Seattle Seahawks-Loving City Bans Cheese Ahead Of Green Bay Packers Game

By Eric M. Johnson

SEATTLE (Reuters) - In a friendly slap at Green Bay Packers fans, popularly known as "cheeseheads," the manager of a city near Seattle has banned cheese in municipal headquarters before Sunday's NFL playoff game between the Packers and Seattle Seahawks.

Bainbridge Island City Manager Douglas Schulze, a devoted Seahawks fan, banned the possession and consumption of cheese inside City Hall in executive order 121212, named after the Seahawks' passionate "12th man" fan base.

In his order, Schulze also slammed Packers fans for wearing "obnoxious wedge-shaped foam hats painted yellow." Fans of the Packers, the pride of Wisconsin, the country's top cheese-producing state, often wear "cheesehead" hats to games.

The Seahawks, who are seeking to become the National Football League's first repeat champion in 10 years, host the Packers on Sunday in a conference championship game. The winner advances to the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 in Arizona.

"Due to the relationship between the Green Bay Packers, their fans, and cheese, the possession of and/or consumption of cheese or cheese flavored products shall be banned in Bainbridge Island City Hall on Friday, January 16, 2015," Schulze said in Wednesday's order.

The order also allows government employees to participate in "Blue Friday" by wearing Seahawks jerseys and team colors, and to gather at lunch or on breaks for tailgating parties.

"This is purely just for fun and camaraderie and to bring together our staff," said city spokeswoman Kellie Stickney. "No fines or cheese-related strip searches."

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Additional reporting by P.J. Huffstutter in Chicago; Editing by Peter Cooney)