Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A (catered) Trek to the Frozen Tundra

The Little Hun has seen her beloved Packers numerous times at County Stadium in Milwaukee. Back in the day before Roselle the Pack used to split their home schedule to foment interest in the Milwaukee area because Green Bay, whose population in 1960 was about 125,000, needed a little help supporting their oddly placed NFL franchise.

Those days are long gone, as the waiting list for tickets is so long that the succession of the right to the potential throne has to be outlined in people's wills.

It was with great joy then that my little cheesehead learned she had won tickets to Sunday night's game from Sentry Foods. Really good tickets. Sentry has a sky box on the fifteen yard line. Inside. This was important, because the temperature was about 15° F. at game time and dropping.

You want to know, at least for a couple of hours, what it feels like to be among the chosen? Stroll the Club level concourse in your slacks, sweater and loafers alongside a few thousand thawing, runny nosed imbibers in snowmobile suits. I had to joke to the usher whether we should be letting in all these cold people, as they were creating a draft.

But truly, these may be the best fans in the country. I'm a Bear fan, and I've been to some pretty inclement games. Bears fans are as rabid as any, except these. Were the Bears 2-10, and a game played on a frigid Sunday night in December, and the game site so remote for so many of them, and the game available to them on cable hi-def ESPN, and the opponent the lowly Lions, I would estimate a minimum of 15,000 no shows. In many cities the number would be twice that.

I saw no empty seats, except for my own while I made my numerous fifteen foot treks to the buffet. I tried the brats, of course, as well as the quesadillas, chili, ham, potato salad, salad, cashews and assorted nuts, chips and salsa, guacamole, and washing it down with Leinenkugel Honey Weiss. Not being Chicago there was no pizza, and no whiskey.

But of course, there was cheese. Ironically, this native Flatlander was the only really interested party in that, a delicious assortment of cheddar, brie, brick, Roquefort, and others. Three cups of coffee was a nice touch for the ride home, all in all very hospitable.

There was a game. The effort by the two teams and coaching staffs seemed more lacking amidst all this pageantry than on TV. Considering all the resources put into this extravaganza, the actual product seemed a little careless. People being paid millions to catch balls dropping them. College "educated" linemen failing to snap count to three. Coaches makng incredibly bone-headed decisions. Referees taking eons to review the rules with each other.

Everybody had a great time, though, and that's because little of it has any longer to do with the game. Sure, winning is very important, but not so much the actual doing of it. "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing," Vince Lombardi is said to have coined, but to many, many of these fans everything is about the green and gold, the tailgating, the camaraderie, and the new digs, including―more James Bond than James Lofton―the Vodka Martini bar.

If winning were everything or the only thing, many of the fans of this 2-10 team wouldn't be have been at this particular game. Lombardi saw himself as a warrior, but times have changed. It not a war any more, it's a party.

Big party. The Packers won in overtime, and a good time was had by all. Though not as exciting as being in the bowl, I have to say that I liked the luxury box. It's similar to being at a movie, you can see the game extremely well and you don't have to keep standing up all the time. You get replays on the TV's and you can listen to the radio broadcast. If you're really into the football itself, it's hard to beat.

If the football were a little better, that would help.

1 Comments:

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Bullock said...

Seeing how the other 2% lives, huh? Nice.

 

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