File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/97-01-29.113, message 14

Subject: M-I: The Pack Is Back
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 14:13:04 -0500 ()

     The Pack is back!
     Well, after that eruption I should confess that I 
was a long time resident of the state of Wisconsin and 
thus possess a certain regional chauvinism regarding 
yesterday's victory by the Green Bay Packers over the 
Boston Patriots in the Super Bowl.  But, I think that 
there may be something of interest here, especially 
for those who advocate reading the bourgeois press in 
order to communicate with the workingclass.
     The issue is the rather peculiar ownership 
structure of the Green Bay Packers, unique in American 
professional football, and I suspect in major 
professional sports in the US period.  It rather 
resembles one of the cooperative form variations of a 
Chinese town and village enterprise.  The team is 
owned by a non-profit corporation whose stock is owned 
by the citizens of the City of Green Bay, Wisconsin.  
Now, this is not local socialism a la the power 
company owned by the City of Cleveland.  Nor is it 
worker-owned or worker-managed.  But it certainly 
raises a lot of questions about the role of 
billionaire owners and large corporations, and its 
ownership structure has gotten a lot of attention in 
the mass media.
     Many are attributing it as a factor in the team's 
success, certainly to the enthusiasm of its 
"cheesehead" fans (I note that Green Bay is a very 
workingclass town).
    Keith Jackson, tight end has been quoted as 
saying, "In Green Bay, you aren't working for an owner 
you don't like."  This Super Bowl was marked by a much 
larger attendance by workingclass people than the 
usual wealthy glitterati that attend these events, and 
most of them were "cheesehead" Packers fans.
     I think that this is a mind-opening issue for a 
lot of people, who take sports more seriously than the 
stuff discussed on these lists most of the time.  The 
increasing alienation induced by market capitalism in 
sports has really disgusted a lot of people, and there 
are commentators noting that the ownership structure 
of the Green Bay Packers may be a way for cities to 
"stand up to the greed and power of large 
Barkley "Cheesehead" Rosser 

Rosser Jr, John Barkley

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