2020 Ryder Cup: Europe turns on the ‘cheesehead’ charm with a Green Bay Packers tribute at Whistling Straits

2020 Ryder Cup
Source: Skysports

Before their practise rounds at Whistling Straits on Wednesday, Europe’s 2020 Ryder Cup players went on a charm offensive, donning the Green Bay Packers’ colours and tossing ‘cheesehead’ souvenirs into the throng.

In honour of the NFL’s Packers, who are situated an hour north of the course in Green Bay, the European players wore mostly white tops with green and yellow stripes.

They also wore foam ‘cheeseheads,’ a moniker for Packers fans derived from a Dutch insult used by Illinois inhabitants against those from Wisconsin, before handing them out to fans in the grandstand surrounding the first tee – however, Ian Poulter had some issues!

Padraig Harrington, Team Europe’s captain, indicated that the move was made to have some fun with the spectators and to show their thanks for the Wisconsin crowd.

“They were talking about maybe bringing some Irish colours in for me when we were doing the outfit with Loro Piana,” Harrington added.

“Since I’m not into that sort of thing, I thought, why don’t we do something with Wisconsin?” The Green Bay Packers obviously fit both the Irish and the Green Bay Packers, and then the cheeseheads joined in for a little fun.

“Look, it’s all in good fun.” In practice, you want it to be that way. It’s clearly respectful of the Green Bay Packers, and they were quite enthusiastic about it, so it’s a little bit of fun, and we had a good response to it. On practise days, that’s exactly what you want.

“Obviously, business begins on Friday, but for the time being, the guys are having a wonderful time.”

The events reminded me of the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills, when Harrington was one of the players under captain Bernhard Langer who went out of their way to get the home fans on their side, at least partially, before the visitors went on to win by a landslide.

Harrington continued, ” “Everyone is out here to mingle with the masses. That is without a doubt the case. We definitely won’t be able to sign autographs with Covid this week, which is something we used to do.

“So these fans have shown up, despite the fact that it is a cold day. They’ve come out to watch us, and we’d like to provide them with something to watch as well. We want to thank the Wisconsin fans for their support, and we want to reciprocate.

“It’s quite good. We like how the colours worked out. We think the outfit is fantastic, and I believe the players are ecstatic that they’re doing something to show their appreciation for the state we’re in.”

Meanwhile, if his team wins at Whistling Straits this week, Harrington has offered to get a tattoo like his predecessor Thomas Bjorn.

Bjorn promised his players three years ago in Paris that if they beat the United States, he would get a tattoo, which they accomplished by seven points.

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