Packers fans are universally called cheeseheads thanks to just one supporter. One fan, Ralph Bruno, brought what was originally meant to be a dip bowl for nachos into a Packers game. He had changed the shape of the bowl to make it look like a Swiss cheese triangle and then stuck it on his head.
For generations, people from Illinois called those from Wisconsin cheeseheads, so Bruno turned the insult on its head, literally. His Swiss cheese hat was so distinctive that he made it onto the television broadcast during that game and since then it has become a staple of Packers games. The bowls that were originally meant for nachos were now to be sold as hats for Packers fans, and it’s a phenomenon that never stopped.
The reason why people from Wisconsin, and the Green Bay area, are known as cheeseheads by people from Illinois is because it’s known as the Dairy State. Cheese production is big business in Green Bay and the state, but it was used as a derogatory term by sports fans.
Packers fans embraced that name and thanks to the rise of Brett Favre’s rise to prominence in a Green Bay jersey, ‘cheesehead’ is always in use. Now you can’t get anywhere near the Packers’ stadium without being overwhelmed by cheesehead merchandise, and of course, cheese.
People made fun of sports fans from Wisconsin for their dairy farming ways, but who’s having the last laugh now? The people who make the cheesehead hats we guess, who are laughing all the way to the bank.