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  1. #1
    packmanxxxi is offline Asst. Coach
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    Lambeau Field- a Minnesotan Perspective....

    Lambeau Field: As advertised
    Jimmy Bellamy
    The Daily Telegram
    Last Updated: Monday, November 15th, 2004 10:12:37 AM


    GREEN BAY — I made the pilgrimage to football’s Mecca early Sunday morning with my colleague and friend, Daily Telegram photographer Jed Carlson, to Ashwaubenon — er, Green Bay — for the first time.
    Jed and I went to watch the Packers play our beloved Minnesota Vikings in an NFC North Division football game, but as members of the media, not as fans. That didn’t stop the Packer faithful from harassing us on the way down.
    I don’t know if it was the Minnesota license plates on my black Honda Civic or the fact that my car was the only one from Wausau on that didn’t have some kind of Packer logo anywhere in sight. We didn’t even have anything related to the Vikings with us.
    That didn’t stop someone from holding up a T-shirt up while passing us that read, “I’d rather be a ‘has-been’ than a ‘never will be,’” obviously referring to the Vikings’ futile attempts to reach Super Bowl glory.
    A group of significantly older women drove by us twice to flash Packer gear. One woman even stuck her posterior out of the window while shouting “Packers rule.” She was wearing Lee jeans. I didn’t get it. No one wears Lee jeans anymore.
    We arrived at the house that Curly and Vince built at 11:45 a.m., 3 1/2 hours before kickoff. We soon found our way through tailgaters in the parking lot and onto the hallowed pitch of the Lambeau Field turf.
    The stadium was amazing and the hospitality was remarkable. Packer fans are crazy about their team for a number of reasons, one being Green Bay doesn’t have any other major professional sports team to compete with for attention nearby.
    While they are incredibly enthusiastic about their team and rough on opposing fans and teams, especially the Vikings and Bears, they still treat all fans with respect. I was surprised to see so many Viking and Packer fans tailgating together. Like Jed told me, it’s all about football. That’s what everyone there has in common. Football. It doesn’t matter if the gold is accompanied by purple or green, a football fan is a football fan is a football fan. You’ve gotta love it.
    Fans were even able to coexist during the game. All of the teasing was in good fun and no one left with hurt feelings — except for the Vikings themselves.
    I talked to two fans who traveled even farther than I had, by plane though. Steve Brick of Mission Viejo, Calif., originally from Fond du Lac, Wis., has seen one Packer game in the month of November every year since 1996. He and his brother, Mike Brick of Chino Hills, Calif., made the trip together.
    As for the game, getting beat 34-31 and losing for the third straight game and second straight on a last-second field goal is not good for the once 5-1, now 5-4 Vikings. With each loss, head coach Mike Tice’s job security is getting smaller than Chris Hovan’s season-sack total.
    The Packers are also 5-4, but a much different 5-4. Green Bay began the season 1-4 and have been on a four-game tear. The wins may not be pretty, but they count just as much as shutouts would. If this keeps up, the Packers won’t even need the help of Denver’s junior varsity team and Arizona’s Nate Poole like they did last season. The Vikings are doing just fine shooting themselves in the foot.
    As exciting as the game was, the highlight of my weekend was when I got to see former Packer and Detroit Lions great Don “Magic Man” Majkowski. He was roaming the sidelines throughout the game and even stopped to converse with Jed. The Magic Man was one of my favorite players growing up, and that says a lot since he wasn’t a Viking.
    The low point of the trip was attempting to get my car back onto the highway. Even after leaving the stadium close to an hour after the game, we still sat at a dead stop on a residential street for more than an hour to find our way out.
    My overall Lambeau experience was definitely one I will pleasantly remember, however, if I never hear Todd Rundgren’s “Bang the Drum All Day” it would be too soon.
    3 Straight Division Champs

  2. #2
    Foreman44's Avatar
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    Lambeau Field- a Minnesotan Perspective....

    Great post

  3. #3
    cajunvike's Avatar
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    Lambeau Field- a Minnesotan Perspective....

    A group of significantly older women drove by us twice to flash Packer gear. One woman even stuck her posterior out of the window while shouting “Packers rule.” She was wearing Lee jeans. I didn’t get it. No one wears Lee jeans anymore.

    Hey Los, I think that this Pack fan just lived up to your new sig, "Putting the Ass back in Class"!!!

    Either that or she was just showing the lesser of two evils...that being the choice between seeing her ass vs. her face.
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  4. #4
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Lambeau Field- a Minnesotan Perspective....

    Nice article, thanks for finding it.

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    AngloVike's Avatar
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    Lambeau Field- a Minnesotan Perspective....

    "cajunvike" wrote:

    Either that or she was just showing the lesser of two evils...that being the choice between seeing her ass vs. her face.
    LMAO :lol: :lol:
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...


  6. #6
    AngloVike's Avatar
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    Lambeau Field- a Minnesotan Perspective....

    "cajunvike" wrote:
    A group of significantly older women drove by us twice to flash Packer gear. One woman even stuck her posterior out of the window while shouting “Packers rule.” She was wearing Lee jeans. I didn’t get it. No one wears Lee jeans anymore.
    Thinking of a thread started by fan4favre regarding Wisconsin being rated smarter then Minnesota - if that means old bags sticking their butts out of car windows indicates a state being smarter then I'd say that Minnesota is better offbeing ranked lower
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...


  7. #7
    dan3ski's Avatar
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    Lambeau Field- a Minnesotan Perspective....

    A well done post and very pleasent reading.
    can we clone Bud Grant?

  8. #8
    packmanxxxi is offline Asst. Coach
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    Lambeau Field- a Minnesotan Perspective....

    This was from a Duluth/Superior newspaper... needless to say, boarder towns go at it alot!
    3 Straight Division Champs

  9. #9
    VKG4LFE's Avatar
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    Lambeau Field- a Minnesotan Perspective....

    That was a good article. As a person that was there I can agree with almost everything. Tailgating was great! We were sandwiched in between a couple of cars full of pack fans and they were sandwiched in between a couple truck loads of vikes fans for the 4 hours up to game time! Those fans were very friendly. Inside the field the fans were not so friendly, but that happens. The traffic afterwards was horrible!! We left the field at 8:30, about 2 hours after the game was over. It took us an hour and a half to make a 31 mile drive to Appleton, that really sucked!!

    I get the most pissed off looks from people with my VKG 4 LFE Wisconsin license plate, and I LOVE IT!!

  10. #10
    GP_1_Again is offline Rookie
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    Nice.

    Cheeks and the Cheeseheads


    By Dr. Cheeks
    Special to NFL.com


    (Dr. Cheeks will contribute his "man-on-the-street" commentary throughout the season. A post-college, pre-middle-aged former high school football player, Dr. Cheeks now enjoys his role as a professional fan. He lives and works in New York City and will share in all of your highs, lows and general love for the game.)

    (Oct. 8, 2004) -- I apologize for the delayed report on my maiden voyage to Green Bay and Lambeau Field. I was just released from the Byron Leftwich Weight-Loss Camp after gaining 25 pounds in only 24 hours in Wisconsin, and the unexpected sunburn that I suffered on the left side of my face has finally subsided.

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    Did I have a terrible time, you ask? Heck, no! How can one have a bad time in the football equivalent of Las Vegas and New Orleans combined? It's not possible.

    You see, after recently attending two "rock" concerts in New York City in which people yelled at us to sit down as if we were in a movie theater showing Before Sunrise, I needed a fast remedy to make me feel alive again. Going to the "Football Mecca" of Green Bay for the first time would hopefully provide the antidote.

    If you have ever been lucky enough to attend the Super Bowl before, you know that for the entire weekend the host city is filled with the hoopla of countless fans in team colors, ticket scalpers and hordes of souvenirs. Green Bay gives off the vibe that football is everywhere just like the Super Bowl does, but you don't feel quite so filthy from the spectacle and grandeur. I had a difficult time believing it was just the fourth week of the regular season.

    From the moment you walk off your airplane in Green Bay, you are reminded that you are in Packer Country. There is even a banner in the terminal that tells you so, and let me tell you, unlike some other NFL cities I can think of (umm, I don't know, like maybe Oakland or Philadelphia?), it is not an intimidating place to be for an outsider.

    After a nice Saturday dinner with the extended East Coast crew and our resident Green Bay friends, where else were we supposed to go except for the establishments surrounding the main attraction, Lambeau Field?


    (Incidentally, we were nice enough to talk one of our Green Bay friends into playing "Credit Card Roulette" for the entire dinner tab and he was gracious enough to lose -- some hospitality, huh?).

    It's not a stretch to say that the entire city surrounds Lambeau, which stands majestically in the middle of the town like a castle perched upon a mountain. It is literally like having an NFL stadium in your suburban hometown. Unlike the unwelcoming "metropolises" of NFL towns like East Rutherford (Giants/Jets) and Landover (Redskins), Green Bay is an active town with real people instead of traffic spirals and cops.

    I never visited a city where the stadium itself has an actual powerful presence on a Saturday night. Lambeau Field is almost magnetic.

    The first destination was even called the "Stadium View Bar," because I guess if you can't be inside the stadium, you might as well have Lambeau in your sights at all times.

    I compared it to that older cool girl in high school, who is always in your head or "around" but never talks to you or your crew. As long as you see her in the halls or at the same party, you somehow think everything is right with the world. The good thing is that Lambeau never leaves (though as Packers fans have found out recently, it sometimes breaks your heart).

    You can't help but see green-and-gold everywhere, and this was just Saturday night. One of my hosts laughed when I told him that I couldn't believe how much color there was in the bar. He told me to wait until Sunday, but I really couldn't. The anticipation was killing me.

    (So, of course, I went home immediately and got my eight hours of beauty rest. You don't believe me? Isn't that what most warm-blooded men do when they travel with four other dudes to a lively city for the first time and have to find accommodations in one "suite" at the airport's finest hotel, which is so close it is almost on a runway?)

    That part is unimportant because we were really in Green Bay for Sunday's tailgate and game experience. When we met our tailgating hosts at the ripe hour of 9 a.m. on Sunday, I couldn't help but bask in the fact that we were parked between the actual outdoor practice field the Packers use everyday and the indoor practice facility named after Don Hutson, the legendary Packers wide receiver.

    It's safe to say I basked in more than just that. The whole aura compared to a high school Thanksgiving game on a crisp, bright day, but we were lucky enough to have an NFL spectacle to look forward to.

    After a few token bratwursts, some interesting cherries, and a plate of potatoes and cheese that gave instant blood clots, we knew that we had to explore the outside of Lambeau before the game started.


    Vince Lombardi still has a prominent presence at Lambeau Field.
    There aren't too many stadiums that you treat like a museum, but we walked around and stumbled upon the area where the statues of "Curly" Lambeau and Coach Lombardi stood. I have never been to Mount Rushmore, but this promenade has to be football's equivalent.

    We should have known that taking a picture in front of the Lombardi statue would be tough considering the blue colors that some of the crew was wearing (especially after a young Packers female fan refused to let my friend, Chris, hop in a picture with her and her friend because of his Giants jacket). We persevered, and our picture was finally taken amongst some playful jeers and we ventured inside.

    How cool is this venue? They even hand you small cards with complete rosters for both teams and a green-and-gold Lambeau visor on the way in.

    When we sat down, I expected the legendary John Facenda to be the P.A. announcer and NFL Films classic songs to be the filler in between plays, but I think my expectations were a bit high. Sitting down proved to be a little difficult because, despite the beautiful renovations to the exterior of the stadium, Lambeau still features the "cold, silver-steel bench" motif for seating. And the space is not exactly spread out, which we were guessing is a tool to keep everyone "packed" in and warm in the wintertime.

    It did add to the jovial vibe because everything you say is heard by everyone in your section (whether they like it or not), and by the first half we were friends with everyone (including the undercover Vikings fan in front of us). We all laughed when the PA announcer once stated that the ball carrier was tackled by "everybody" up front. Everyone was wowed by some classic Brett Favre action on one play as he literally ran around in circles and threw an amazing completion down the field.


    Cheeks speaks!
    Got a football problem or just want to talk chalk? Feel free to share your thoughts and insights with Dr. Cheeks. After all, football fans need football fans to lean on.
    Otherwise the game started a little slowly for both teams and it was the first scoreless first half in Lambeau since 1980. I hardly noticed, but I started to think that maybe I was a jinx for Lambeau field, too.

    Little did we know, but the show was just starting.

    The Giants knocked Favre to the ground in the third quarter and he missed the next two plays. You could hear a bratwurst drop in the stadium. Facing a fourth-and-5, Favre raced back on the field and waved backup Doug Pederson to the sideline. He somehow proceeded to float a 28-yard touchdown pass to Javon Walker for a 7-0 lead. Did that just happen? I will never forget it.

    That turned out to be Favre's last play of the game as the doctors realized that he probably had suffered a concussion earlier. What gets lost in the shuffle is that after this heroic touchdown, we later saw on replay that Favre ran 30 yards to the end zone, tried to jump on Walker's back in celebration and fell to the ground as Walker toppled onto him.


    Brett Favre was left woozy after suffering a concussion.
    I'm not sure that's a good cure for a concussion. Not quite like Gus Frerotte running into a wall headfirst, but at least Favre probably wasn't thinking too straight.

    The rest of the game belonged to the Giants as Pederson showed why he is a career backup. I started to feel bad for the Packers fans, who had all been so nice to me the entire weekend because the Packers now faced 1-3 for the first time in 11 years and an 0-2 start at home. They have a 6-6 record in their last 12 games at home. Someone sound the cheesehead alarm.

    (I shouldn't say every Packers fan was nice to me. Some were just weird, including the guy who thought I was cutting him on the concessions line before the game. When I graciously apologized and let him go in front of me, he responded by turning and offering me a hot dog. This would have been fine except he stared me down as he gave it to me and said, "Thanks for being so cool" and walked away. Not your typical response, right? I stashed the wrapped hot dog in my jacket to have it examined later.)

    The game flew by unlike any other NFL game I have been to, and I literally didn't want to leave the stadium when it was over. I will hopefully be back at some point in my life.

    MONDAY NIGHT
    Monday night's matchup of the Packers and Tennessee Titans will make me a little nostalgic as I reflect on last weekend, but I will feel more a part of the action.

    The game features two supposed playoff teams who have had their fair share of injuries and bad fortune. Both have All-Pro quarterbacks who are struggling, great running backs and mediocre defenses. Both are 1-3 and probably one loss away from planning for next year. Favre is nicked up, but will play (of course), and his backup, Pederson, is now out for the year. Titans QB Steve McNair is banged up again and expects to play. I have personally struggled with rooting for McNair this season. His struggles are hurting my fantasy football team and my love life at the same time. I think Tony Soprano could have offered me some advice about mixing "work" with pleasure, but I probably wouldn't be able to repeat it.

    My guess is that the Packers summon the ghosts of Lambeau and Lombardi on Monday night and get back on track.

    Yes, they won me over in Green Bay. I admit it. Now where do I possibly go from here? Feel free to help me figure it out.

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