GREEN BAY, Wisconsin — Jim Schmitt abandons his official role for a moment and speak from the heart.
The Mayor wants everyone to know that the Packers are more of a football team on a roll. They are an essential part of this close knit Community. He raves about the charity's coaches and players and how they will continue to build a playground or help the poor, long after the cameras and media leaves scheduled events. While Schmitt talks about his second-floor Office at City Hall, less than two miles away, Karl Kinyon climbs in a Chair at Electric Art. Few minutes later, the hum of the needle, the 29-year-old from near De Pere shares why he wants a tattoo on his right calf Packers.
"Wear some shorts, so it will stand out," said Kinyon.
The Packers have a rooting interest. They are rooted in the city's identity. This NFL team, with its historic stadium that sits at the heart of a neighborhood, belongs to everyone.
The love and adoration shown now that I'm on the road to Super Bowl XLV is no different than what the team receives throughout the year.
The Mayor is wearing a tie Packers green and embroidered team logo on the left inside flap of his blue blazer.
Kinyon is embroidered on her skin conditioners, along with 60 or so other customers who have made their way to Electric Art day after Packers beat Chicago.
"Everyone knows and loves football here," said Tom Duval, who was in the restaurant business for 25 years, but now helps Electric Art. "We are known for it. We understand football here.
"In many ways, infuses our normal way of life up to here. Is special.
"This is why we say ' til Calends home who is truly America's team."
Signs of importance
The Packers returned to Austin Straubel International Airport Sunday evening after their victory against the bears.
Homeland Security will not be happy to hear this, but the airport Director Tom Miller estimates that more than 2,000 fans were at the airport to welcome the home team.
"We were leaving the tunnel and we hit the double doors, and I heard a guy yelling my name," nose tackle B.J. Raji said. "Then I haven't heard anything about the next five or ten minute walk through the airport.
"It was an incredible feeling. I am just happy that we could bring some joy to the city ".
A few kilometres away — is nothing more than a few miles away here — t-shirts, long sleeves to commemorate the victory of air conditioners are being printed. NFC Champion caps, arriving the next day, are made in Texas, flown to Chicago, then moved to Green Bay.
The Packers Pro Shop is open Monday at 8 a.m., an hour earlier than normal, expected to accommodate the crush. Before closing the door to store 8.500-square-foot in Lambeau field, near 3000 transactions were completed. Two additional orders should be placed on shirts that go for $ 19.95.
Kate Hogan is Director of the team of retail operations. She normally has 50 employees in rotation in this time of year. This number was increased to 125 to handle the traffic into the store with the avalanche of mail, telephone and Web requests.
The archive has received requests for merchandise from all 50 States, Canada, Australia and United Kingdom. Hogan is also expected to fill requests from Japan, Germany, France and Italy, countries who frequently receive consignments from the club.
"We have a list of mail-order robust," Hogan said. "Fans are hungry for Packer things."
There are some signs up around town to congratulate the Packers on their journey fifth Super Bowl in franchise history. But not as many as you might think that for a post where a replica of the Lombardi Trophy carved wood is located in the courtyard of a house in the shadow of Lambeau field.
Literally in the shadow. The House is located at the corner of Oneida and shadow through the stadium.
But the real sign of how this team means arrives in daily conversations. HuHot Mongolian Grill walk in, which gave the 50 percent discount on Monday for all grid elements of males who had long, blond hair as a linebacker Clay Matthews and the first conversation that feels involves air conditioners.
Everyone has a story. If you live in this city of 103,750, have probably bumped into one of the players at the grocery store Copps to True in De Pere or Lombardi. Perhaps it is seated at the table next to one of the coaches on Dousman Street brewery hinterland or saw them with their families in nearby Appleton.
Players and coaches are not far apart in many city icons such as NFL. They are familiar.
There's enthusiasm about the journey of the team of North Texas to face Pittsburgh, but is no longer up. For what reason?
It is impossible for many people in this city to care more about what they already do the Packers.
"We have been with them since day one," Schmitt said. "It's not like, ' did you hear?" We track very closely to this team through all 16 games.
"I think we are very pleased, but there's a lot of fanfare. There will be when they won the Super Bowl.
"But now, I think that is part of the journey."
Super Bowl vs. Obama
A lot of fans will make the trip to Texas for Super Bowl XLV.
Delta Air Lines has added a direct flight from here to Dallas/Fort Worth leaving on February 3 and returns Feb. 7. The day after Packers beat the bears, more than 10 flights related Super Bowl had been programmed from the airport.
Local travel agencies report that their phone lines were jams. Packages range from $ 1395 a person more than 6,000 dollars, depending on how long and where your fans want to stay.
Great? President Barack Obama was a few miles down Interstate 43 in Manitowoc Wednesday to speak to a renewable energy company. That what is the Super Bowl?
"You know what," said Schmitt, who, along with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, presented the President with a Jersey autographed by cornerback Charles Woodson. "I met the President three times, and I've never been a Super Bowl.
"I've got to take the Super Bowl".