As the special Running a Championship System series continues, we focus on the broader context in which Packers leadership unfolds. The ownership structure of the team and its famous "Packers Nation" shape the culture of the team, making it unique in American professional sports.
Since his childhood, Rudy Banyai’s life has been touched by the Packers and other Wisconsin sports teams. His father took him to his first game in 1952. Rudy has worked for the Brewers since 1974 and has been a Packers season ticket holder for 45 years. He also used to work the sidelines when the Packers played at County Stadium. Rudy's son Quinn and the rest of the Banyai family has continued the Packer-rich family traditions. Quinn also worked at Packer games – and he even met his wife Malina (also a long-time season ticket holder) on a Packers road trip. As we learn about the broader leadership context in which the Packers operate, this great father and son duo of Rudy and Quinn joined SGG to discuss: 1. Growing up in Bayview, playing sports on the playground. 2. First Packer game was in 1952 at Marquette Stadium. 3. Favorite players: Bobby Dillon (one eye), Billy Howton, Babe Parilli 4. Babe Pirelli helmet: Running into a brick wall with a Babe Pirelli helmet on. 5. Some favorite players: Paul Horning, Ray Nitschke. James Lofton, John Jefferson. Lynn Dickey. Brett Favre. 6. Taking the bus (and walking up to three miles) to Packers games at County Stadium 7. Listening to Packers, Braves, and Milwaukee Hawks games on the radio with his dad. 8. First getting Packers tickets at the Stadium Bar. 9. Getting Packers season tickets in 1976. 10. Quinn’s first memory of Lambeau — 12 years old: Packers vs Chargers — getting John Jefferson’s high five. 11. Getting dropped off to walk to games …with his address and telephone # in pocket in case he got lost. 12. Working on the sidelines at County Stadium 13. Ditka and Forrest Gregg arguing on the sidelines 14. Telling the owner of the Rams, Georgia Frontier, to get off the field 15. Joe Montana stories when he played for the Chiefs — having bratwurst for his pre-game meal when playing in Wisconsin and signing Quinn’s cheesehead. 16. Has worked Brewers games since 1974 17. Worked the locker room area too for football games. 18. Bart Starr: The first thing he always did was went to his wife Cherry and gave her a kiss. 19. James Lofton’s “J” on his autograph 20. How he got a signed football from Jerry Boyarsky 21. Brewers: Good friends with Pat Listach and Bob Whitman 22. When he got Mike Matheny to get Hank Aaron’s autograph for him. 23. One of the best guys from visiting teams: Nolan Ryan 24. Brooks Robinson: he was a true gentleman 25. Bob Uecker. “Are you learning, kid?" 26. Taking a bus load of Pittsburgh Pirates to Lambeau Field with Dick the bus driver. 27. “We talk about sports…That’s our conversations.” 28. Quinn’s friendships through the Packers. 29. Bringing friends down to Packers games: "They were so impressed by Lambeau Field…He still talks about it to this day.” 30. How Quinn met his wife, Malina, on a road trip to a Packers game in New Orleans. “Despite a Packer loss, it was a big gain!” 31. Being stockholders in the Packers. 32. I’ve been with them so long, I feel part of the team. 33. Lambeau Field: "People just want to go there from all different nations. It’s truly a great experience." 34. The family’s Sunday morning routine: church, hot ham and rolls, crawlers. Italian beef. 35. When the Bucks won the NBA lottery. 36. Going downstairs to watch Packers games growing up. 37. Growing up all the kids wore their Packers stuff. 38. Going to a Packers game in 1952 and seeing a Packers player with his arm chained down.
The Banyai family at Lambeau over the years.