Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lambeau Magic

Residential Entrepreneurial Opportunities at it's best
As stated in last weeks post I was graced with 2 tickets to the Green Bay Packer's against "America's Team (that's debateable)" the Dallas Cowboys.  With a controversial call in the game, Dallas won it's first playoff game against the Detroit Lions to move to the second round at Green Bay's hallowed Lambeau Field.  The game was set up to be a great one with Green Bay having a perfect record or 8-0 at home and Dallas having a perfect record away, 8-0.  It seems as though I have been doing a lot of things with my brother Steve these days and when I asked him if he wanted to go to the game, there was no hesitation.  The plan was simple, I'd drive to Chippewa Falls on Sunday morning and meet him at the Walmart around 8:00 and he would drive the rest of the way to Green Bay.  Since they've redone Highway 29, it's clear sailing to Lambeau as our planned arrival time was 10:30.  With the game at noon this would give us time to get our warm clothes on, walk the half mile or so to the stadium, and have some of Lambeau's famous Wisconsin bratwurst before the game.  I like parking right off the west end of Lombardi Avenue, just after you turn off the freeway.  It's easy in and easy out, plenty of room and you basically walk along a residential street where it's a quite the scene seeing all the activity happening before the game.  I have talked about the tailgating that goes on at Lambeau and because it's location, everyone gets in the act. All the houses along the street that we walked down were full of entrepreneurs ready to serve the game time attendees.  Some, like the picture above took parking to the next level, offering additional services for the same basic parking fee everyone was charging.  I think a lot of these people have the
Green Bay Cadillac
same guests throughout the season and they all have a reunion every game, sort of like old home week!  It's definitely a party atmosphere and the below freezing temperature made no difference.  As we walked toward the stadium the craziness continued.  More people, more grills, more bars set up along the way on tables, the back of pickup tailgates, music blaring through loudspeakers, these people were having a great time.  The closer we got to Lambeau the more interesting it became as it looks like people must lease, rent, secure their spot to tailgate as it appeared as though they had been set up for a few hours.   Just before crossing the street to enter the stadium we came by a party setup around a custom painted Cadillac Sedan de Ville, complete with a bar set up in the trunk, a sound system on poles, a huge grill full of brats, and a much needed portable toilet set up behind me in the above picture.  One of these day I need to simply get there the night before and partake in the festivities yet one would probably need to make that a 2 day event!

Jordy Nelson's entrance
As you see in the picture I was dressed for the cold.  Along with my Sorel Boots were lined jeans, my Gortex snowmobile bibs, 3 layers of shirts, my cold weather camo hunting coat, a Green Bay poncho Welly at work picked me up in Mexico, a hand warmer muffler around my waist, a boat cushion for the aluminum bleacher seat, and plenty of disposable hand warmers.  All week the predictions were for the game time temperature to be 15 degrees, not a bad as the last time Dallas played Green Bay at Lambeau where that game was coined The Ice Bowl, where it was -13F, but enough to make sure one dresses warm. Well at game time the temperature had climbed to a balmy 28 degrees.  Now over dressed we shed some of our clothes and left them on the bleachers as we headed back to get something to eat and a beer.  It's quite stunning to watch the National Anthem being played as they unveil a football field sized flag for everyone to see.  A final flyover by 2 F18 Navy fighter jets, wing on wing set the stage.  I'd rank the game as one of the best I have seen there.  The Packer's scored first with Dallas scoring the next 2, with the momentum definitely on Dallas's side.  It looked like the Cowboy's were getting the upper hand in the game as Aaron Rodgers' calf injury was definitely affecting his play.  About the middle of the 3rd quarter a key play by Julius Peppers stopped a clear shot to the end zone by Dallas and forced a fumble that Green Bay recovered.  We didn't look back until the controversial (an correct) call at the 4 minute mark gave Green Bay the ball and all they needed to do was get a first down and hang on to the ball.  It was all over and the Packer's won 26 - 21 over the Cowboy's, the stadium just rocked.  A great game in a great city in a great venue with a great outcome.  I'm not sure what next week will bring and the odds maker's have the Pack down by 7 1/2 points but you know the story.....any given day!  I do know that I'm definitely going to enjoy the ample TX Whiskey I have coming from my Texas friends.  GO PACK

Friday I am heading back to Red Lake to pick up my wheel house and start fishing closer to home. It's been a lot of fun and this will be my 4th trip this year as the fishing tends to get progressively worse as the winter goes on.   As my previous posts describe, we have always gotten enough fish to eat and bring home, which has been the case for a lot of fishermen this year.  The fishing has been so good that the Minnesota DNR just announced a further reduction of the possession limit starting January 23rd.  Prior to December 1st it was 4 fish under 20" then changed to 3 fish under 17".  On the 23rd it will change to 2 fish under 17".  The lake has definitely been hit hard this year and harvest agreements are forcing changes to be made.  I'm not complaining as the season is already half way over and there's a lot of water I'd like to fish before the season closes on February 22nd.  Going with are my brother Steve and a friend from our home town, Eleva.  The strategy is to pull out the house on Friday afternoon while staying in contact with our friend Russ, who's going to be on Lake Winnibigoshish.  The reports have been good from there and if fishing is slow we will pack up the house and head south an hour to join his group.  Plan B is always good!  Although I probably won't get to see the Packer Game, after last week if I have to listen to it on the radio, I'll be happy, especially if they win!

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