"Everyone here has emotional ties to the team, but some took that a step further and said 'Wow, I'm going to support them financially," Packers spokesman Aaron Popke says. "My wife is a physician here in town, and she's got her share up in her office next to her medical diplomas."

The Packers ownership model is envied by supporters of the Buffalo Bills, where fans hope strong ties to the community can overcome a tough local economic reality. Though a change of heart by league owners seems unlikely as the Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars are targeted to become the Los Angeles NFL team, public efforts to preserve entities as local as a soul-food restaurant and as broad as an online encyclopedia always start small.

"You don't have to have a lot of money, education or 1,001 different connections," the Pink Tea Cup's Kwubiri says. "If you're passionate about something, other people will follow."

-- Reported by Jason Notte in Boston.
Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet.com. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.

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