tom smith | make green bay weird | nov. 2017
Going through life you need to plan for many different scenarios. Some are unexpected while others are possibilities you have to consider. This is the main reason we have insurance and you can see why health insurance is such a hot-button issue. Insurance and sometimes a backup plan are necessary to live a healthy and mentally happy life. Life may present you with a horrible situation where the best solution is just cut your losses and move on. Life also may make you choose to fight to keep or maintain something you love.
Something I love and would fight to maintain is the city of Green Bay. This makes me ask, does Green Bay have insurance or a backup plan if the Green Bay Packers would cease to exist? I ask this because, obviously, the Packers leaving or going out of business would be a catastrophic event that Green Bay might never recover from. Financially and mentally, this might lead to an exodus and prevent migration to Green Bay. We could see our population march backwards. The tourism industry of Green Bay would suffer a fatal blow from the lack of the Green Bay Packers. Even if you don't love or care for the Packers, Green Bay is not a place you would want to live if they were ripped away from the city. Those of you reading that think this would never happen, don't be so sure of yourself.
Just weeks ago I saw Packer fans threatening to return their season tickets, “sell" their ownership stocks and boycott certain players' jerseys. Yes I must admit the likelihood of this driving the Packers out of business or out of Green Bay is not great but still a possibility. The biggest threat to the NFL's existence over time will most likely prove to be the effects of concussions. There could be a time that more knowledge on concussions causes the gradual disappearance of high school, college and professional football. The odds of this, I believe, are much greater of happening than any fan unrest causing the Packers to pull up stakes. We also may see society just get sick of football and the high financial cost of being a NFL fan. Those tickets to see games, DirecTV's Sunday ticket and team merchandise adds up to a lot of money. The tastes of a society are always changing. In the 1920s the sports that dominated America were baseball, football (college not professional), boxing, horse racing and tennis.
One hundred years from today will the people still feel this way about professional football? Since so much of Green Bay's identity is connected to the Packers, this would cause many issues. Would we as a city start to question our self worth? When I see a band from Vancouver play Green Bay (such as Thor on Oct.21) the stage banter to connect with Green Bay usually starts and ends with a mention of the Packers. I was happy to hear Thor throw his support behind the BC Lions of the CFL. Thor didn't think the crowd had any interest in the BC Lions but he didn't hear me yelling Doug Flutie's name.
I'm happy to inform you that I, unlike the Cyclons, actually have plan to save Green Bay if the Packers were no longer part of the equation. I have one plan that I'm very confident would solve all our tourism problems, but just in case some of you might find this plan out of this world, I will first mention my backup plans.
The 2020s are fast approaching and I'm sure this will bring a wave of nostalgia for the Roaring 20s. So why not ride that wave and turn Green Bay into the epicenter of the new Roaring '20s? Green Bay as the headquarters for flappers and philosophers sounds like money in the bank to me. Green Bay's now functionless sports bars can all be turned into speakeasies. Since the sale of alcohol is currently not illicit, perhaps these speakeasies of the new Roaring '20s in Green Bay may have to concentrate on Mary Jane and by Mary Jane I mean marijuana. Green Bay could cash on the growing “Weedcation" industry. All speakeasies will be designed so cell coverage is awful, leading to more social interaction and more Jitterbugs.
We could also transform Green Bay into the next music capital of America for live music and professional recordings. Yes, I'm saying Make Green Bay Austin, of course to make us Austin we will also have to work harder on making Green Bay weird. This plan will require a boatload of cash but I think we can sell shares of stock in the city of Green Bay. Just like stock in the Packers, it will have no value. First off to make us the next Austin we will need many more venues in Green Bay that will host original music. This is something we can covert sports bars into. We will also need to build at least 75 to 100 additional recording studios in Green Bay. I also think every high school and grade school in Green Bay will need to have at least two recording studios, very imperative we get the youth of the area interested in the recording process early. We will also have to foster at least 30 independent record labels in the Green Bay city limits. We even will make economic benefits available to any major record labels that might want to get on the floor of Green Bay as a musical force. The city will purchase its own pressing plant for records, compact discs, cassettes and 8-tracks. The influx of musicians flocking to Green Bay will cause a housing shortage, so to combat that, affordable housing for musicians will be built on the west side where the abandoned train yard is under the Ashland Street overpass. To make us more like Austin we will also need to increase the homeless population of Green Bay. I probably will hit up our Mayor, Jim Schmitt, on advice how to best accomplish that.
Green Bay also could try to have the most museums in the world. Types of museums we can build are: A football museum that covers all football (professional and collegiate) with an emphasis on defunct teams and leagues. A punk rock museum (the Rev. Norb would be the curator). A Krautrock museum (Keith Vercauteren will captain that ship). A Devo museum (Michael Zink will lead that project). A comic book museum(the Rev. Norb will have to pull double duty running this). A television museum (thinking I will be heading that one up). A motion picture museum (anyone want this job?), a professional wrestling museum (I might have to run this also). A museum of literature. A museum of art. A museum of Outsider art (which will be right next to the Wesley Willis museum). A craft beer museum (hopefully we can get Andy Junk to run this) and, last but not least, a bowling museum. Green Bay, next to this museum we'll build the world's largest bowling alley. Currently Green Bay has more haunted houses than bowling alleys and that, quite frankly, scares me. So my master plan to restore Green Bay tourism if the unthinkable would ever happen is to make Green Bay the new Roswell, New Mexico of America.
Now convincing or forcing extraterrestrial life to crash land in Green Bay may be undoable, but I have faith that Green Bay could band together and fake a UFO crash. This would be a total team effort but with great planning we can do it. The best way to accomplish this would be saying this happened a week before the Roswell incident in July of 1947, because the whole Roswell incident was to cover up the Green Bay incident. We will go through the archives of the local papers of that era to look for stories we can say were planted to help the cover up. We also will immediately start recording deathbed confessions by anyone who lived in Green Bay at the time who is about to kick the bucket. City hall, police, hospital and morgue records will all be altered to support the “Great Green Bay UFO Crash of 1947." Great grandparents, grandparents, and parents will start telling the children about Green Bay's secret that no longer can be kept secret. Stories of government threats at the time will circulate to explain why this story was suppressed for such a long time. Green Bay, like Roswell, will have a yearly UFO festival, but we will do it monthly. The UFO trinkets we sell will be made locally to help make up the loss of Packer revenue. Green Bay, are you ready for our Closeted Encounter of a Third Kind?
Live long and Believe.
--Banner image courtesy Interdimensional Guardians/ CC BY 2.0