Green and gold coursing through his veins, George Oudhuis is now a Packers Fan Hall of Fame member

 

Story and local photos by WNLP’s Bob Wellinski

The fourth time was the charm for George Oudhuis.

The 63-year-old Rolling Prairie resident was selected as the 23rd inductee into the Green Bay Packers Fan Hall of Fame in January 2021. It was the fourth time since 2013 that Oudhuis made it to the top 10 finalists list. The announcement came from Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy in a Zoom call.

Oudhuis in front of the statue of legendary Coach Vince Lombardi in Green Bay.

In March, Oudhuis, sitting in his self-made Packers shrine and clutching his Packers duplicate Super Bowl trophy, told WNLP about talking with Murphy. His wife, Tammy, had presented the award to him. He said the award was sent to Tammy’s workplace so he wouldn’t find it ahead of time at home.

“Wow, this really happened,” Oudhuis recalled of the experience. “I got choked up because it means so much to me. There were a lot of emotions going through me. I am so fortunate to be holding this plaque and being the 23rd person inducted into the Packers Fan Hall of Fame.”

The HOF was established in 1998 for the purpose of annually honoring a devout and longtime fan. This year, Oudhuis was selected from among 10 finalists by fan voting, which ran from Jan. 1-31. More than 71,800 votes were cast throughout the U.S and countries around the world.

Oudhuis has acquired quite a collection of Packers memorabilia, much on display in his 700-square-foot basement man cave. Nearly every square inch is taken up by some green and gold collectible, with others boxed up for safekeeping. But the items are more than keepsakes; each one has a story to go with it. 

His collection began with hats and progressed to an obsession that he admits got out of control in the 1990s. It includes helmets, each signed by players from the Super Bowl 1 and 2 teams, including quarterbacks Paul Hornung and Bart Starr. He recalled the time he and Starr were talking in the hallway during a Brett Favre fundraiser when Starr autographed a golden football for him. “He caught me in the hallway and we shook hands. It’s something when you get to meet your childhood idol,” said Oudhuis.

George walking through an entry to his Packers man cave.

To George, many of the legendary Packers are more than just players he watched on TV. He feels blessed to have gotten to know them personally, such as in helping with Favre’s fundraising. “They are like family,” he said while looking at a photo of himself and Favre. 

His family, including Tammy and their children Ben, 36, and Christine, 33, share in his love of the green and gold. 

“I’m very blessed for the family I have and the acquaintances,” said Oudhuis. He thanked all those who sent nominations and voted for him. He was extremely grateful to friends Jim and Chrissy Brandt, who wrote this year’s nomination letter, made all the more meaningful during this year’s pandemic.

In the nomination letter, Jim Brandt gave insight into the special relationship George has with his family. “As he showed me around, I realized it wasn’t just a typical collection; it was like seeing the story of his life told through Packers memorabilia … he’s so proud of his collection and relishes in the memory associated with every item. George is a genuine guy, dedicated to his family, community and his team. He has spent almost his entire life supporting and promoting the Green Bay Packers.”

While known as the Pie Guy around here (see the 2020 WNLP story at this link: https://whatsnewlaporte.com/2020/11/02/pie-guy-keeps-moms-legacy-alive/), the La Porte County native has become a celebrity in his own right around the Green Bay area and among Packers fans across the country. He is also known among many as the mayor of Green Bay, even receiving the key to the city after helping to unveil the street sign honoring Donald Driver Way in 2013. At one time he had his own parking spot, complete with a sign, at Lambeau Field. He and his family have volunteers at many of the players’ events.

Oudhuis recalled a time when Fuzzy Thurston, a key offensive lineman in the Packers’ early years, took the hat off his own head and autographed it for George.

Much like the athletes who make it into the hall of fame, George’s journey to the fans hall began early, in his case when he was 9 years old. He remembered going home after Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church, having family dinner and then watching football. “It seemed like it was usually the Bears-Packers game,” he said. Each boy in the house would grab a T-shirt and draw their favorite player’s number on it, sometimes along with the player’s name. Oudhuis’ choice was always legendary Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr. “Then we would play like what we saw on TV,” he said.

For his Hall of Fame honor, Oudhuis will receive four club seats to a 2021 Packers home game, a $500 Packers Pro Shop gift certificate; a road trip for two to a 2021 Packers away game (including game tickets, airfare and hotel accommodations), and a one-year subscription to Packer Plus. Most importantly, his name will be permanently displayed inside the Packers Hall of Fame.

“My parents are in heaven, but I feel they’re smiling down on me right now, knowing our names are going to go on that wall in Lambeau Field,” he said.

14 Responses to “Green and gold coursing through his veins, George Oudhuis is now a Packers Fan Hall of Fame member”

  1. Cathy Farrington

    Mar 26. 2021

    So happy for you George. You do so much for all in our area and this is a GREAT pay back!!!

    Reply to this comment
    • Pat Kane

      Mar 27. 2021

      George….CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!

      So happy you made it!!

      Remember us pions as you have become famous…love ya guy….enjoy this 🙃🙃🙃

      Go Pack

      Reply to this comment
  2. Nam Vet

    Mar 26. 2021

    Congrats George! As a life long Packer Backer I salute you and your being honored for unwavering loyalty. I like you will be Green and Gold til I’m dead and cold………..Go Pack!
    P.S. I am for anybody but Da Bears, Patriots or Dallas!!

    Reply to this comment
    • Herb Schlueter

      Mar 27. 2021

      So happy for you both George. Tammy has stuck to the you’re dream and the highs and the lows. I had to fight the tears with the story and are so happy for you. Go Packers 👍

      Reply to this comment
    • Paul boekel

      Mar 28. 2021

      Top brother!!! Ben heel blij met je en voor je. Je heb het verdient!!!

      Reply to this comment
  3. Shawn Zambarda

    Mar 26. 2021

    Way to go big brother!!!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Mike Cowgill

    Mar 26. 2021

    Congrats George. Glad all our voting helped. Enjoy the year of football

    Reply to this comment
  5. Bill Gourley

    Mar 26. 2021

    CONGRATS! WELL DESERVED.

    Reply to this comment
    • Brent Weycker

      Mar 27. 2021

      Couldn’t happen to a better guy than this. This Hoosier makes us Cheeseheads proud! Great job George and Tammy. Glad you finally got this well deserved honor.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Susan

    Mar 26. 2021

    Congratulations! I voted for you, George. Nobody deserves it more!!!

    Reply to this comment
  7. J Brennan

    Mar 27. 2021

    Congratulations my friend the wait is finally over
    God Bless America and The Green Bay Packers

    Reply to this comment
  8. Tom Boland

    Mar 27. 2021

    Congratulations George! A great honor for a great guy.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Doc and melissa

    Mar 27. 2021

    Great news, George. You certainly deserved the recognition. See you in the parking lot, pregame. Doc and melissa

    Reply to this comment
  10. Paul Boekel

    Mar 28. 2021

    Great brother you deserved it, i am proud of you. I hope you enjoy all the attention

    Reply to this comment

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