As mentioned in a post yesterday, McD, Booter (our resident legal expert) and I spent Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field, watching our beloved San Diego Chargers completely crap the bed defensively against the Packers. Anytime I visit a new stadium, I like to evaluate it on several levels to see how it stacks up against the others I’ve been to. Lambeau scored very highly on several aspects of my test but utterly failed on others. I really wasn’t expecting that. This was supposed to be hallowed ground. And while the ambiance did live up to expectations, many other factors simply did not. Here follows my review of Lambeau.
All ratings are on a scale from 0-10, 10 equaling perfection:
The stadium itself is much like you see on television. The fact that you’re in a big bowl, with fans packed tightly together makes you feel like you’re in an old school stadium. The Packers’ Ring of Honor also connects you to the former greats who have played there as well. But recent improvements aimed at modernizing the building do take away from the overall feeling that you’re in a historic building.
No complaints here. Other than the ridiculous walk up a circular ramp to our seats, the facilities were top notch. Everything from the two large, easily visible scoreboards, to the beautiful atrium as you enter made you feel like you were in a fully modern, state-of-the-art stadium.
Incredibly average. Nothing special here. The hot dogs were alright, the beer selection (Miller products) was disappointing and sadly the bratwursts were actually pretty bad. The only saving grace was a nicely priced chicken tenders and fries basket. But really we all got the feeling that the food in the parking lot at the tailgate was probably way better than anything in the stadium.
The sight-lines were perfect and I really don’t think there is a bad seat in the house, but my back was killing me after the game because of those lame metal benches. While I’m all for the old-style benches making us all feel like we’re watching a game in 1955, the kind that have no back really suck. I refuse to pay for a ticket (ok, so I didn’t actually pay for my ticket) and then pay to rent a seat cushion with a back on it so I can feel comfortable. If you’re going to spend more money updating the stadium, how about fixing that huh?
Tailgate Atmosphere: 9
Not just the walk-up, parking lot area, but all the surrounding bars, parking lots and streets were flush with tons of people, activity and guys on PA systems yelling innocuous statements and encouraging people to sing karaoke. There were drinking games, mechanical bull riding contests, and tons of drunk middle aged guys trying to slur insults at passing Chargers fans. Basically it’s what I imagine Mardi Gras would be like if it was run by the YMCA and everyone was over 35-years-old.
Fan Support: 9
Bear in mind, this has nothing to do with fan etiquette which will come later. That said, the Packers fans were loud and they all showed up in their Packers jerseys. Boy did they show up in their Packers jerseys. Here’s a list of all the different players jerseys we saw, and these are just the ones we can remember: #25 Dorsey Levens, #34 Edgar Bennett, #52 Frank Winters, #88 Keith Jackson, #32 Samkon Gado, #12 Aaron Rodgers, #36 Leroy Butler, #42 Darren Sharper, #21 Craig Newsome, #92 Reggie White, #77 Cullen Jenkins, #50 A.J. Hawk, #15 Bart Starr, #5 Paul Hornug, #59 Wayne Simmons, #7 Don Majkowski, #89 Mark Chmura, #32 Brandon Jackson, #89 Robert Ferguson, #87 Robert Brooks, #66 Ray Nitschke, #88 Bubba Franks, #4 Brett Favre, #86 Antonio Freeman, #84 Javon Walker, #84 Sterling Sharpe, #93 Gilbert Brown, #82 Don Beebe, #56 Nick Barnett, #76 Chad Clifton, #96 Sean Jones, #34 Mike McKenzie, #85 Greg Jennings, #52 Abdul Hodge, #51 Brady Poppinga, #21 Charles Woodson, #74 Aaron Kampman, #80 Donald Driver, #59 Na’il Diggs, #94 Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, #30 Ahman Green, #33 William Henderson, #3 Tony Canadeo … like I said, those are just the ones we remember seeing. It was insane.
Eye Candy: -12
Guh. Seriously, Wisconsin has a serious problem when it comes to women. There was not a semi-good looking one to be found. Anywhere. At all. Even the Miller girls at the local bars were gross. There is not a quantifiable amount of alcohol I’d have to drink to nail the average chick I saw. I didn’t expect much from Green Bay, but this was atrocious. I figured there would be some token moderately attractive women somewhere. I thought wrong. The utter lack of “foaf” (yeah it’s my word, feel free to use it) at Lambeau really took away from the experience.
This refers to the general attitude of the fans as we experienced it. Of course any time you’re a visiting fan wearing your team’s jersey in a stadium with rabid fans, you can expect to eat a certain level of sh*t. We were fully prepared for that and it didn’t bother us at all. It’s not the heckling that bugged us, it’s how freaking annoying and un-knowledgeable the fans around us were. So much so that the two long-time season ticket holders behind us were constantly apologizing for the way the other fans were acting. We didn’t so much as respond to one bit of the razzing we were taking. We purposely just sat there, cheered when our team did well but didn’t fire back. It’s fine to heckle but when the game is over, you don’t gloat or cat-call the opposing fans, you say “good game” and shake their hands/pat them on the back. Only one fan (not including the two gentlemen behind us) acted classy and didn’t try to rub it in. If the Chargers had won I think they would have started crying.
On the way to the exit and through the parking lot to the car we finally started responding because we were fed up. Here are two of the exchanges I had with them:
Packer fan #2 with ugly chick on his arm: “Go home!”
Me: “You mean San Diego, where the weather is perfect and the chicks are hot? Yeah I’m headed there right now. Enjoy the trip back to your duplex with your brutal chick man. We lost a football game, you lost in life.”
Female Packer fan: “Hey! Hey! Can you turn around, my boyfriend wants to take a picture of you and your friends being all sad because you lost!”
Me: “Hey, can you just hold on for a second. I want to take a picture of you because when I describe how ugly the women are here my friends won’t believe me unless I have photo evidence.”
Encounters like these prompted lifelong Vikings fan and friend of the program, Mike to say, “I almost forgot why I hate Packers fans.”
Another thing that constantly bothers me is when fans don’t fully understand the rules. Either someone needs to explain them to Packers fans everywhere or they just had “Pass Interference Tourettes.” Literally every incomplete pass (I’m not exaggerating here) resulted in two solid minutes of booing, whining and moans for PI calls. Ridiculous.
Final Tally For Lambeau Experience: 33.5/80
If having women to gawk at during a game doesn’t bother you, then Lambeau grades out at a 45.5/70, which is not too shabby. Just don’t go and look to have any fun after the game with some of the local ladies, you could break a hip.