At the top of any NFL fan’s bucket list must be a visit to Lambeau Field. We watched the Packers trounce our division rival Redskins, and it was awesome!
September 15, 2013 (Sunday) – We went to asleep around 1 am last night and the alarm rang at 5:45 am. Though we had put Kenny’s signature dry rub on the wings last night, preparations still had to be made, the game started at noon local time, it is a three hour drive, and we could not be rushed through our tailgating. My dad’s old Subaru Outback was passed on to Kenny to take to business school, and we added a little to its 153k miles. It poured rain for much of the drive.
The parking lot at Lambeau is perennially sold out to season ticket holders, but the theory of supply and demand proved true yet again. Commercial lots and homeowners all around the stadium sell parking spots in their driveways and on their lawns. Oneida Street is the main drag, we parked in someone’s back yard on Stadium Drive and it seems $20 is the going rate near the stadium. Our host even had a Porta-Potty on his front lawn.
The hatchback provided workspace and some shelter from the rain. Kenny worked up the Bloody Marys while I cut some onions and peppers that we had bought yesterday at the Madison farmer’s market along with the brats. We sautéed the veggies in butter on our backpacking stove.
A friendly family parked across the lawn had a more comprehensive set up and invited us under their shelter. Barry, Zach, Lauren and Lee stepped up for us, and further supported my belief that Wisconsinites are friendly folk. They chaperoned our three tailgater brats on their stand up grill and we ate those with pretzel buns and German mustard, both from Whole Foods. Delicious. The wings we had were actually all drumettes which we cooked on our portable Weber propane grill while we heated the Frank’s hot sauce and butter in our pan on their grill. We tossed the wings in the sauce and ate them with a thick, high quality blue cheese and they were outstanding. A nibble of brownie for dessert and we were satiated.
After a couple stiff Bloody Marys and some Bud Lights, the rain stopped and we made the three minute walk to Lambeau Field just in time for the first play. Kenny had secured Section 135, row 130, seats 4-6 at $220/each. That is pricey, but it could have been worse for very good seats at the home opener.
At this juncture, it was not clear (at least to me) who was driving home. I stood up to buy a round and asked Jenni and Kenny what they wanted. Kenny said “water.” He cracked the door and I plowed through it. The beers flowed nicely, the game was a crowd-pleaser and we saw at least four Lambeau Leaps. Kenny sat next to a very large woman and this was amusing.
Lambeau is a wonderful stadium with classy fans. They clapped always when an injured opponent stood up. I think if I had to wear the opposing team’s jersey to any stadium, it might be Lambeau. I think that many fans equally relish the game itself and the opportunity it offers for debauchery, and I submit that many favor the latter. But here one senses that football is religion. These fans are not at Lambeau to get hammered, they are there to worship at the temple of football.
Here I must give major proppers to Jenni. She was adamant about getting a cheesehead at the game, going so far as to demand it. When you spend $440 on two tickets to a football game and instead of asking for shoes or a handbag your wife asks for a $20 cheesehead…well, you have a cool wife.
As the game went on, the sun emerged and all were happy. Well, I was ecstatic and I think my companions had a good time when they were not babysitting. When we returned to the car we again fired up the stove and grill and made bacon jalapeño brats with more onions and peppers. If there ever were a time that I would knock over sautéing onions and peppers leading to an open flame in the back of a wagon, today would probably have been it. Theoretically.
Kenny stepped up big and drove both ways, and I got to check off a great item on the bucket list.