Fan as old as Packers franchise at 98 hasn't given up on her team
WEST BEND - The Green Bay Packers organized as a semi-professional football team in the second-floor offices of the old Green Bay Press-Gazette building on Aug. 11, 1919.
Ida Motiff was born 70 days later.
Not many Packers fans can say they’re as old as the 98-year-old franchise. And not many can say they’ve been season-ticket holders since 1950.
It’s been quite a run for Motiff, who owns four season tickets and attended at least one game every year for 67 years. She’s seen every great Packers player from Tony Canadeo to Aaron Rodgers.
“I always liked football,” she said. “My brother played in high school, and I guess I got it from him.”
Jerry Kramer, the 1960s-era guard, was one of her favorite players and she calls Rodgers “a nice boy,” but Brett Favre is at the top of her list. She owns a No. 4 jersey and several books about the former quarterback.
When Motiff attended Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans, she and her late husband, Ron, visited Kiln, Miss., Favre’s hometown.
“Brett Favre, he’s my favorite,” she said. “It just seemed like he was with it, and not just playing. He loved the game.”
Though Motiff didn’t attend the Ice Bowl on Dec. 31, 1967, she and Ron were in their seats throughout the Packers’ run of championships in the 1960s and their renaissance in the 1990s. She also witnessed some bad football in the 1950s, ‘70s and ‘80s.
But she never left a game early or turned off the television before the game ended until the Packers lost to the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 22.
“That’s the first time in my life I went to bed before a game was over,” she said.
Motiff attended a game as recently as Sept. 25, 2016 – the Packers beat the Lions, 34-27 – but this is the first season since 1950 that she won’t see at least one game at Lambeau Field.
“It’s the walking,” said Motiff, who only recently started using a walker and just weeks ago moved into an assisted living facility. “If I didn’t have to walk it would be all right. I’d pay for it if I did.”
Her nieces and their husbands – Judy and Mike Nee of Campbellsport and Barb and Tom Krutza of Amherst – use her four season tickets, with the proviso that if Motiff feels up to attending another game, she has dibs.
It’s been a tough few weeks for the Packers, who managed to beat the Bears but otherwise have struggled with Rodgers out with a broken collarbone and Brett Hundley under center.
“My problem is that I don’t like Hundley – not personally, but as a quarterback,” she said, no doubt echoing the sentiment of many Packers fans. “Joe Callahan – I thought he was very good.”
She’s not ready, though, to give up on her favorite team. She’ll be in front of her TV, trying to cheer them on to victory.
“I celebrate when they win,” she said. “Once in a while, I have a beer.”