A Packers’ fan for life
By Greg Seubert
Special to Packerland Pride
MARSHFIELD – What if the Green Bay Packers had an 0-16 season and the Chicago Bears went on to win a Super Bowl?
Mariah Frahmann would still be a fan.
Not of the Bears, by the way. This is a person who posted a photo on her Facebook page of a can of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s favorite soft drink: Choke.
“All my life, 20 years,” Mariah said when asked how long she’s been a Packers fan.
So are her parents, Jody and Brenda Frahmann, and her brother, Jordan.
It’s easy to see why the Marshfield family is loyal to the Green and Gold. The walls of the Frahmann’s business, Off the Wall Custom Framing & Art in Marshfield, are full of framed Packers prints.
Mariah has been to only one game, a 34-7 win over Buffalo, the 2010 home opener.
“I got to sit in the special handicapped section,” she said. “They don’t allow that anymore because you have to be in a wheelchair to sit there.”
Mariah, who turned 21 July 1, was diagnosed with Fragile X, the most common inherited cause of intellectual disabilities and the most common known cause of autism, at age 8.
That will keep her from attending other games, according to Brenda.
“She can’t,” she said. “It’s too crowded.”
Because of Fragile X, eye contact is very difficult for Mariah, she gets anxious in social situations and has to follow a strict daily schedule.
That’s OK with Mariah, however. She’s more than happy to watch the games at home with her parents if they’re not using their season tickets.
“We start getting lunch ready at 11:30,” Brenda said. “Warmer weather, we do brats and stuff. In the winter, it’s probably a ham.”
“Dad gets his chair, you get the other recliner,” Brenda said.
Jordan is usually working at Fleet Farm in Marshfield on game day.
“Everybody has to zip it,” Jody said.
What if the phone rings?
“We don’t answer it,” Mariah said. “No phones allowed.”
She also posts a final score on Facebook.
While longtime fans struggled through several losing seasons in the 1970s and 1980s after the Glory Years, the Packers have been successful as long as Mariah can remember.
“We always think they’re going to do good,” Brenda said. “She and Jordan have never known the Packers to be bad.”
Aaron Rodgers is Mariah’s current favorite player, but it used to be his predecessor. At one time, she had Brett Favre Packers, Jets and Vikings jerseys.
“I can’t believe he went to Minnesota,” she said. “I got rid of them, though. Too small.”
The Frahmanns have attended Packers Family Night at Lambeau Field in the past. One year, Mariah and Jordan posed for photos in front of Donald Driver’s locker. They also toured the Packers Pro Shop last summer with store manager Deb Kuhn and attended the first Fan Fest.
“I won a mini-helmet signed by Don Majkowski,” Mariah said. “I couldn’t believe I won.”
“Once Packers season starts, she wears a Packers shirt every day,” Brenda said.
Mariah has enough shirts to get her through a week, but not an official jersey.
“Not yet,” she said. “They’re expensive.”
Mariah thought for a minute when asked what Packers player she’d like to meet.
“I’d have to go with Aaron Rodgers.”
She missed his recent appearance on Jeopardy’s celebrity tournament.
“I heard he won,” she said.
Mariah also follows the Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and Wisconsin Badgers, as well as the Marshfield Tigers.
Don’t expect Mariah to switch sides anytime soon.
“Nope,” she said. “No way. Never. Not in a million years. The Packers are good. They’re fun to watch and they have great fans.”
“Once a Packers fan…,” Brenda said.
“Always a Packers fan.” Mariah chimed in.
• Greg Seubert is the sports editor of The Waupaca County Post in Waupaca.