Some of the most passionate sports fans in the world—the Americans who mount cheese blocks on their noggins and endure sub-zero temperatures at Lambeau Field to pull for the Green Bay Packers—now have a home to share memories of deceased relatives and friends who bled Packer green and gold.
To honor their late father Bill Snyder, a native of the appropriately-named Hartland, Wisc. who died of a sudden heart attack on Feb. 7, Steve Snyder, a journalist and former editor at TIME, and Jeff Snyder, an urban affairs professor at Cleveland State University, created greatestpackerfan.com. In an open letter that ran in Sunday’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Snyders wrote: “It’s nice to have a friendly shoulder to cry on, in these sports pages he always read, next to the same Packers bylines he cherished. And if you’ve lost someone from our pack, and could benefit from an open ear, please just write us. We’re in a hugging mood, are eager to hear more about the best Packers fans. You can e-mail us stories at GreatestPackersFan@gmail.com and we’re going to start chronicling these profiles of everyday Packers heroes over at GreatestPackersFan.com.”
In the 1980s, Bill Snyder was a manager at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor in Milwaukee. For the past 25 years, he worked at Stein Optical and Visionworks stores in the Milwaukee area. Like so many Wisconsinites, Snyder lived for Sundays, and Packers football: after Brett Favre thew a 54-yard touchdown pass to Andre Rison in Super Bowl XXXI, which Green Bay won, the Snyders never saw their dad happier. “Our dad vaulted from his chair, fell to his knees, screamed to the heavens,” the Snyders wrote.
Bill Snyder sent his last text after the New England Patriots finished off their historic Super Bowl comeback win against the Atlanta Falcons. “Great Super Bowl,” Snyder wrote. “The Pack coulda won.”