Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My friend the New Jersey Packer fan

Last fall I really had to work to watch the Packers play, if they weren't a national broadcast that meant I had to find an establishment to watch the game. There are plenty of places in New York (only about 1/2 hour away) to watch the games, but travel and food/beverage are so much more expensive there! So a good friend told me about a website: So I checked it out and there are 11 listed in New Jersey. I googled them to see how far away they were and called one up and asked if they'd have the game on that Sunday and they assured me that they would. The first game I went to was the game on September 19th against the Bills. I went wearing my Rodgers jersey and Packer hat proudly and grabbed a seat right at the bar. Just before kick off this big dude sits next to me, probably mid 50's, long hair down half of his back. Turns to me and introduces himself, "Name's Fitz". We went on to have a long conversation, not much attention was needed on the game as the Pack handedly beat the Bills 34-7. He told me how he makes a yearly trip to Lambeau for a game with a group of friends from out here. I told him that I was from WI and that I was working at Seton Hall. And when I left Fitz told me that I needed to check out this pizza place a few blocks away on Washington Street called "La Sicilia".

A few weeks went by before I made it back, but my buddy Fitz was there when I finally made it back. The last game I watched at the bar was the loss to Atlanta in week 12. But this time I got his address and sent him my Christmas newsletter. I was in WI from December 15th-January 17th. When I got back to New Jersey I had a stack of Christmas cards and one was from Fitz.

Last week I mailed him the latest edition of my newsletter. I included a comment on the newsletter to him congratulating him on the Super Bowl win. Today I had a package waiting for me in the mailbox. I saw the writing and looked at the return address, I was surprised to see Fitz's name. I'll quickly add that while I was in WI for the Super Bowl I saw a game program on sale for $15, I passed, but it was hard and I was hoping that somehow one would fall into my hands. Well I opened the package and guess what? A Super Bowl XLV program indeed fell into my hands!!! I was pretty excited! The program was accompanied with a 2.5 page letter from Fitz explaining how he acquired the program.

He said he has a brother that lives north of Boston in Massachusetts. His kids (Fitz's nieces and nephews) were playing outside and kicked a soccer ball into the neighbors yard. The neighborhood kids affectionately referred to this neighbor as "Mr. Spooky" and Fitz's brother had not spoken to the guy in over 10 years! Well the neighbor showed up at Fitz's brother's front door with the soccer ball. He stepped in the house and said, "Packer fan, hey?" The two ended up chatting over an "Irish Coffee". Before the neighbor left he told Fitz's brother that he owns a company that prints the programs for the Super Bowl and gave him some information on how to get as many programs as he would like for free, he would only have to pay for shipping. Fitz sent his brother a list of people. After handing out all the programs he requested, Fitz was left with one and wasn't sure what to do with it. Fitz said this is when my newsletter arrived and he said that he knew that program was meant for me! On top of this nice gesture Fitz commended me for the work that I'm doing and asked me to pray for his son who is having a tough time with graduate school in Michigan. And the PS said "I hope to see you for some games in the fall and I hope you've checked out La Sicilia on Washington!" Thanks Fitz.


  1. Another great Packer story for your collection!

  2. I'm finally catching up on your blog. This is a great story. It doesn't surprise me one bit that you befriended a complete stranger and made such a great connection with him!