The Frozen Tundra

So what else did I do on my vacation? Not a whole lot. I read some Sin City graphic novels at the B & N, and played with DVD burning on my laptop, and saw The Merchant of Venice. Otherwise, I didn't do much. Except visit Lambeau freakin Field!

Kelsey and I went on Wednesday, although I think she went in part just to humor me, and went to the Packers Hall of Fame and took the stadium tour. Let me start out by saying there are probably some great pictures coming out of this, and I'll post some as soon as I get the film developed. (Digital camera coming soon.) Let's start at the Hall of Fame.

Most importantly, the three Lombardi trophies the Packers have won are sitting right there, for you to gaze in astonishment upon. Well, they're in glass cylinders, but you get the idea. Very, very cool. But beyond that, there's so much Packers memorabilia that it is hard to remember it all. You start with a 15 minute film on the history of the team, which was obviously produced by NFL films, and had me flipping the finger at Mike McKenzie, but then as you walk through the exhibits, its like walking through time. Different rooms reflect different era in the team's history, and uniforms, players and coaches progress through the exhibits. Kind of off-putting though are the life-size plaster casts of various Packers. For example, life-size Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Donald Driver and Gilbert Brown figures are riding kids' bikes, like they do in training camp, and Robert Brooks is represented Lambeau Leaping into the waiting arms of a William H. Macy lookalike. What's weird is that they're plain white casts, and they all look like Michael Myers from Halloween. Anyway. There's also a reproduction of Vince Lombardi's office, and you can sit at his desk and order your peons about, and a kid's area that we found immensely fun, since there were no kids in it. What really struck me though is the amount of effort that went into designing this location. They really could have done whatever, and most fans would have still paid the ten bucks to get in, but they really made it a worthwhile experience. Now, do I need to go every year? No, but I don't think they count on that. The Packers organization realizes that there is a far greater demand than supply of tickets to games, so they are attempting to provide alternatives for people like me, who can't afford to pay several hundred dollars to a broker for tickets.

The stadium tour is only eight bucks, and lasts about an hour. You start off in the atrium, which is the new area of Lambeau, completed with the stadium remodeling a couple years back. We got a brief history of the team, and then went to the Legends Level to sit in a club box, and get a bird's eye view of the field. This is probably somewhere I will never get to see a game, but that's okay. Like any box, it seemed kind of disconnected from the outside, almost sterile. This may change on gameday, but I think I'd rather be screaming in the bleachers with real people, even in Green Bay in January, instead of the millionaires or corporations that lease these boxes. But I digress. It was still fun to be able to see how the upper crust of Metro Green Bay (snicker) lives. Also on this level is Paul Hornung's Heisman Trophy! Just sitting there! Everywhere you look there's history, but in a modern and comfortable setting. Note to da Bears: this is how you remodel your stadium, not making a UFO out of a stately and classical piece of architecture. Various parts of the stadium are available to rent, for business meetings or parties, and apparently one of the GB area high schools had their prom there last year. That is the coolest thing I have ever heard.

Here's where it gets good, though. They take you on the field. Oh.. my.. god. You walk right past the locker room, and you walk out the tunnel that the Packers walk out of every game. And we got to got on the field. Insane. I got goosebumps. I know this sounds weird, but it was kind of a religious experience. I was stepping onto the same field that all the players I saw in the Hall of Fame had played on, and that the current NFC North Champions call home. This was like my Graceland. Now, the field was covered in snow, so we couldn't run all willy nilly all over the place, but I didn't care. I probably spent 50 bucks or so for the whole day, including lunch and gas, but to experience something like that was worht every penny.

OK, that's enough gushing. Suffice it to say that Lambeau Field is freakin sweet, and I just need to find someone with season tickets and become their new best friend. I'll do whatever it takes, just get me in!!


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