SeatData.com - The Frozen Tarp of Lambeau Field
Green Bay, WI - John & Mr Fuzzy
No holes. That was our vow. The trips would yield serendipity as
we piled up the stadiums.
One of my first excursions
was Chicago, Milwaukee, and Green Bay. The packers played on Monday night, so I
could get the Bears, Blackhawks, Bucks, and Packers in one long weekend. So
after three sporting events in less than 48 hours, I set off from Chicago to the
legendary Lambeau Field. In the comfort of my car, I lamented the fact that it
was raining, not snowing, for the sake of nostalgia.
I arrived about 2:00
pm for an 8:00 pm start, so I got a bite to eat. Everything was Packers, even in
the bathroom. My Raiders attire sparked an "out-of-town" conversation during
which it was regretted that I wasn't going to attend the Packers game. I then
proudly produced my ticket ($200 for off-endzone). The kind person then pointed
out, unsubtly, that I was not where I needed to be. The festivities had started
without me. It was 3:00 pm on a workday, but I heeded the advice nonetheless.
After driving through relatively empty streets, I began to encounter slowdowns.
After not moving for awhile, and seeing people drive on curbs, my stomach began
to reject its latest offering.
To understand my concern, consider this: I
paid the above mentioned amount for my ticket, and If I failed in my mission, I
was going to have to come back all the way from California just for one game.
I'd be lucky if I could do it for under $800. This was do or die, something you
try not to think about. There is no coming back. Panic started to set in:
Missing Lambeau wouldn't just make a mockery of the site, it would be downright
offensive. A black hole, Stephen Hawkings variety. And I didn't even know where
the stadium was. Worse yet, I didn't just have to make the game, I had to be
standing at the gates when they opened. It can take an hour and a half just to
take the pictures and if people get in your way, it can become
I fought through the traffic trying to stay calm and focused.
I would make it even if I had to hitch-hike. Ultimately, I managed to park my
car within site of the stadium, on someone's front lawn about two and a half
hours before kick-off (sometimes the gates of football games are open already.)
I grabbed my camera and ran. When I realized the gates had not opened yet, and
an overwhelming sense of relief came over me. The parking lot was empty, but
everywhere around the stadium was jam-packed with more people tail-gating than
could fit in the stadium. All was well until I started to get cold. It was only
raining, as I pointed out, but the wind was biting and unforgiving. I went from
being out of time to longing to get in. No one knew when the gates would open,
and a ton of people started congregating. Then more people came. Soon, I was in
a sea of green and yellow. There was now only an hour and a half before kickoff,
hardly enough time to take the pictures. I was soaked to the bone, freezing in
my pathetic California duds, and surrounded by people who could only hurt my
chances of success. The panic started once again. $800 just for another chance
with the same odds. It is a common feeling while you are waiting to get in,
because you have so much invested. There is only one thing that makes it feel
better, and that's getting to work when those gates open.
I thought I was
dreaming when they finally tore my ticket. Suddenly none of my troubles mattered
as I entered the storied field with awe. I took a brief moment to take it in,
but then something didn't look right. That's when it hit me, and I blindly sat
where I was standing:
The field was completely covered with a green
I was somewhat dissapointed to learn this fact. Lambeau has metal bench seats
with precious little room between them. If anyone was standing or sitting in a
row, I had to climb around them. I sat and watched the people pour in. I was
down to an hour before kick-off.
I had to get something on film, so I
started taking pictures of the tarp. I had made one entire lap, with some
difficulty, and then they started to roll it up. The quandry: I didn't have
enough space on my camera (it had three other stadiums on it) to keep the tarp
and get pictures without it. I had to make a call. Could I get every section
before I could no longer walk down any row?
It was the kind of defining
moment that reveals character. Could I stand in against the blitz?
I sat down
and began erasing pictures. In my haste, I accidentally deleted the pictures of
Mr Fuzzy around the outside of the stadium. Now I had no choice. The ghost of
Mr. Fuzzy spoke to me.
I climbed up, down and around people like an ape
on catnip. I was no longer cold. As for how I did, check out the Green Bay
section of our site.
The most beautiful feeling in the world is when you
sit down in your seat, you've done a piece of work, and you're about to enjoy an
experience you will remember forever. I watched the beer man make three refill
trips within the same section before he got to us. And when he did, beers were
passed down the row without any formal request. You just took your beer and
added money to the pile as it went the other way. The Green Bay fans know how to
enjoy a football game, and as for me, I just went along for the
It was 4:00 am before I made it back to my Motel 6 in Chicago. I
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