PORT ANGELES — As a small child, Andrew May wondered where all the adults disappeared to every other Sunday in the fall and winter.
“We would have a teenager baby-sitting us but there were no adults around for hours,” May said.
“The streets would be empty of cars and adults.”
May says he guarantees that his hometown streets will be empty again today.
That’s because his hometown is Green Bay, Wis., and his hometown NFL team, the Packers, are playing in their fifth Super Bowl today against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The entire city of 101,000 residents will come to a standstill because everybody will be watching the game, according to May.
“During the Super Bowl they will probably have a TV shot of the mall in town or of a four-way street corner and there will be no cars or no people around,” he said.
Who will the May family be rooting for?
Well, you don’t really have to ask that, especially since three of the four family members are co-owners — or as some would say, shareholders — of the Green Bay Packers, and they have the green certificates to prove it.
May’s wife, Carmen Czachor — the veterinarian owner of the Family Veterinary Clinic on U.S. Highway 101 in Port Angeles — was the first one in the family to become a Packer co-owner when her father bought her a share on Nov. 20, 1997.
Andrew May and their oldest son, 14-year-old Spencer, both became co-owners on Jan. 27, 1998.
Spencer was a toddler at the time. Their youngest son, 12-year-old Jackson, wasn’t born yet and missed out on the last time Green Bay sold the certificates to help pay for Lambeau Field renovations.
The three co-owners can vote in shareholder issues, and they will get a chance to vote on the NFL labor unrest this year between the owners and players. A possible lockout of the players looms in March.
They also get to attend the annual shareholder meeting to meet and greet the coaches and players.
The May family, however, does not have season tickets. The waiting list for tickets is years and years long.
“There was a period of 17 years when the Packers did not get into the playoffs, and at that time the list to get season tickets had a 19-year waiting period,” May said. Ouch.
The Mays may or may not get season tickets in their lifetime.
Andrew May has been a lifelong Packers fan. Literally.
The ornamental horticulturalist and gardening columnist for the Peninsula Daily News pulled weeds at age 4 for former Green Bay quarterback great Bart Starr.
May’s parents had horticultural degrees from Cornell and worked for a Green Bay greenhouse company that supplied flowers for parties and other events at Starr’s house.
Starr flipped quarters to little May when the youngster was pulling weeds.
“Since age 4 is when you first remember things — right? — I have been doing what I love my whole life, getting paid for working with flowers and rooting for the Packers,” May said.
May’s introduction to the Packer culture came long before he was pulling weeds, though.
Evidently, you’re taking your chances when you are born on a Sunday in Green Bay.
The doctor induced labor so May would be born quickly on a Nov. 27 because the doctor had tickets to the Packers game that was being played a little later that day.
“The Packers beat the Lions in that game,” May proudly said.
Thus, another Packers fan was born.
Just as he takes his flowers seriously, May takes his Packers fan role seriously.
For the past two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, May has been wearing a different Green Bay outfit daily.
For the photo accompanying this story, Czachor, Spencer — a freshman at Port Angeles High School — and Jackson — a sixth grader at Dry Creek Elementary School — all wore No. 12 jerseys with “Rodgers” written on the back.
Aaron Rodgers, the sixth-year quarterback out of California, has made Packer fans forget about future Hall of Famer Brett Favre by leading the team to the Super Bowl in only his third year as the starting signal-caller.
For his Super Bowl party today, May said he will have a Fathead wall graphic of No. 4 (Favre’s number) that will say “We will never forget you, Brent.”
May took part in the childhood traditions of Packers mania when he was growing up in Green Bay.
As well as missing their parents on Sunday during the football season, Green Bay children take part in a training camp tradition geared to them.
After practice on their outdoors field, whether it’s training camp, spring practice or the regular season, the players bike from the field to the locker room facilities between lines of children who cheer them on.
In May’s day, the Packers rode little Stingray bikes with yellow banana seats.
“These big guys were riding these little bikes by us,” May said with a smile.
“They still do it. They will ride whatever the popular small bike of the day is,” May said.
May saw some famous Packer games in his time in Green Bay.
While his parents were able to watch the Ice Bowl one harsh winter, May was able to see the Snow Bowl in person.
The Snow Bowl was played during a vicious snowstorm when only 15,000 very hardcore Packer fans made it to Lambeau Field to watch the Packers play their hated rival, the Chicago Bears.
Talk about a whiteout.
The Bears were wearing their travel white uniforms at the game, and the Packers romped to a 42-10 win.
“We kicked them,” May said with a big smile.
Now May is hoping that the Packers earn their fourth Super Bowl victory today by kicking the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Green Bay will win by a score of 27-20,” May said.
That’s straight out of the mouth of a Green Bay co-owner.
Sports Editor Brad LaBrie can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at [email protected]