Trip Start Nov 10, 2009
46Trip End Dec 18, 2009
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The check-in line was rife with characters all decked out in Packer green and yellow. Most prominent was a 50 year old man wearing a raccoon skin hat that flowed down around his shoulders. The 'coon's head sat on top of his head all taxidermed out. And Miranda I'm sorry I could neither buy it from him or shoot his picture. I left my camera in the car and the line was long. I know!!!
My hotel was about 2 1/2 miles from hallowed Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers a place steeped in NFL history. After all this is title-town! Whilst I am not a Packer fan per se this was on this day and drank in the fans and the history of this team
I decided I would ride my bike to the game to see the fans in their full glory. I unpacked then outfitted and hit the bike towards the field. Along the way I saw tons of "Packer Backers". Many of the fans intersected their lifestyle with their fandom. Hunting guys wearing Packer camo and overalls. Cowgirls wearing green and yellow cowboy boots. Lots of farm apparel made to show support of their team.
Green Bay is an odd town for a stadium. Residences buttress the field and the stadium is surrounded by homes and retail businesses. It's more main street than wall street in this town. Yeah, I like this place and with that I offer a "Bud Adams" to my former employer.
I rode my bike down Hansen to Oneida then right down Lombardi Way to Lambeau. I rode through throngs of happy tailgaters. The spreads were remarkable and copious. Brats and cheeses filled the air. Let's not forget lots of beer. The fans were very cordial and welcoming. Sometimes you can feel it in the vibe. This place had a great vibe.
I steered my bike through the endless residents offering "yard parking"
Approaching a parking gate I asked the attendees where I might park my bike. They didn't know and were concerned about it being stolen. I showed them my space age bike lock and they nodded. Then I started in with this exchange that was repeated half a dozen times "Can I leave it here?", "No" etc. etc. etc. Until I got my "Yes and I tied my bike up to a no-parking sign.
Then I went walking for tickets which took a little while. I finally picked up a ticket from a scalper named "Rod". He told me they were "Player's Seats". I knew he was lying but, the ticket was in the section I wanted to be in so, done and done.
I toured the tailgate area, had a brat and a beer, bought a hat and took tons of pictures
My seat was amazing. It was on the 35-40 yard line and had wonderful sight-lines. I soon learned that while Lambeau is amazing and the fans are so good hearted, the scene was not without its caricatures.
There was the guy behind me that decided to do color-commentary of the whole game. He was announcing the game to his wife or girlfriend who was not interested in doing the play-by-play but, was all too interested in encouraging him with her hoots and hollers based upon absolutely no knowledge of football which made it worse because this now became a "teaching opportunity". The guys three rows in front of me to the right. One who is large and drunk and sees himself as a combination of all the Chris Farley characters and Jeff Spicoli. His wannabe friend who was competing with him for attention. I think the bigger guy yelled "1st and 10 (then the crowd replies) "Do it Again" about 100 times. That's 3-4 times per first down by the Pack, just in case you are counting. His friend was all too happy to encourage him and get in on the action if he could. His thing was standing on the aluminum seat and raising his arms skyward and hollering "Yeaaaaaaah!"
The game was great. They flew F-Something Teens or Twenties over-head before the game and honored he veterans by unfurling a huge American flag. The weather was sunny and warm it was about 40 degrees at game-time. That temp would drop considerably by the end of the game.
The Packers went up 17-0 before Dallas scored a late TD. Lots of defense in this "field position game" I exited the stadium to my bike and man was it cold! I rode my bike back to the hotel. It was just two miles and I was warm because of the pedaling and such but, it didn't warm me up.
I got back to the hotel and thawed out a bit. It took quite a while actually. Then I went to get some dinner. I first went to the hotel bar/restaurant but, as soon as I heard the DJ at monster decibels playing songs I can only hate I knew it was time for me to scram. I went to Noodles Inc. for some Pad Thai and watched the horribly played Pats-Colts game.
Then it was time for sleep and getting gone on the next day. Little did I know that my luck would begin to turn just the next morning.