I’m back from our whirlwind tour of the great State of Wisconsin. A place very near and dear to my heart, as it is the ancestral home of Mrs. 20 Prospect. From the moment I first entered the state in August of 1989 and saw a billboard advertising “Beer, Cheese, Food” I knew I had found something special. Any place that elevates Beer and Cheese to the same level as Food is a place I want to be.
The impetus for this trip was a visit to hollowed ground, to pay our respects to the warriors that have come before, and sacrificed their all for the glory of Wisconsin. Yes, I am talking about Lambeau Field.
For me and the Mrs., this was our second pilgrimage to Lambeau. On our first visit 9 years ago we saw the Favre led Packers defeat the Manning led Colts. This time the Pack were playing the 49er’s, in weather more suited to the Bay Area, than Green Bay. It was a balmy 57 degrees at kickoff.
The stadium being sold out in perpetuity, tickets should be impossible to come by. And yet it seems like everyone in the state knows a guy, who knows a guy. In our case Mrs. 20 P’s little brother buys his tickets off of a nice little old lady who doesn’t want to go to the games and has no family to share them with. So we were blessed to be 4 rows up at the 15 yard line. So close you can hear the players grunt.
This was our first visit to the stadium since the big remodel. I have to say that very little about the place has changed. When Lambeau was first opened as City Stadium in 1957, it was just a small concrete bowl seating only 32,000. Over the years it has been expanded several times to it’s current 72,000 capacity, but it retains that small intimate feel. I have never been to a happier stadium to see a sporting event. The mood is just giddy on game day. I haven’t seen so many well behaved drunks in one place since the last meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Packer fans may be total rubes, but their attachment to this team is something unique in professional sports. The community really does act like they “own” the team, because in some sense they do. They are a publically owned non-profit corporation. Regular citizens have bought stock in the team to raise the capital to run them, but their articles of incorporation are set up for non-profit status.
How’s that for a Front Porch Model for sports? Some other nice touches, are the fact that the cheerleaders are “borrowed” from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. No strippers clad in bikini’s pole dancing around the goal posts. We were also lucky to be at a game attended by the University of Wisconsin band. So we were treated to their fifth quarter show after the game.
Dancing the beer barrel polka in the stands, after a Packer victory is about as close to a second wedding reception as a couple can get. In fact, it was the first dance at our wedding reception back in 1995.
After a wonderful visit with their cousins, we surprised the kids with an overnight stay at a Waterpark hotel in the Wisconsin Dells. It was a welcome family vacation, and a nice break from living in our basement as we wait for the kitchen to be complete.
So after our 3 day circumnavigation of Wisconsin we are back in the Twin Cities for a short stay for the Mrs. to put in her required holiday shift at the hospital, before we head back over the river to the promised land for Thanksgiving.
So a happy Thanksgiving to you all! See you on the other side of the river.