November 20, 2011 by staff
Aaron Rodgers, Bob Kleber pledged allegiance to the flag before many fans had a clue about the power of Aaron Rodgers.
When Rodgers took over as starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers in 2008, Kleber and his then-wife created a 7-by-5-foot flag that reads “Mister Rodgers Neighborhood.” Kleber flies it about 25 feet high when tailgating in the Lambeau Field parking lot.
“When we first put the flag out, it was Rodgers’ first year of starting. There was a lot of animosity at the time over if we should have let (Brett) Favre go. A lot of people were apprehensive,” Kleber said.
But now? Well, Kleber looks like a genius for his early loyalty.
“I just felt he was going to be a good leader and someone to create a strong camaraderie among the offense,” he said. “It’s just remarkable that he has so much control over how he throws the ball.”
Kleber gets a few laughs at how that saying has now caught on among fans.
“I was probably one of the first to come up with that,” he said.
So when Kleber, 56, of Williams Bay pulled into the lot for the Oct. 2 game against the Denver Broncos, his first order of tailgating business wasn’t to fire up the grill. It was to hoist the flag.
“Everyone is pretty receptive to it, and I think as time went on, the support for Rodgers grew and grew. For the people around us, the flag serves as a meeting place.”
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