It didn't even take 24 hours for Chicago-area resident John C. Stone to get another job offer after being fired for wearing his Green Bay Packers tie to work on Monday. He was let go from his position as a car salesman at Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn after refusing a request from his manager to remove the green and yellow tie.
Stone, the father of two, says he thought manager Jerry Roberts was kidding when he called him into the office and asked him to ditch the team logo neckwear. But Roberts says he was very serious, claiming that he asked Stone five times to remove the tie, saying it "salted the wounds" of Bears fans who were still raw after the Packers beat the hometown team to advance to the Super Bowl the day before.
Roberts also said Stone's visible support of the team was bad for the Bears-loving business, and could undermine some of the advertising deals and promotions that Webb has with the Bears.
The tie was not meant to tweak Bears fans, but to honor his recently passed grandmother, who was an avid Green Bay supporter, according to Stone.
The story made international news, getting picked up as far away as New Zealand and England, not to mention by major U.S. news networks. Among the numerous calls Stone received was one from a rival Chevy dealer, Guy Cesario of Chevrolet of Homewood, also in the Chicago area.
Cesario says he's been fielding calls all day from Packers fans pledging to buy a Chevy from his dealership if he hires Stone. And he doesn't believe he'll alienate Bears fans, either, mentioning that his salesmen often wear the colors of rival teams and that it's "all in good fun."
Stone is not jumping into anything yet, however. He says he's taking his time to make his next professional move, and wants to meet with Cesario in person first. It might be a good thing to wait, as he could need a little extra vacation time. Rumor has it there's an all-expenses paid trip to Dallas and prime Super Bowl tickets in his future -- in the Packers section, of course.