clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Lions fan, the Packers fan and the Pizza

New, comments

A story of how the NFC North came together over really good pizza.

Beau Jo’s Pizza
Photo by Man Vs Food and The Denver Post

It doesn’t happen often. In fact it rarely happens. The internet is a place for trolling, misinformation and just general hatefulness. But sometimes the internet can be one of the most beautiful places in the world.

To understand all of this, we have to go to the beginning. We have to back in time to understand how a simple tweet like this:

...can turn into a whirlwind of a story. Let’s go back in time to June of 2009.

I wasn’t suppose to go on this trip. It was never supposed to happen. My friend Craig was gearing up to go on a road trip to Denver to hang with his step brothers. When the guy he was originally going to bring with him fell out of the plans, I entered the picture.

But like I said, it almost never happened. I had to pull string after string after string just to get the time off approved at work. Then I had to go a month without spending a dime just to have enough money to go. This meant I had to do non-bachelor things, like make my own food at home as opposed to going to Taco Bell for the fourth day of the week.

When the day finally came, I had barely squeaked by on all accounts. Did anyone really think I wasn’t going to spend any money? We hit the road for 16 straight hours with nothing but an iPad and many packs of cigarettes.

Let’s fast forward a little. Actually, let’s fast forward to the second to last day we were there. We went white water rafting near a town called Arvada. It was a blast. My legs fell asleep and I almost drowned. It was what we did afterwards that really tells this story.

We went looking for pizza. Craig’s brother said he knew a place where we could get Mountain Pies. That place was Beau Jo’s Pizza. A pizza restaurant in the downtown area of a mountain town. It was like something out of a movie.

This pizza was incredible. The crust was thick, but not deep dish think. The pepperoni and the bacon was huge. The cheese was perfect. Just a ton it. The bread was soft and the sauce was perfect.

We left Colorado happy and full. For all the fun things and great stories we brought back, the pizza always seems to find its way into the story. I’ve been thinking about this pizza for nearly ten years.

So naturally, a Green Bay Packers fan and writer would be the one to see that I would get to taste this pie again. Just as the prophecy foretold.

Let’s go back to that tweet. Maybe it’s a hot take,but let’s forget about that for the moment. What that tweet spawned was this.

Meet Brian Fonfara of the Pack to the Future Podcast and Matub of Acme Packing Company. Two men that represent the football team I have hated more than anything for my entire life. And two men that I would be happy to call friends any day of the week.

What started as a joke, suddenly morphed into a real thing. We began to talk about it as if it wasn’t a big deal. Like we’ve done this a million times. We started to talk about it like we were really going to do it.

For the next week and a half, the question was how are we going to pull this off? It’s a pizza. It seems easy to ship, but it’s not. There’s tons of variables. The biggest one being how do you keep it from getting destroyed or going bad?

Enter Beau Jo’s in Arvada. Their manager, a saint named Victor, had all the answers. He even informed me that this isn’t the first time this has happened with their pizza. The trick was to make sure it’s not cooked and keep it frozen.

So on November 1, the plan went into effect. I called and ordered a take-and-bake pie, and Brian went to the post office to get answers. Matub cheered us on from the comfort of his home. Then I received this picture.

This was the first time I had seen this pizza in eight years. Sitting so comfortably in the passenger side of Brian’s car. I don’t have kids, but I can imagine that what I felt at this moment was exactly what a father feels the first time he sees his child.

Phase two of the plan began. The freezing phase. Brian then put the pizza in his freezer over night. In the morning, phase three began. The waiting phase. Because overnight shipping was $50 and I’m not Philip Banks, we went with two-day priority shipping.

The new question was whether or not this pie is going to show up in one piece? And if it does, am I going to get food poisoning? Well, the answer to the last question hasn’t yet been answered.

Perhaps our planning was in haste. The pizza wound up taking the full two days. When the mailman showed up Saturday morning she was shocked when I opened up the door before she could set it on the porch. I told her I was expecting this today.

When it showed up, it looked a little rough. and when I cooked it, it didn’t smell as good as I hoped. But still, I ate it.

So it didn’t turn out as well as we hoped, and that’s ok. I still ate two pieces. I’ve waited eight years for this. If I get food poisoning, it’ll be somewhat worth it.

So in the end, the plan didn’t exactly come together as we had hoped. I will say the crust was still as great as I remembered it. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been so bad had I not been cheap and paid for the overnight shipping.

Through all of this, I learned a few new lessons in life: Fandom is important, but it’s not important enough to get in the way of making new friends and doing things you’d normally never do.

The other is a little more patriotic. In this time of division in America, I learned that we can actually be pretty awesome to each other for no other reason than to just be a part of something fun. That’s gotta give you a lot of hope for the future.

But this isn’t the end of the story. I said in the video that I’m buying the next round of Beau Jo’s in Colorado, and I mean that. I’m going to eat pizza with those cheese heads in Denver the first opportunity I get. Be ready guys.