I finally made the pilgrimage to Lambeau Field last Sunday. It was an early Christmas present from my brother John and what a gift. We rode south from the U.P and I couldn't believe the traffic that kept us company there and back.
But I have to back up a little to tell you about being a Packers fan. My dad grew up in Chicago where George Halas was King. He moved to the U.P shortly before Lombardi and the word dynasty became synonymous. By the time I became a Green Bay fan Lombardi was being followed by a succession of inadequate heirs to the throne.
I stuck with it and actually was rewarded along with other Green and Gold fan when the Packers won the Superbowl following the 1996 season. This team I saw Sunday only had two Packers remaining from that great team Brett Favre and William Henderson. Their playoff chances slim at best, but they were playing the Lions..a hated rival if you grew up in the U.P.
John told me I wouldn't believe how small the field looked when we first went in and then again how much bigger it would look when all the fans arrived. He was right on both accounts. We were mostly surrounded by Packer fans, with the exception of a few stray Detroit fans. One of them carried a "Fire Millen" sign. Another good one was held up by a balding fan that said, "The Last Time the Lions won in Wisconsin, I had hair."
One guy sitting behind us boldly stated "I'm drunk and loud and don't care who knows it." All righty then. However most fans were great, chanting "Go, Pack, Go," doing the wave and getting to their feet whenever Green Bay threatened to score, which wasn't much of the time.
Moments I'll treasure from my Lambeau trek. The sun coming around on us about game time as if my dad was smiling down knowing two of his five kids had made the trip he never could. Green Bay scoring the winning touchdown in the corner of the endzone we were sitting in and then sacking the Lions QB to put the game away. A little flicker of snow coming down as we were leaving the stands. Seeing Brett Favre break Dan Marino's record for most lifetime completions. Mostly being able to share the experience with my brother John.
Finally, Lambeau at Last!