Hey guys! Happy Sunday-Football-Funday!
First off, I have got to say GO PACK GO! They are playing the ViQUEENS as we speak, down by 7 at the half. They’ve got a good match-up against them for sure, but the inner cheesehead in me believes that Rodgers, Matthews and the rest of the gang are going to pull through in the end. Green and Yellow! Green and Yellow! After a harrowing Wisconsin Badger loss yesterday, I don’t think my WI sports heart can take another silly defeat. Oofta!
I guess you could say that I was born a Packers fan. I come from a family of strong Packer fans (albeit my mom who, bless her heart, loves the Denver Broncos) so I guess it was inevitable. Some of my fondest memories growing up were watching the Pack play every Sunday afternoon (and sometimes that rare Monday night when I would beg to stay up to watch the whole thing, bypassing my normal ‘school night bedtime’) with my dad, yelling and cheering so loud he made the walls shake and the door bell ring (no joke!). When I was 13, my dad took me to my very first (and only) Packer game at Lambeau Field. To say that it was amazing would be a touchdown of all understatements. It was everything I had imagined it would be and more, a truly perfect day. For starters, it was a balmy 60 degree and sunny mid-December Sunday afternoon(yes, I said December and 60 degrees in the same sentence, an almost complete Wisconsin anomaly as far as weather goes). My dad and I woke up early that morning, grabbed breakfast courtesy of Dunkin Donuts (who doesn’t like a bear claw…or two? Which funnily enough went perfectly because it just so happened that the Pack were playing da Bears that day. Coincidence? I think not.), and made out way to the green and gold tundra.
Side note: I unfortunately *cough cough* had to skip out on my 3-hour groolingly and painstakingly boring Sunday school Christmas concert rehearsal that day because of the game which I was so terribly saddened by as you can imagine *cough cough*).
When we arrived to the stadium, it was pure Packmania madness! Tailgaiters from far and wide-spread out across the massive parking lot, opening their tailgates and grills reveiling every sort of sausage, hot dog, steak, chicken, chili, stew, cheese, hamburger, sandwich you could imagine. Was I at the try outs for the Next Food Network star or a football game? It was hard to tell; they were almost one in the same except for the fact that grown men were running around with their bodies and faces painted in shades of yellow and green, throwing footballs to each other while chanting and grunting “GO PACK GO” at the top of their lungs. Yep, I was at a Packer game alright.
After we got our grill on, we finally went into the stadium. I can’t quite describe the feeling upon first seeing Lambeau for the first time. All the noise and sound from the roaring crowd seemed to become silent and still yet everything that I saw became magnified. I could see every grain of grass, the beads of sweat on the players on the field before me (which by the way was a lot smaller in-person than what I saw on TV). I could smell the popcorn and almost taste the beer (uhh…root beer that is) in the giant collectors cups being sold by the men and women walking up and down the aisles. Time seemed to stop for just a second. And what a glorious second it was.
Then, all of a sudden the cheers and rants from the thousands of fans surrounded me, the music and images from the scoreboard came to life and the coin was flipped, signaling the start of the game. There is something about Packer’s fans that is indescribable and that doesn’t compare to any other fan. They have green and gold Packer blood flowing through them, they are tried and true, not just bandwagon supporters, and are one crazy bunch. It was so much fun to be in the middle of it all, among ‘my people’. We had prime seats to take in all of the action, sitting right behind the goal post. I got to witness, first hand, Butler do not one, but two ‘Lambeau leaps’, Favre throw two nearly perfect touchdown passes to Brooks and what was probably the best part of the whole experience…being able to see the late and oh so great Reggie White play his last home game of his career with the Packers. What. A. Game.
Although the team has changed since then, players have moved on and coaches and have replaced, the Packers will always be ‘The Pack’. There will always be a strong bond between this team and their fans; tailgating on Sundays, huge Packer parties all over the state (and country), an over-whelming amount of green and gold and of course…cheeseheads as far as the eye can see. What I think I like most about the Packers, much like the Brewers, is how it is so much more than a game. It is a way to spend time with friends and family, to have something to root and cheer for, a way to overcome differences, and to just have a worry-free and fun time, if only for four quarters. I will always remember going to that packer game; not just because of seeing the stadium for the first time, witnessing in-person the great players like Favre, Brooks, and White or even that they ended up kicking da Bears’ butts. No, I will always remember that game because of who I was with, who I shared that bag of peanuts with and cheered alongside of and whose lap I fell asleep against on the drive home. My dad. It was a day that just the two of us got to experience together and because of that, it is a day I wouldn’t trade for the world.
I hope you all get to experience something like that at least once in your lifetime…and no, I am not talking about getting to go see a Packer game at Lambeau Field–although that would be totally awesome–no, I am talking about being able to spend an amazing day with your dad, or mom, or sister, or grandpa that will forever remain a snapshot in your scrapbook of memories. Now that is a Superbowl if I ever did see one!
Have a great rest of your Sunday!