AL HAMNIK: Packer fan's tricked-up truck a treat for cheeseheads

2012-12-15T19:45:00Z 2012-12-16T20:36:03Z AL HAMNIK: Packer fan's tricked-up truck a treat for cheeseheadsAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
December 15, 2012 7:45 pm  • 

Omar Rodriquez is at it again.

"He's b-a-a-a-c-k," the Black Oak resident said.

The Green Bay Packers fanatic has done a makeover on his green and yellow truck, which has more props than a Rose Bowl parade, and will show it off at today's NFC North showdown against the Bears at Soldier Field.

Rodriquez' 1986 Ford F-150 is covered with NFL banners, Packers memorabilia, has a football field on the dashboard with tiny figurines, and a giant Green Bay helmet (purchased at a yard sale) on the roof.

The truck has more than 200,000 miles, gets about 10 miles per gallon, and cost him only $500 four years ago.

But painted Packers gold and green, it's the Hope Diamond to Omar.

"I love my family more than anything in the world. I love my team. Win or lose, I'm there for them," Rodriquez said. "And I love my truck."

How big a fan is this guy? Well, Wednesday night he proudly declared: "Today is 12-12-12: Aaron Rodgers Day."

That big.

I wrote about Rodriquez last year when his truck was covered with Pac-Man emblems "devouring" the Chicago Bears. This time, the theme is Packers, exclusively.

"I don't have tickets. I can't afford 'em," he said. "My plans are to take my truck to Soldier Field, cruise around, and advertise my team."

It seems everyone has a story about encountering rabid Packers fans driving around the stadium, waving vulgar signs and occasionally "mooning" the crowd.

Rodriquez should fit in, but tastefully.

Last year, three Packers fans asked Rodriquez to drive them to a bar so they could watch the game. There was no room in his truck's cab but they didn't care, gladly hopping into the open-air back.

He said he recently was stopped twice the same week by law enforcement officers, one of whom was quite bold.

"I wasn't speeding so I asked: 'What did I do wrong?' and he said: 'Nuthin'. He wanted to take a picture of my truck," Rodriquez said, "and I took pictures of him taking pictures of my truck."

Not every community has love for Rodriquez' tricked-out Packers truck.

The Whiting Fourth of July Parade is a particularly tough venue. "They were mean to me," Rodriquez said of being booed by the crowds.

Whiting is a Bears city.

Rodriquez figures he'll spend about $30 in gas tooling around Soldier Field and the Chicago Loop before heading home to catch the second half of the game.

He had considered wearing a weird costume his buddy brought back from Mexico that makes him look like an extra in Jack Black's "Nacho Libre."

"Do you think I would be safe wearing that?" he asked. "I don't want no trouble. I'll wear my cheese hat and paint my face (instead)."

Rodriquez dreams of seeing his beloved Packers play at Lambeau Field, in person, and has asked fans what type of reception he might receive with his truck.

"They said if you take that thing to Green Bay, you don't need money," he smiled.

One problem, though.

"I don't know if my truck would make it."

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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