MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (OCT. 31, 2010) --
Football has arguably become America’s new pastime sport and several Marines and Sailors at Cherry Point reflect that notion in the thick of the National Football League season.
Marines and Sailors come from all corners of the country and show support for all of the NFL’s 32 teams. Its evident come kickoff on Sundays when many can be seen sporting their hometown team’s colors.
But no matter which team each may favor, they all share the love for football.
“It all comes down to football,” said Gunnery Sgt. Daniel G. Peterson, a Big Flats, Wis., native and life time Green Bay Packers fan. “Everyone loves football and it doesn’t matter what rank you are, because everyone can relate,” Peterson, an air combat intelligence operations chief for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, added.
Even though most everyone can relate that doesn’t necessarily mean everybody agrees.
“There’s always a little smack talk,” joked Peterson, who was watching the Packers play on TV at Cunningham’s, the station’s recreation center, last Sunday. “It gives everyone an opportunity to vent out their home pride.”
Sometimes the venting carries over into work the next week explained Lance Cpl. Jeremy W. Luebbert, an administration clerk with the station’s installation personnel administration center.
“It’s definitely a topic of discussion at work on Mondays,” said Luebbert, who was wearing a St. Louis Rams jersey, of his home state, Missouri.
Most of the cheering and bantering back and forth goes on at Cunningham’s.
“We’ve definitely noticed an increase in business, and it’s directly related to football,” explained Sgt. Tzuming Lee, a Marine welfare and recreation specialist for the air station.
“The fans are very loyal to their teams,” Lee added, “and the home spirit is definitely there.”
Cunningham’s tries to cater to the Marines, Sailors and their families by offering food and soda, calling it ‘Tailgate Sundays.’
“We’re always trying to promote morale,” said Lee.
Watching the hometown team from afar also gives the fans a good reminder of home.
“We used to go to the games all the time,” said Peterson about him and his son. “I miss not being able to go to Lambeau Field and eat a bratwurst before the game.”
The football season still has a couple of months to go, so there shouldn’t be a shortage of hometown spirit as the teams finish the final stretch.