(Rolling Prairie, IN) - He lives much closer to Chicago but George Oudhuis has a shot at entering what he views as heaven for a fan of the Green Bay Packers.
The La Porte County man is one of 10 people nominated for induction into the Green Bay Packers football FAN Hall of Fame. The 64-year old Oudhuis said he feels it’s time for his name to be called after nominated on three previous occasions. “I would drop to my knees and thank God. It would be a dream,” he said. He wants it not just for himself but for his one-year old granddaughter, Lily, to enjoy on trips he expects her to make to Lambeau Field.
Oudhuis said his induction would also be for his mother, Eleanor, and friends who’ve passed away since he was first nominated in 2016. “I think they’re pulling for me up there and it’s going to happen this year,” he said.
Just one person is inducted each year into the FAN Hall of Fame started in 1999. Voing for the nominees runs until the end of January at https://www.packers.com/fans/fan-hall-of-fame.
Oudhuis said he was 9-years old watching the defending Super Bowl champs and Chicago Bears on TV when the green and yellow of the hallowed franchise began pumping through his veins. He didn’t make it to his first game in Green Bay until 13-years later but going back is a religious experience now for the long time season ticket holder.
Over a dozen family members and friends join him for every game on TV in his basement featuring a Packers themed bar and wealth of Green Bay memorabilia. His wall to wall collection ranges from team jerseys, lamp shades and pictures of him with players to a chunk of the home playing field nicknamed “The Frozen Tundra.” Every inch of his man cave floor is also covered by Packers carpeting.
Over the years, Oudhuis has met numerous players like Hall of Fame quarterbacks Bart Starr and Brett Favre. He even became friends with Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston, an offensive lineman during the 1960’s dynasty years.
Green Bay is like a second home for Oudhuis, who’s not just a popular figure at tailgating sessions and in bars near the stadium. He’s performed volunteer work in the community and once was given a key to the city. In 2013, Oudhuis was given the honor of unveiling a street named after Donald Driver, the team record holder for most yards gained by a receiver.
Oudhuis and the other nominees will be at the stadium when this year’s inductee is announced in mid-February. His name would go on a plaque listing the other fan members outside the Packers team Hall of Fame at the stadium. “I just hope it’s my time. I have relatives in The Netherlands and they’re voting for me over there. Friends in Germany, friends in France and friends in England voting for me. My brother is in Sweden. Hopefully, they’re all voting for me there also. I need all of the votes I can get,” he said.