I’m not sure what sort of issues the city of Green Bay faces other than all the empty cans of paint thinner that pollute its streets, but I can tell you that Mayor Jim Schmitt is obviously too obsessed with the upcoming Vikings-Packers game to get any actual work done.
You may recall that Schmitt has been soliciting suggestions from area residents regarding how to best welcome Brett Favre back to Green Bay. Now he’s kicking his manic dedication to all things Packers-related another notch: he’s changing street names, eating waffle fries and encouraging citizens to wear flip flops.
For starters, it appears that Green Bay residents don’t appreciate the idea of having a street named after the state from where their hated rivals hail, but have no fear, Mayor Schmitt is all over it: he changed the name of Minnesota Avenue to Aaron Rodgers Drive. Brilliant! Even better, Schmitt decided to take it upon himself to inform Aaron Rodgers in person by driving over to the QB’s house and giving him the pleasure of getting bothered by some coot in a suit.
Schmitt said he went to Rodgers’ home Wednesday night to get his number 12 jersey signed, and brought the sign with him to show to the Packers quarterback.
“I went in the house, and I said ‘hey look, this is what we’re doing tomorrow,’ and he goes ‘oh man, that’s awesome,’ and he turns up the lights and he’s taking pictures. So he’s very excited about this, and well deserving of changing Minnesota Avenue to Aaron Rodgers Drive for the weekend,” said Schmitt.
I love it. I can imagine Rodgers settling down into a comfy chair to enjoy a nice chicken pot pie in front of the television yesterday so he could catch up on DVRed episodes of Say Yes To The Dress, only to hear his doorbell ring. He peers out the window only to see the goofball mayor standing there wearing his jersey.
Here’s a news report on the street sign change, courtesy of FOX11 WLUK-TV:
If you thought Mayor Schmitt would have to be done with his peculiar Packers tomfoolery, you would be wrong. He has decreed today to be “Flip Flop Friday” in Green Bay, in reference to Brett Favre’s notorious flip-flopping (genius!). And he has more in store for Saturday. Via WFRV-TV (hey, those station letters resemble Favre’s name a little to much for it not to be a coincidence! Boo them!):
Schmitt has declared Friday “Flip Flop Friday.” He’s encouraging the community to wear flip flops on their feet. Saturday the Mayor will name a beer and a root beer for the border battle, while enjoying waffle fries.
Yeah, there’s nothing like wearing flip-flops on a brisk autumn day in the Midwest.
What I am sensing here is a city-wide case of low self-esteem by the city of Green Bay which has been co-opted into photo-op after photo-op by a delusional mayor. Disagree? Read further.
Schmitt was joined by Green Bay Superintendent Greg Maass to talk about a first time competition between area 8th graders. The students are asked to come up with “The top 12 Reasons 4 Staying in Green Bay.”
“Listen up, kids. There’s no reason to ever leave Green Bay, so just put those big city dreams away and be happy where you are. In fact, to prove our point, we insist that you come up with 12 reasons why you never-ever would want to move somewhere else. You’re staying put, dammit!”
Just to be clear, I’m all for the demonstrations of civic pride that can be expressed through the love of your local sports team. There are few things that can bring a community closer together than the shared experience of rooting for the local boys, but this week in Green Bay has bordered on manic, obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Yeah, I’m a Vikings fan, what of it? That has absolutely nothing to do with the harsh criticism of Green Bay. I’m a journalist, first and foremost, which I’m sure is abundantly clear, given the integrity and lack of bias in my work. Fair and balanced, baby.
Minnesota Ave. renamed for Rodgers [FOX11 WLUK-TV]
GB Mayor announces Top 4 Packers-Vikings game activities [WFRV-TV]