Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Updated: Green Bay Packers Neck Tie Gets Car Salesman Fired (Then Hired)

January 25, 2001 - Chicago - The game is over. The Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday, but the bitterness seems to live on in Oak Lawn. This community of car dealerships and bridal shops is also home to some of Chicagoland's most enthusiastic Bears fans. Ironically, it's also home to many of the most avid Packers fans, living secret lives that some around here might think of as treasonous. One of those local Packers fans is (was) a car salesman. He "was fired for sporting a Green Bay Packers tie at work," wrote Michael Zak, auto correspondent for AOL News. The Oak Lawn, IL car dealership is Webb Chevrolet at 9440 S. Cicero Avenue. John Stone, it seems, is the victim of his own Packers enthusiasm. Zak noted that he "wore the tie out of respect for his 91-year-old grandmother, a devout Packers fan who had passed away just two days before the team's NFC Championship game against the Chicago Bears." One question being asked is, "Will the car salesman sue the dealership?" Maybe, but probably not. Stone was quickly offered a job by another car dealership. According to Oak Lawn Patch, Stone was quickly offered a job by Chevrolet of Homewood. Smart. As it turns out, the decision to hire Stone "has led to an unexpected boom in business. He already has a sale lined up." Patch quotes the dealership's general sales manager as saying that there is a “a gentleman in Milwaukee that wants to come down and buy a Tahoe from John.” An interesting expert opinion of this saga comes from attorney Elie Mystal gives this opinion at abovethelaw.com: "I just don’t see how this is a slam-dunk lawsuit waiting to happen," wrote Mystal. "Stone lives in enemy territory and wore Packer stuff to work anyway. His boss gave a direct order, five times, which he refused. Stone’s lucky he just got fired. I’m sure the Packers fan who wore team apparel in Philly after the Pack beat the Eagles hasn’t yet had a chance to tell his story to the newspapers because he’s still eating out of a straw." Good point. Other Packers fans living "in enemy territory" should take heed. One couple in Oak Lawn was recently outed as "secret" Packers fans. Now that they're out of the cheese closet, they might consider moving to Wisconsin for their own job security. Of course, the lower taxes and better business environment are good reasons to leave Illinois, too.