Last week I fulfilled a lifelong dream I’ve had for about a year of becoming an owner of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.
My oldest son and I have bonded over being Packers fans; as he grew older, a casual interest in the Packers grew more and more intense as we discussed stats while playing catch together, watched games, and pulled for Aaron Rodgers to erase any evidence of that traitor Brett Favre from the team record books. The Green Bay Packers are the only team owned by the fans, a collection of stockholders, and when the Packers won the Super Bowl in February, the two of us dreamed of the day we could take our obnoxious super-fandom to the next level by owning shares in the team.
And luckily the first stock sale in fourteen years started last week, just in time for me to include becoming an NFL owner as one of the many accomplishments listed in this year’s family newsletter.
My son was determined to have his own share and instead of buying him one for Christmas, I encouraged him to earn the $250 himself because it would mean more to him. Grandparents tell stories of working a paper route to earn enough money to buy a bike. My son worked and saved money to become an NFL team owner–that’s much more inspirational than buying a bike.
The regulations as a stockholder come with the following stipulations:
I cannot bet on the outcome of any NFL games: This shouldn’t be a problem for me because I hate to gamble. I’ll bet you I hate betting more than just about anybody.
I may not own another NFL franchise: I do own and manage three fantasy football teams, but I don’t anticipate any trouble from the NFL commissioner’s office, especially because none of them will make the playoffs.
I cannot publicly criticize the NFL or its management: As far as I know, criticizing the spouses of NFL management is okay.
I cannot act as an agent for an NFL player: I assume this means an agent for sports contracts. I’m not sure if it precludes me from representing any NFL players as a literary agent. Or as a secret agent.
I plan to get as much mileage from being an NFL owner as possible. Most casual sports fans don’t know the Packers are publicly owned or that shares sell for only $250, so I expect most people will be impressed when I mention my ownership. When they act impressed, I seal the deal by feigning humility and replying, “Yes, I’m an owner, but it’s really just a minority stake.” In their minds this could be 49% and still worth a few hundred million dollars.
Here are my current plans to use my new prestige:
I’ve never attended any of my high school reunions but now I’m kind of interested to let people know I’m such a success story. “Sorry, I couldn’t make the last couple reunions but an NFL team doesn’t run itself. But enough about me, what does your husband do? You know, the guy you dumped me for? What’s that? A doctor? Never heard of it. What does a donktore do? Am I saying that right? Donk-tore? Sounds foreign.”
I plan to use my son’s ownership to one-up my siblings’ children. “What’s that? Your baby is sleeping through the night? If you think that’s impressive, my son owns a minority stake in the Green Bay Packers, so all the late night phone calls and stresses of being an owner usually keep him from sleeping through the night.”
My wife is a librarian at an elementary school and I’ve asked if she wants me to come in and speak to the young people about the secrets that made me the successful NFL owner I am today. My children’s schoolmates will all be impressed, except for the 90% who don’t hail from the United States and have never heard of the NFL.
I’m also looking forward to winning football arguments on topics I don’t understand, just by mentioning my team ownership. “The Spread Option Offense has no place in the NFL! Says who? An NFL owner, that’s who!”
I should make clear, just because I’m prevented from owning another team doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be willing to sell my share back to the Packers in the event someone wants to give me a majority in an NFL team for Christmas. (Note: Please don’t buy me the Miami Dolphins. Or the Seattle Seahawks. Or the Chicago Bears as long as Jay Cutler is the quarterback. I’ve asked around and nobody is sure whether the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars still exist, but if they do, I’m not interested. Cincinnati Bengals need not apply.)