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Eau Claire (WQOW) - It is, of course, the peak of Packer season. That means YACS and sacks, red zone touchdowns and Lambeau leaps, playmakers and Claymaker; sweet music to a Packer fan's ears. Well a pair of local musicians have teamed up to make it easy for the rest of us to sing along to every TD,TFL, or INT.
Do you count yourself as one of the fervent Packer faithful?
Absolutely! Yeah! First and foremost! Through and through! We're Packer fans... Die hards," say Tom Sumner and J.R. Hanson, also known as "Elroy and the Diehards".
Do you remember the day God first spoke to you?
"For me probably since watching the ice bowl back in the sixties, and through the seventies when they weren't doing very well at all, that's when I became a real die-hard Packer fan," says Sumner.
"I remember the first football game that I ever saw. My dad was sitting on the couch and my father was a friendly loving gentlemanly fellow, but I walked in front of the TV and he said "get out of the way, it's the Packers!" or something like that, so I took a note from that that there was something important there," says Hanson.
Tom and Josh have turned their fandom into a musical tandem. A CD of 10 Packer party songs that is winning over even the largest critics.
"Last Sunday I was down in green bay. I was sitting at a table playing music, meeting people, and next to us were Gilbert Brown and Fuzzy Thurston, who is from way, way back, and they were both listening to it and as far as I could tell they were grooving to it. So as far as I know Fuzzy Thurston and Gilbert Brown approve," says Hanson.
We all know that God is a Packer fan, but did you know that Jimmy Buffet is too? Yeah! He confessed it, live in concert!
I weaseled my way backstage and I was wearing a Green Bay Packer t-shirt and he picked me out of the crowd and said "hey! Green Bay packers! All right! It's just too cold up there!" and my memory is a little foggy but I think I said something like "someday I really want to write a song in honor of you about the Green Bay Packers," says Sumner.
"You know we make it through by creating our own kind of a holiday," says Hanson.
"A lot of people rely on packer fandom and on that team and what it brings to communities and family and things like that and to actually get through some pretty tough times. And it kind of provides an escape," says Hanson.
Have you ever composed a Vikings song, and if you did, what would it sound like," asks Steve Betchkal.
"Oh, oh, Vikings...too bad you never won a super bowl," sings the duo.
"I've often said the human mind is a great thing. It starts working before you're born and it doesn't stop until you sit down to write a song," says Sumner.
One final question, and it goes right to the heart of the issue: Is a person born a packer fan, or made one?
That can be answered by the duo's song lyrics:
Either you do, or you don't
Either you will, or you won't,
Either you kin, or you cain't
Either you is, or you ain't.
"I've always been of the belief that anything that brings people together is good, and what drives people apart is bad, and being a Packer fan -- you know, win or lose -- brings people together," says Sumner.
Sold on the green and gold. To order your copy of "Packer Party", click here.
If you'd like to get a copy of Elroy and the Diehards Packers CD, click here.
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