Cheesehead is a nickname, sometimes used disparagingly, referring to a person from Wisconsin, referring to the large volume of cheese production of the state. It is also the nickname of fans of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.
The term "cheesehead" began as a derogatory term used by Illinois football and baseball fans to refer to opposing Wisconsin sports fans. The term, however, was quickly embraced by Wisconsinites and is now a point of pride. The original display of a "cheesehead" hat was at a Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago White Sox game in 1987. It was handmade by Ralph Bruno out of foam. The original cheesehead was made out of foam while Ralph was cutting up his mother's couch. It was made popular by center-fielder Rick Manning, who saw the hat while playing. Bruno started a business to sell the hats as novelties. The "Cheesehead" trademark is owned by Foamation, Inc. of St. Francis, Wisconsin, which began manufacture of the wearable, foam "Cheesehead" in 1987. It has also been referred to as a "Cheese Hat" because it is legally a hat.
- Kapler, Joseph, Jr. "On Wisconsin Icons: When You Say 'Wisconsin', What Do You Say?" Wisconsin History Spring 2002; pp. 18-31
- Foamation: About Us, http://www.cheesehead.com/aboutus.asp.
- Cigelske, Tim (September 8, 2005), "When I was 30: Ralph Bruno: Cheeseheads were spreading", MKE (tabloid), http://www.mkeonline.com/story.asp?id=353849&format=print.
- Prunty, Brendan (January 19, 2008), "The Origin of the 'Cheesehead'", The Star-Ledger, http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2008/01/the_origin_of_the_cheesehead.html.
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