Bears fans hate the Packers. It’s an undeniable fact. We hate the cheeseheads. We hate the Lambeau Leap. We hate the ugly green and yellow uniform color combination. We hate Packers fans travel better than Bears fans although Chicago has 37.5 times the population as Green Bay. We hate the Super Bowl trophy is named after a Green Bay coach (Vince Lombardi) while our Bears legendary coach’s name is on the lesser NFC championship trophy (George Halas). We hate they have more championships than we do (13 to 9). We hated Don Majkowski stepping over the line and throwing a touchdown to beat us for the first time in 5 years in 1989. We hated Brett Favre annually carving us like a Christmas ham. We now loathe the brilliance of Aaron Rodgers and the sobering fact he will similarly be slicing and dicing us like a Ginsu knife for years to come. We even hate visiting our relatives in Wisconsin because every single store has Packers everything in it. You would have thought Bears fans needed no new reason to despise the Green Bay Packers. Your thoughts would be wrong.
The Green Bay Packers claim to be the only non for profit, community owned, professional sports team in the United States. The Packers however issue “stock”, if any of that makes sense. This “stock”, which has been issued in 1923, 1950, 1956, 1997, and now from December 6, 2011 through February 29, 2012 for $250 cannot increase in value, draw a dividend, or be resold (if a sale is attempted the Packers can force sale back to organization for 2 ½ cents a share...so basically no you can’t sell it). The “stock” is actually not considered an investment at all, and none of the shares are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The “stock” can only be willed or gifted upon purchase to another family member and carries no season ticket privileges, special parking privileges or discounts on Packers merchandise. Oh yeah, shipping and handling for one or more shares costs 25 bucks. Although the Packers are considered a nonprofit, the “stock” purchase is not tax deductible.
What is the benefit of owning Green Bay Packers stock? Each stock carries a vote at the annual shareholders meeting. No person can own more than 200 shares in the 4,750,934 current shares outstanding representing 112,015 people. Up to 880,000 shares will be issued in the Packers new offering. Good luck having a voice. Where does the annual shareholders’ meeting take place, Lambeau Field?
Is owning “stock” in the Green Bay Packers a good or bad thing? Frankly Bears fans could care less. It can be considered good because the fans owning the team could basically keep the team from moving to another city. Actually that’s bad because Bears fans would prefer the Packers move to the Canadian Football League tomorrow (they are already almost there anyway). It can be considered bad because a Packers fan could blow $50,025 on “stock” and still be stuck tailgating in the parking lot on game day wearing a full priced Donald Driver jersey. Get upset in said parking lot and try to hock all of Packers stock and be subject to selling all of your stock for $5. Yes, five dollars, an investment loss of $50,020. Actually that’s good for Bears fans because we could call said Packers fan a giant sucker.
Bears fans may indeed have a new reason to hate the Packers, or can at the very least take comfort in the real reason why some Packers fans are called cheeseheads.
Exavier B. Pope, Esq. is an entertainment and sports attorney and legal blogger for Chicago Now. All opinions expressed are those solely of Mr. Pope.
(c) 2011, Exavier Pope
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