Janesville8.5°

Janesville's biggest Packer fan

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ANN MARIE AMES
January 20, 2008
— In 1960, Joe Kuhar wrote a letter to coach Vince Lombardi, asking to try out for the Green Bay Packers.

He was rejected politely, and the Packer’s first-round draft pick that year was Herb Adderley, a running back now in the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame.


Today, Kuhar has a bottle of Herb Adderley wine on his basement wall.


He has a Donald Driver beer bottle. And a cardboard Reggie White. And a jersey signed by Bart Starr.


And a 1973 van that’s painted green and gold with white-stenciled helmets—the perfect tailgating machine.


You get the picture … If you can imagine a piece of Packer paraphernalia, Kuhar has it.


“If it says ‘Packers’ on it, I’m not much on throwing it away,” Kuhar said.


Kuhar, 68, was chosen as The Janesville Gazette “Biggest Packer Fan.” A retired Janesville police officer and Vietnam veteran, Kuhar has lived in Janesville since 1967. His wife, Pat, is a Janesville native.


They have five daughters, all Packer fans.


It’s not just Kuhar’s “stuff” that proves his devotion to the green and gold. Nor is it the fact that he hasn’t missed a game at Lambeau since 1996.


It’s the miles of poster paper, gallons of glue and countless hours he’s used up keeping statistics.


Kuhar has handmade a photo roster of every Packer game since 2001.


He prints from www.packers.com photos of each player that hit the field. He cuts them out and pastes them in tidy rows on fluorescent green and yellow poster paper.


Kuhar labels the poster with the opposing team’s name and final score, numbers it for his records, laminates it and pins it to the ceiling tile in his basement.


Well, he pinned them up until he ran out of ceiling. Now they’re stacked on a dresser in the corner behind a purple bin full of trinkets passed out at the Lambeau gates.


But that’s not the end of his record keeping. Kuhar has a list in his computer of every player and a number that says where each player has been glued onto each poster.


All you have to do is tell Kuhar which player you want to see. He finds the poster, counts through the rows of pictures and points to your man.


“It’s all day Monday,” Kuhar said about the time it takes to put the posters together.


Kuhar also downloads the stats after each game and keeps them in neatly labeled three-ring binders.


“I could pull out my files, pick a game and be their TV announcer,” he said.


Pat Kuhar just smiles and rolls her eyes at her husband’s collection. There’s only one problem.


“His things are starting to creep up the stairs,” Pat said. “When I saw that, I got pretty mad.”


Kuhar is not a season ticket holder, but he’s been to every game at Lambeau since 1996 as well as games at Buffalo, Chicago and San Diego.


He went to his first game in 1956 with his brother. It was a night game, and the NFL used white balls with black stripes in night games at the time.


Kuhar caught one of the balls after a kick, but, “I went and wrecked it playing with it,” he said.


That’s one rare ball not in his collection.


Kuhar is very vocal at games, he said. Maybe that’s putting it mildly.


Kuhar was at last week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks with one of his daughters.


Another daughter called from her cell phone, wondering if an ambulance had come to take her dad away when the Packers started the game down 14-0.


But Kuhar probably has a right to be loud. He knows what he’s talking about, since he’s played or coached football from ninth grade until last year.


From the time he graduated from Wauwatosa High School in 1957 until 1967, when Kuhar retired from the Navy, he played football in Pearl Harbor and rugby in Japan.


He played several games on the Service All Star team against University of Hawaii. The best was the one they won, even though Hawaii had been picked to “whip” the Navy, Kuhar said.


He moved to Janesville in 1967 and followed the advice on his Packers rejection letter … he started playing semi-pro ball as a tight end for the Delavan Red Devils.


“In ’67 they had just reformed,” Kuhar said. “For the five years I played, we were the doormat of the central states league.”


Later, he coached the Red Devils and the Janesville Cavaliers as well as at Beloit College, Parker High School and the Janesville Youth Football League.


“I started semi-pro and worked my way down to youth football,” Kuhar said, laughing.


Other nominees:
Zach Ballou

I would like to nominate Zach Ballou for the best Packer fan.


He lives at 2106 S. Osborne Ave. (Janesville). He has watched them since he was a little child. He is now a daddy of two, and his son and daughter will also be an avid Packer fan as well. He also loves the Badgers.


—Delores L. Nelson


Jeff Burwitz

My son Jeff is the most loyal Green Bay Packer fan you will meet. He can tell you most team players past history and who all the coaches were.


He has every article that The Janesville Gazette published last year and this year on the Packers. Last year’s articles are in a huge album. This year’s are not done yet.


He has the Packers hat, posters, bank, wastebasket and more. He never misses a game, and while the Packers are playing, he paces back and forth in front of the television. You cannot talk to him at all.


—Annabelle Burwitz, Beloit.


Ricky Cadd

Ricky Cadd has never missed a Packer game in over 40 years, and with 11 kids and five foster kids, that is an accomplishment!


He is rarely ever seen in anything but Packer clothing! The basement in the Cadd house is sponged green and gold with pictures of Brett Favre and Lambeau Field everywhere. He has a bar with Packer glasses, a Packer couch, recliner, chair for his youngest son and projection TV for game time.


Win or lose, retired or not, he will always be a fan, and his heart will always be in the game.


—Marie Yakes (daughter)


Jim Condon

Jim Condon lives on Pontiac Drive in Janesville in a house they call “Lambeau II.”


That’s how they answer the phone.


“The atmosphere … you should see it,” Dianne said. “Everybody in the world would love to have a seat to a Packer game. This is the next best thing.”


There’s a Packer flag out front and a big shamrock that says, “open,” so neighbors and everyone always knows they’re welcome to the party.


The basement is decorated half in Packer memorabilia and half in NASCAR.


“But what’s unique is when the Packers score, the adults do a shot of Hot Sex and the kids do a shot of root beer pop,” Dianne said.


—Dianne Condon, Seneca, Wis.


Dennis Dorst

My husband Dennis Dorst in the 42 years we been married wears Packer clothing daily. He has tons of Packers caps, team cards, bobbleheads, T-shirts, cozies, books, train, Christmas tree plus lots more.


His pride and joy is his autographed football Brett Favre signed just before they won the Superbowl in New Orleans. He idolizes Brett Favre as a person and as the Packers quarterback.


It does not matter where we live, he supports his team as a loyal fan and never speaks bad of his team. He wears a Packer jacket everyday not just during football season.


— Sharron Dorst


Zac Fowler

You really need to check out Zac Fowler. He is the biggest packer Fan we all know.


He has the biggest Packer parties around. They are not just parties, they are PARTIES, some include dunk tanks, bands, raffles, best-dressed give aways etc.


Zac and is wife, Tammy, used to have all these parties at there house, but this year he had it at Boobleheads in memory of his wife, Tammy, who past away in a car accident in April ’06.


Zac's living room has been and always will be the Packers. He has collected so much stuff over the years he needed a whole room to put everything in. Zac has gone to tons of Packer games, home and away. He lives and dies the Packers.


Zac even had a dedication put up at Lambeau in honor of his wife that reads "Everyday was game day with you." All the money Zac made on raffles at his last Packer party went to Brooke Counter's family (a girl here in town who has cancer).


Zac wants to start a program that helps kids in need with the money he raises with his parties, and in honor of his wife who was a daycare provider.


We will always remember Tammy, but the Packers and Zac's parties that he puts on only keep her spirit alive. Go Pack


—Jennifer Nunn


Marvin Greenlee

I am married to the biggest Packer fan in the world. My husband plans everything around the Packers including our honeymoon.


If you were to visit our home, there is not one room that doesn’t have something green and gold in it. We have what we call our Packer Shrine, which consists of many Green Bay items. We also have our Brett Favre wall of fame, which consists of the one and only No. 1 man in the world (Brett).


My husband has been on the season ticket waiting list since 1970 and he is still 400 and something. Not only does he plan everything around the Pack, he has also given our children and myself strict orders that when he passes he is to be buried in his Green Bay jacket. I would have to say he is truly the biggest Packer fan that I know and love.


—Karen Greenlee, Sharon.


Jeff Griffis

My cousin Jeff Griffis or Griffo or Griffie. He will answer to any of them, but one thing that has never changed is his dedication to the Green Bay Packers. I am concerned about the day that Brett retires. I think he will take it very hard. The grief process will take some time but he will be OK.


He is the reason I am a Packer fan. I was not enjoying myself on the outside looking in. Now, we all get together for each game we eat, we drink and we cheer. What A GREAT TEAM. Thank God they are ours.


—Terri


Lori Hughes

My mother, Lori Hughes, AKA “Lori Favre” to herself, is the biggest Packer fan I know.


Every Sunday, she cheers in her “sweet spot” while wearing her lucky sweater. She has a legendary touchdown dance that has embarrassed her children for years.


She has transformed our basement into a shrine of pictures, autographs and other Packer-themed memorabilia.


For Christmas, instead getting diamonds like most women, she was overjoyed when receiving a life-size Brett Favre fathead. She’s a loyal fan no matter the outcome of the game, and she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to “Her Packers”.


There is so much more I could say about this incredibly kooky and crazy Packer fan I call my mother, so please let me know if you agree with me that she is one of the BIGGEST Packer fans around!


—Brittany Hughes


Steve Jackson and brothers

My husband and his brothers have got to be some of the biggest Packer Fans I know! They get together for every Packer Game! All of our kids have been used as "booda balls" and passed around the room after each touchdown. They all wear their "lucky" Packer shirts and hats, chant, cheer and referee!


These guys meet for every game at my brother-in-laws house (as he has a big screen TV) and absolutely have to be there together for kick-off! That is tradition and ritual! These guys live, breathe, eat and sleep Green Bay Packers!


—Susan Jackson


Jeff Jacobson

I would like to throw my helmet into the field of candidates for the biggest Packers fan.


I'm doing this not only for my extensive collection of Packers memorabilia that includes Packer stock, autographed prints, authentic helmet, custom painted floor in my bar, hand-painted Packer's border in the bar's bathroom, Packer plates on my truck, Uniformed Players players contract for Eddie Jankowski (Green Bay Packers) dated August 1941, Gazette printing plate from Superbowl XXXI, Packer's No. 4 jersey that does not have the name Favre on the back, Packer's peanut butter, Chunky Soup, cake mix, ice cream, candy all four Wheaties boxes and my dog (Reginald Vince) to name a few.


I would like you to see for yourself how we created "Jakes Packer Pub" to enjoy every Packer game with my family and friends. My house on Wesley Ave is easy to locate with the Packer windmill and 10-foot green and gold Christmas tree with the Packer helmet tree topper.


—Jeff Jacobson


Junie Jones

I believe my sister is the biggest Green Bay Packer fan in Janesville.


She has been a football fan way back when her high school team class of 1943 played. Next came the Packers of old Vince, Bart, Paul and company. My sister would come “home” and watch the game with our dad. Just like “one of the guys”.


Then came Brett Favre! From day one she said, “He was going to be a quarterback to reckon with.”


Her den is “wallpapered” with pictures, big posters, etc. of Brett! Also placed around her house are other Packer things. My sister’s house is even green and gold!


She never misses a Packer game. On Saturday when watching from her hospital bed I bet they heard her all the way down on first floor. Listen carefully on Sunday because you’ll probably hear her shouting, “Go Pack go!”


She is an 83-year-old great-grandmother and loves her Packers.


—Barbara Rittenhouse, Janesville


Jane Korbol

Jane Korbol is this area's biggest Packer fan.


She happens to live in Rockton, Ill., in the midst of Bear country.


Her recreation room is filled with Packer memorabilia—framed pictures autographed by Packer greats, Packer recipe books, nutcrackers, glasses, mugs, signs, coasters and crock pots, trolls dressed in Packer gear sitting on a GB sofa, three TVs adorned with Packer pennants, and a year-around Christmas tree festooned with Packer ornaments.


The piece de resistance is the bathroom, complete with turf green carpet with yard markers. The only non-Packer item in the bathroom is the Bear (or sometimes Cowboy) toilet paper!


—Marcy Olsen


Jackie Lee

I must confess, I’m turning myself in for being a huge Packer fan. Sunday’s growing up here in Janesville would be church and then pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast and the Packers, just like clockwork.


What’s perfect is that my husband is just as bad as I am!


I’m trying to keep this to 100 words, but you’re asking the impossible!


-- My license plate reads JAX4GB!


-- My dog has her own Packer jersey, apparently that’s not “normal.”


-- I have a picture of Gilbert Brown and I together. It’s funny!


-- My hubby and I have traveled individually or together to Detroit, Minneapolis, San Diego, San Francisco and New Orleans to be with the Pack.


-- We got married in New Orleans after just planning it in the weeks all because we were going for the game on Sept 15, 2002!


-- We’ll be leaving Saturday afternoon to go see the players come out of their team meeting and then we’ll be at the game on Sunday for my 35th birthday. What a great gift!


I think that either qualifies me as a fan or someone that needs to get out more.


—Jackie Lee


Earl and Rooty Leigh

Earl and Rooty Leigh are the ultimate Packer fan duo.


Earl and Rooty met when they were teenagers in Madison. They heard about the Packers via the radio since television wasn’t available at the time. Their first Packer experience was at the Shrine Charity game in Milwaukee, and they have been devoted fans since.


In 1967, Earl and Rooty formed the non-profit Madison Packer Backer Fan Club. There were 17 members at their first annual meeting. In 1967 the club organized their first Packer bus trip from Madison to Green Bay. In 1974 and every year since, the club has chartered two Van Galder coaches to every Packer game in Green Bay.


The Madison Packer Backer Club celebrated their 40th anniversary this year and currently has 450 club members.


Their ultimate gift is that they both found much happiness in affording others the opportunity to experience Packer fever as they had enjoyed for so many years!


—Jon Wangen


Kevin Lewis

Who else but Kevin Lewis plans ALL of their activities based on the Green Bay Packers?


Whether hanging out in the family room (where even the furnishings are Packer green) engulfed in autographed Packer memorabilia, or planning the yearly family vacation to (where else?) Lambeau Field.


Every game is viewed countless times because they're ALL recorded. Every family member MUST wear their green and gold on game day. (Including the dog.)


Each year that playoff hopes have been dashed, this die-hard fan states, "We'll get ’em next year." This time ... I think he's right!


Go Pack Go!


—Shannon Lewis


Mary Lingo family

My whole family is Packer fans.


My son, Terry Schachtschneider, wouldn’t miss a game for anything. He has a “Packer room” filled with much memorabilia. He gets very exited-win or lose.


His brother, Steve Schachtschneider had to move to North Carolina 20 years ago but remained a Packer fan even in Panther country.


My daughter Patti (Jim) Gillickson has never had the chance to go to a game, but still loves the Pack.


Needless to say, I’m a fan too in my 78th year. I got to go to Lambeau two times, and one time I got to see them play while I visited North Carolina. Go Pack.


—Mary Lingo, Edgerton


Mark Madson

My greatest packer fan is from Clinton. His name is "Mr. Little" (Mark Madson). He doesn't go to all the games or have pictures on the wall, but he loves them so much, he went and bought a large yellow car, cut the top off and turned it into a "Packer backer car." Since then, he picks up "Mr. Bigg" (me), we put on our Packer clothes, and we drive around in the winter promoting the "the Pack". The last trip was to Lambeau, 12 degrees, the cops look at us funny and actually have pulled us over asking a lot of questions.


—Ron Bigelow


Jim Mawhinney

Hands down!


Jim Mawhinney of Rock Title (on Kennedy Road) is the biggest fan I know.


The entire lower level of his office building is a Green Bay Packer shrine.


He has original items that no one else has. One of the older, ex-packers visited his collection and noted he'd not seen a better collection.


The carpet IS the field ... It is a must see for all Packer fans. His passion for the team is obvious and his collection is priceless.


—Julie Raese


Bob Meyer

Bob Meyer as a kid, after football practice at Edison, rode his bike (with no seat) up to Chips to meet Ray Nitschke. Still one of the happiest moments of his life.


His house is always open game day for friends to come over and watch the game (unless he's at the game). The Packer Christmas tree is still up in the Packer room (where we watch the game) until after the Packers win the Super Bowl.


Organizes a group of friends that head up to family night in Green Bay every year (once there were 47 of us)! Last year, the 3-year-old granddaughter went, too. Bob even has a Green Bay tattoo, and both vehicles have Packers plates.


—Pattie Meyer


Danny Mitchell

If living and breathing the Packers is a yearlong obsession, not just a season long fixation, then Danny Mitchell is the Packers biggest fan.


Danny’s a lifelong a Packer fan. Danny was 9 when the Packers won Super Bowl XXI. It’s one of his greatest memories.


Danny collects anything and everything Packers. There’s just too much to count. There’s a mural of Lambeau Field and the three Super Bowl trophies painted on the family room wall.


Sunday’s mean family, friends, food, beer and football. It’s a rare if Danny still has his voice after a game. He loves his team.


—Jacki Gackstatter


Bill Neumann

Bill is a regular at the YMCA … adorned in Packer shirts … year round.


Bill is a historian. He has more Packer facts stored away than most of us ever learn.


Bill is a homer. The Pack always has hope or at least he has hope for the Pack.


Check this super fan out!


—Mike O'Brien


Nate Perry

The biggest Packer fan is my son-in-law, Nate Perry. Just look into his "den" and you will see Packer cereal boxes, bobble heads, a life size Brett and MUCH more.


His Packer collection is unbelievable, now, and he continues to add to it. Nate had his photo in a Sports Illustrated tribute to Brett Favre (12/28/98-1/4/99 special double issue) that was taken when he was attending his first regular season Packer game!!


The family dresses in appropriate Packer wear for each game, including my two granddaughters in their Packer cheerleading outfits. He is the ultimate Packer fan!!!!


—Gail K. Wolfe


Purvis Packer Backers

For one local group of fans Lambeau Field is not far from home. The Purvis Packer Backers are a group that is truly devoted to The Pack.


What they call “Little Lambeau” is a mini football field complete with field goal posts, end zones and crazy fans that appear for every game!


Upon every Packer TD, these fans leave the garage for a field goal attempt on “Little Lambeau.”


Tailgating in style with ice cold beer, brats, plenty of Green and Gold and a whole lot of spirit, these fans show up in all weather to cheer on the Pack.


—April Palmer


Teresa Reilly

Teresa Reilly, the greatest Packer fan alive


Following in her father's footsteps, Teresa is the greatest Packer fan and the epitome of sportsmanship. Being a fan means treating opposing team fans with goodwill, and she does. She goes to every game possible, driving in any weather.


She often leaves her seat during tense moments to pray. Her basement is outfitted in Packer gear (with two Packer Christmas trees). Teresa was once on the Mike Sherman Show. She tailgates outside her Fulton home in subzero temperatures. Win or lose on Sunday, Teresa will raise a glass in honor of a great season and high hopes for next year.


—Teresa Reilly


Adam and Andrew Robinson

Our sons Adam and Andrew Robinson are huge Packer fans!


They attend at least one game every year in precisely detailed costumes. They receive multiple requests from tailgaters who want their photo taken with them. Recently they have held to their Favre look-a-like outfits, including green and gold sneakers.


They call themselves the “Mayors of Lambeau”. If separated from their friends, looking for a clearing in the crowd will locate these two at the center of attention. Their goal is to be hired as tailgate entertainment and be inducted into the Packer Fan Hall of Fame.


—Don and Ruth Robinson, Janesville


Dennis “Salvo” Salverson

10 Reasons Why Dennis “Salvo” Salverson is the Biggest Packer Fan:


10. Salvo knows Packer history.


9. He wears Packer shirts daily, even off season.


8. He attends training camp annually to watch players workout and ride kids’ bikes.


7. Charter member of Packers Partners


6. Salvo owns and reads lots of Packer books.


5. He never misses a Packer game on TV in our Packer family room. If he can buy tickets, we go!


4. Salvo is on the long waiting list for Packer tickets.


3. He owns lots of valuable pictures of Packers (many signed).


2. Proposed to his wife at a Packer game in ‘66 in the sleet and snow.


1. He has a ritual of ringing the Packer bell when the Packers score!


—Mary Salverson


Dan Sargent

I got your man, I mean your biggest fan, my dad, Dan Sargent.


My dad has a “shrine” for the green and gold. Come over, you’ll get the royal tour in the “Packer shrine.” He has enough Packer T-shirts, hats and sweatshirts to give to all the fans at Lambeau Field.


On Packer day, he is green and gold from head to toe. I knew my dad was the biggest Packer fan when he went down to the local tattoo shop and got a Superman “S” on his arm like Brett Favre’s.


My dad is 68 years old. When talk last year of Brett retiring was going on, he cried. When the Packers are having a rough game or losing, he goes in and changes his clothes because he thinks what he has on is not rubbing off enough luck.


He would love to see his beloved Green Bay Packers go to the Superbowl, just to get another hat or T-shirt or add something more to the “shrine of green and gold.”


—Pam Ausen, Milton


Mike Saxer

I have a neighbor who is a huge Packer backer. Every time the Packers play, he has his truck festooned out with decals, and flags! Flags! Flags! He parks it at the end of the driveway and I’ve watched people go by and just have a good laugh about it.


—Barb Tapovatz


Barb Shull

My aunt Barb Shull IS the biggest packer fan EVER!


My Aunt Barb is such a big fan she had a professional artist come and paint Lambeau Field on the wall when she remodeled her “Packer” family room. I nominate my aunt to be the biggest, baddest Packer fan ever because I know she is and she always will be!


Sometimes I think she’s crazy for how much she loves the Packers, but she’s just their biggest fan! Packers do as well as they do because of their fans, and my aunt is their No. 1.


—Emily Werhane


Irv Trewyn

That's my man, Irv Trewyn proud and true Packer fan, never misses a game when they’re on the TV.


Irv works 70 hours a week and doesn’t sleep ‘til the game is over!


He knows every Packer player (just give him their jersey number) past and present. He drove to Dallas and picked up his daughter to watch the Packers and Dallas play. Irv braided in his beard with green and gold beads that spelled out "Packers". He turned many heads!


Irv says when Brett Favre retires it will be a sad day for him. One wish in life is to meet Brett Favre in person. A true fan always and forever. Irv Trewyn


—John Rousseau


Dan Trezek

My dad is the biggest Packer fan.


My dad has a Packer tattoo on his arm. He turned our garage into a Packer room. My dad never misses a game. We always have Packer parties.


My dad has walls and shelves full of Packer stuff. He has a picture with Brett Favre. He has autographed pictures of Chmura. Kaburski, Butler, Newsome, Sharpe, Fritz Shurmer Beebe and more I can’t remember.


My brother and me and my sister have been to Green Bay with my dad. He is an ultimate Packer member and gets invited to partied at the stadium.


—Cody Trezek, Janesville.


Kathy Weber

My Mom, Kathy Weber, of Brodhead is the BIGGEST Packer fan ever! Not only does she never miss a game, she tapes them so she can replay them and analyze the game. When watching the game, she wears head phones tuned into the play-by-play of the radio to get a more detailed report of the game.


My son has stated what he enjoys most about Grandma is the ability to always talk Packer (and Badger) football, as she is up on the latest for injuries, trades and releases in the off season.


Several years ago, my parents went on vacation with us to Arkansas. Meanwhile, training camp had begun. Upon our return, she spent four hours at the local library reading back issues to get all the latest news on her beloved Packers.


I might add that she is in her 70's and she has always been this way!


She is the BIGGEST PACKER FAN I know!


—Teresa Earleywine



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