start playing it non-stop until every Packer fan knows it by heart (possibly, also a blood-oath, I’m just saying), or two, we make up a new one.
I know, I know, it’s kind of cheating. You can’t “invent” a tradition. But honestly, you can. All traditions have to start somewhere. Create something that sounds timeless, something simple, a little cheesy (see what I did there?), “find” an old tape somewhere at Lambeau, hire a couple of bands to play in the parking lot before games…I’m biased, but maybe a little accordion perhaps? Next thing you know, you have people singing it at the stadium, listening to it on the radio, greeting each other with the secret handshake…
Boom, superbowl all the way baby.