21.1.11

A CHEDDAR CURTAIN HAS COME DOWN.  USA Today visits Chicago and Green Bay.
Green Bay and Chicago share proximity to Lake Michigan, Midwestern grit and bluntness and a zeal for sports, but not much else.
Chicago's population dwarfs Green Bay's, 2.8 million to 101,412. Green Bay's tallest building is the nine-story Bellin Building; Chicago has the 110-story Willis Tower. Chicago has the Bulls, the Blackhawks, the Cubs and the White Sox. Green Bay has the Packers and a unique connection to the team, which is owned by the community.
All three million of those Chicagoans vacation in Wisconsin, many of them maintaining second homes in the two northernmost counties of Illinois, Vilas and Door.
"There's a natural connection between Illinois people and Wisconsin people, not always pleasant," says [author David] Maraniss, who has homes in Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wis. "Wisconsin people are always complaining about Illinois drivers coming up for summer vacation and ruining their state. On the other hand, they're putting money in Wisconsin. They need the Illinois people. And Chicago is really the big city for Wisconsin."
Illinoisans need the Wisconsin people, too.  Well-off parents in Illinois send their spawn to the University of Wisconsin to stretch their minds, and Illinois businesses and universities hire Wisconsin graduates to show the flatlanders the proper use of their minds.  (The biggest Wisconsin alumni chapter outside Wisconsin is in Chicago.)

A related article notes that three of the NFL's Final Four do not have cheerleaders.
The [Packers' since disbanded] Golden Girls were drawn from a dance studio, and included some national champions in baton twirling. They are in the Packers Hall of Fame, but the team did away with cheerleaders in 1988, after a TV station poll found fans were split 50-50 on whether they were needed.
What for?  Football is supposed to be played on a fall afternoon, with perhaps a hint of snow in November, with a blast furnace or paper mill in sight of the stadium.

There is still a blast furnace not far from the Napoleonic Wasteland of Soldier Field.

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