Miscellaneous fluff from the Sept 9 Vikings game, in no particular order:
1. As usual, there were TONS of Viking fans in the stadium. Many of them were mixed couples, one would be a Packer fan and the other a Viking fan. I guess you’re going to get a fair amount of interbreeding when the fan bases are so close together. I’m still sore from a few years ago when the Milwaukee ticket package had the Vikings game and the Green Bay fans whined about the Milwaukee fans selling their tickets to Viking fans instead of going to the game. Seems the Green Bay ticket package likes to turn a profit too once in a while.
2. Speaking of profit, I stopped in the Scalper Pit about 30 minutes until game time. Lots of tickets were floating around; I asked one guy what he was selling them for and they were $125 each. I thought that was cheap, especially when they were starting for as much as $385/ticket in preceding months. My only thought was that if tickets were going to be that cheap now, they were going to use tickets to start the grill if the Packers started the season 0-2.
3. We walked by the Tundra Tailgating Village, that new tailgating area the Packers put up in the parking lot. It’s $5 to get in and they have a live band playing. I’m sure it’s extra to buy food and drinks but I wasn’t going in just to look. It looked like there were less than 10 people in there. Maybe it needs time to catch on but so far it’s been a complete failure in terms of generating revenue.
4. The freebie given out was a "G Force" towel and a ShopKo calendar. "G Force" is a promotion to fire up the 12th man and maximize the home field advantage. The players still have to coax the crowd every play to make some noise (I hope people file this away in their head the next time someone makes a comment how the Green Bay fans are better than the Milwaukee fans; just a matter of time).
5. Speaking of making noise, there was one defensive Packer player trying to get the crowd going on virtually every play. On one play it was apparent the Vikings QB was making an audible and the Packer is down in his set position and he starts waving with his free hand when he saw the play was being changed. it looked rather awkward. This was during that horrible third quarter march where the Vikings converted every third down.
6. I missed a big play; I missed it so bad I can’t even tell you which play it was. I sit by the aisle and this young woman ran down the steps and grabbed some guy. A young man was right behind her and he helped hold the guy. I have no idea what was going on but we were all watching to see if the argument would resort to fists so we missed the play.
7. Cops escorted out several Viking fans. Ha!
8. Note to self: Never again order the Ham and Cheese sub sandwich from the concessions.
9. I hate the row I sit in. The people in the middle drink a lot of beer and they all have to keep using the rest room. In and out, in and out. Never fails. I’m going to offer them that I will buy all the beer they want if they can sit in their seats for the entire game.
10. We drive to the game coming in through De Pere, which is southeast of Green Bay. We’ll make our way over to Ashland which runs north and south and this avoids the major traffic from the freeway and Oneida Avenue. I was dumbfounded this time at how clogged and backed up Ashland was. We still zipped along pretty good by staying in the right hand lane, most were in the left lane and eventually trying to turn left towards the stadium. I was aiming for a slightly different location in order to park for free on a side street and also be in a position to avoid the post-game traffic. But I still have never seen Ashland backed up like that. I suspect a lot of people were late getting into their seats.
11. Four fighter jets did the flyover. KA-BOOM! Skip the national anthem, just let the jets fly over a few times!
12. Antonio Freeman and Robert Brooks were the designated old farts trotted out for the crowd to cheer. The way the first quarter started, people were wondering if they could play. Antonio has gained some weight, Robert looks good.
13. Beer in the seats was $6 bottle. Last year I think it was $5.75; Beer Guy would always be shouting DO YOU WANT YOUR QUARTERS? when giving back change. I don’t know what they make in tips but I’m going to guess it’s fairly decent. The $6/bottle means lots of singles for change and I think Beer Guy is getting singles now for tips instead of quarters. He seemed happy at the end of the third quarter when the beer was cut off. People were actually shaking his hand and thanking him. It was almost like a religious experience for the beer drinkers.
14. It wasn’t that cold out but they had the heat turned on for the bathrooms. At the stockholder meeting they said the Packers wanted to be more "Green."
15. We had started going into the Oneida Gate entrance on the east side but our timing was poor; the security check had a sea of people lined up 50 yards away. I didn’t want to deal with that so we walked around to the atrium entrance. Pretty much whisked right in.
16. Let us not forget that Brett Favre’s picture was printed on the tickets for this game. This was to be his retirement ceremony and we all know that story. Regardless of how that story should have ended, it doesn’t affect the beginning of the new story. One game does not make a career, but you have to like how it has begun.
I’ve been working on a photography project, not sure if it will ever get any where but I am hoping to have it completed sometime next year. Essentially, I am exploring Manitowoc County and seeking out interesting landscapes. Thus I experience things along the way. The old barns are becoming a passing curiosity, they will virtually be all gone in another generation. Another was lost outside of Valders, having burned down over the weekend. I did a little walking in the Killsnake, DNR land set aside for public hunting. As I was going into the woods there was a POW! POW! POW! down by the river, someone was hunting something and I was not too far away. It seems something is always in season around these parts. On the way back I could see the guy which means he could see me. Some small birds flew over his head and POW! POW! POW! the gun was blazing again. I keep walking and there’s another POW! Then it starts raining BB’s around me. Idiot!
I was photographing an abandoned farm and noticed the apple trees were loaded with apples. The apple trees were ancient and quite huge. Normally fruit trees get gnarly as they mature and it is rare to find them so big. They were equivalent to perhaps 2/3′s the size of a typical city tree. I helped myself to a mess of apples and Mom baked me an apple pie. I’ve been eating the leftovers and they are nothing short of de-lish. The house I grew up in had an apple tree so I know what a fresh apple tastes like. It’s always tough picking out something halfway decent from the old crap you get in a grocery store.
The fall colors are changing fast from when I was up here on Aug. 28 for the pre-season game. The colors peaking is weeks away but it is right pleasing to the eyes even now. The trees are mostly green, it’s the grasses and crops that are changing at this point.
I went with Mom to visit a neighbor. The people there run a hobby farm; on the place are apple trees and they had also put in pear trees. The garden is overflowing with produce. They have four cows and a bull and as a result there are four calves on the way. The cows keep the grass mowed and they also make them qualified as a farm property for whatever breaks they get from the government. Every once in a while the cows are turned into steaks and stored in the freezer. I guess that’s the price a cow pays for having security.
Well, that’s it for now. A little life at lambeau Field, and a little life in Packer Country.
This post was written by Tooner on September 9, 2008