FAN HOF honoree 'fascinated' by Packers since before she can remember

Tennessee resident making Green Bay fans of youth in the south 

Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy and FAN Hall of Famer Kari Bernier
Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy and FAN Hall of Famer Kari Bernier

GREEN BAY – Apparently Kari Bernier's passion for the Packers is contagious.

Bernier, a librarian in a grade 3-5 school from Dyersburg, Tenn., is such an influence that this past season as the Packers made their run to the NFC title game, one of her students shaved the "G" logo in the side of his head and painted it green and gold.

"I'm getting kids to be Packer fans and now they're going to grow up and be them," she said.

Bernier is a proud one herself, having been named the 22nd member of the Packers FAN Hall of Fame on Monday. From 10 finalists chosen last fall, Bernier was selected by fans as more than 60,000 votes were cast in January for the honor.

Nominated by her husband Brandon, who along with friends organized a publicity campaign to help her chances, Bernier had a look of disbelief, putting her hands over her mouth as Packers President/CEO announced her as the winner in the Lambeau Field media auditorium.

Kari Bernier of Dyersburg, Tennessee was named to the Green Bay Packers FAN Hall of Fame on Feb. 17, 2020.

As the winner, Bernier will get her name on display in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. She'll also receive four club seats to a 2020 Packers home game, a $500 Packers Pro Shop gift card, a road trip for two to a 2020 Packers away game, and a one-year subscription to Packer Plus.

"We are very unique in terms of the kind of support we get, and I think this epitomizes the uniqueness of our fan base," Murphy said. "This award really captures the spirit of our fans, and we see that in letters we receive from family members and others in support of the nominations."

On Monday, Bernier wore her green No. 15 Bart Starr jersey, which she dons when the Packers play at home (her school's therapy dog is named Starr, by the way). For road games, her white No. 92 Reggie White jersey is the choice. She mentioned it was an honor just to be a finalist, and her prize package will allow her to come to a game at Lambeau Field next season for the first time in about 15 years.

A Wisconsin native, Bernier was born in the Milwaukee area before moving out east around age 11 and then eventually to Tennessee. As far as she knows, she's been a Packers fan since she could walk.

"Not that I remember, but my parents tell me I used to have this little wicker chair that I'd sit in front of the Packer games," she said. "They just said I was fascinated by it."

Her house has plenty of memorabilia on display, both in the "game room" where she watches the Packers and elsewhere. One of her favorite pieces is the three-generation QB photo taken a few years ago of Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, which her husband got her as a gift. She also has a Clay Matthews-autographed cheesehead and shelves full of books.

Some favorite moments include Favre's iconic performance in Oakland in 2003 the night after his father died, and "any Rodgers-to-(Jordy)-Nelson pass."

Her only regret now is that she's not old enough to have witnessed some of the great Packers history she's read so much about.

"I see pictures of the Ice Bowl," she said, "and, dang, if I was just born a little earlier."

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