Growning Up Packers

Growing Up Packers: Memories of Bad Calls

Replacement Referees, Green Bay Packers, and Bad Calls

So now the real referees are back on the job officiating the NFL (and none too soon). But I’ll be honest—I kind of enjoyed having the replacement referees around. Sure, watching football was somewhat frustrating the first few weeks of 2012, but it was also entertaining. And for me, a little nostalgic.

Lambeau Field, 1974
Lambeau Field in 1974, back when I was parking cars on my parents’ rented lawn.
Photo from

I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, right in the shadow of Lambeau Field. We lived so close, my little 5-year-old self charged Packers fans a few bucks to park on the lawn of my parents’ rented duplex.

So yeah, we were a Packers family. Although I didn’t have much say in the matter, I will admit I didn’t always share in the unconditional love (the Forrest Gregg years, for example) the older members of my family did. These days, though, the whole clan pretty much stands behind the hometown team.

Anyway, back in those days of innocence before I was able to choose my own allegiances to sports franchises, every once in a while we’d go over to my dad’s pal Jack’s house to watch the games. Jack, a friendly fellow with a booming voice and an unwavering dedication to the green and gold, enjoyed smoking a pipe as he watched the game.

I distinctly remember two occasions (or maybe it was one really vivid one) when Jack got so mad at a bad call (that is, one that went against the Packers) he bit his pipe stem clean in two. True story.

So I can’t even imagine what the Monday night’s end-of-game call on September 24, 2012 would have done to Jack. At the very least, I’m sure he’d need a new television.


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