My Son Thinks Santa Claus is From Wisconsin
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Any student at Watchung Hills would likely attest to the fact that Mr. Murray is the biggest Packers fan in the world. His collection of memorabilia and endless mental library of facts about the team are a trademark of being in Mr. Murray’s classes. While his students and colleagues have always been aware of his dedication, it has finally come to be recognized on a larger scale.
This year, due to nominations by students Henry Zhu and Tim Cardona, Mr. Murray has been chosen as one of the top ten finalists to be entered into the Green Bay Packers Fan Hall of Fame. As this event has roused excitement and anticipation amongst the entire school, I sat down with Mr. Murray to shed some light on the source of his dedication, his reaction to being nominated, and even some of his best game day memories.
JZ: Alright, Mr. Murray. The first question I believe many of your students and colleagues are wondering is : Where did your love for the Packers originate?
MM: From my father. I was born into the Packers fandom. My dad raised me a Packers fan, he made my uncles and cousins Packers fans…my father really is the source of all of the Packers fans in the family.
JZ: Since this nomination came from two of your students, I was wondering whether you were surprised that they chose to place you in the running for this honor?
MM: Haha yes I was. When Henry sent me the email, I was very surprised. They had told me they were going to do it, but I didn’t know if they were really going to. And then when I got accepted, as I said on my (statement), what makes it the most special is that it came from the students. That was really the best part for me.
JZ: As you said, your father turned your entire family into Packers fans. What would becoming a member of the Fan Hall of Fame mean to your family?
MM: There are several reasons it would mean a lot. For one, the fact that my dad passed away a few years ago very suddenly; it would mean a lot because of that. My whole life growing up I never missed watching a Packers game with my dad. We watched every single game together.
One of my best memories is the first time we went to Green Bay together and I stood there at about thirteen years old. It would mean a lot also to my sister and my uncles and all of us. He’s always with me every game day; his pictures are in my Packers room. In reality, it’s him that should be put into the Packers Fan Hall of Fame, not me.
JZ: If you win, (And of course we’re all rooting for you!) who will you tell first?
MM: I would tell my son first, even though I’m not quite sure if he’ll really get it yet, Shane would definitely be the first person I would tell. I would definitely send a message out to my students.. my family, my wife. All of the Packers fans that are in my family-they’re all very excited-and already trying to deviate who will accompany me to the game if I win. (The winner is awarded an all expense paid trip to Green Bay to watch a game.)
JZ: Lastly, would you give us a little bit of insight as to what a Packers game day is like in the Murray Household?
MM: It starts the minute we wake up. Usually everyone puts on their particular (Packers) shirt or outfit. I wear the same outfit every time- my Green Bay Packers socks, my grey shorts- even if it’s freezing out. I have a Packers shirt and of course I wear my dad’s hat. Then my family comes over and we tailgate and cook up some food. Afterwards we pick out our particular spot where we watch the game. I have my chair, where I always watch the game. From there, it really depends on the outcome- If it ends in victory then everyone will be talking and hanging out, and if they lose usually everyone gets up and leaves and says, “See you next weekend.”
Mr. Murray and I continued to chat about what game days were like when he was young.
MM: My dad and my uncles, growing up, before direct TV, every sunday we would go to a local sports bar when I was a little kid. We would all sit around and watch the game. I remember that would be a big part of the experience. We would sit and get our food and my dad would get me my little soda and I would sit there and watch the game, and as we got older and got direct tv we turned it into more of a family event. I have to be around Packers people, as well.
Mr. Murray and I continued to chat for a bit about what this experience has meant to his family, and how the Packers games and associated events are a huge aspect of their family dynamic. He even revealed that his son, Shane, who is four years old, believes that Santa is from Wisconsin, and dons a green and gold suit. The Packers have been a huge part of Mr. Murray’s life for as long as he can remember and this honor is deserved by no one more than Mr. Murray.
Remember to vote for Mr. Murray for the duration of January at: