The story of one Packers fans trip to Lambeau with a Giants fan and two Vikings fans. . .
From left to right, Me (Kodi), Ryan (with the cigarette), Greg (the gargantuan) and Mikey (Egyptian)
I don’t think I could express how terrible of an experience this was for me
I got a phone call last Monday from my buddy, one of the most annoying Vikings fans I know, who asked me if I would be interested in driving to Lambeau Field with his boss. Ryan (the Vikings fan) is the type of football fan that gets shitfaced every time he watches a game and blindly stands by every players side. He has an odd obsession with the chiseled dark body of Adrian Peterson and when he throws up from drinking too much it’s a bright color of purple from drinking the kool-aid for so many years. I was confused to hear from him of all people to invite me to drive the 5 hours from Minneapolis to Green Bay but being the Packer fan I am of course I couldn’t turn down the opportunity.
The invitation however was first for me and Ryans boss, Mikey, to go together without the attendance of our mutual friend. I’m sure it was weird for both of us and the invitation was never sealed between the two of us and it seemed that the trip was unlikely to happen. I had to go to this game though, the Packers were 15-1 and facing the New York Giants a team that was influential in transitioning from the Favre to Rodgers era. I was hoping for redemption from the 2007 NFC Championship game and wanted to see the record breaking team in action under the bright lights of the NFL playoffs.
I couldn’t allow Mikey to forget about the offer and constantly pestered Ryan to see if his boss still wanted to make the trip. Here’s the twist, Mikey is the son of an Egyptian Baker, an Egyptian Baker from New Jersey and the guy was a Giants fan. It was tough for me to swallow, driving a Giants fan hours away from home because one way or another, the trip was going to be awkward for somebody. We knew each other but were in no way road trip partner approved and then one of us would have to sit next to the enemy for a long frustrating ride home.
I tried talking Lambeau Field up to Ryan in hopes of persuading him into coming on the trip for a ride and tailgating in the parking lot, because him paying for a ticket was out of the question. Being a douche Vikes fan he was adamant about not stepping foot in that town and that he absolutely hated Wisconsin. Funny thing is that his mother was from upstate Minnesota and actually lived in Superior, Wisconsin the sister city of Duluth, Minnesota just across the way. I am unwavering in my opinion that Ryan was born in Superior though he claims to be from Duluth. One thing is true, Ryan was a Packers fan for the first half of his life and still holds on to a SB XXXVI helmet signed by Brett Favre.
Somehow I was able to talk Ryan into wanting to go on the trip and not just for the ride, he was actually willing to pay to go to the game. His excuse was that he hated the Packers so much he was willing to drop the cash to cheer against them but deep down inside he really wanted to see the greatest stadium in the NFL. Mikey was ready to go and he started to look up tickets for the game but realized we would need a 4th person because there isn’t a 3 seat ticket package. I immediately called one of my buddies who’s also a Vikings fan but a football fan. I had another friend in mind but after he got us kicked out of a pre-season game at Lambeau I decided it was better to talk Greg into coming.
Greg is a giant, extremely quiet and reserved but a football fan that I thought would enjoy seeing a playoff game in Green Bay. He agreed almost immediately and by now Ryan and I were at the record store that Mikey owns to order our tickets and lock in the trip. We find 4 seats next to each other thirty some rows up section 130 in the corner of the end-zone on the Packers side of the field, after I promised Mikey it was the visitors sideline. I was blown away when Mikey pulled out a bright purple Minnesota Vikings credit card to purchase his New York Giants playoff tickets.
The guy cheers for two teams!?!?!?! Not even the classy way by picking your favorite and then having a team you root for in a different conference but no this guy had two NFC teams he cheered for. I will admit that he said he would cheer for the Giants over the Vikings but I wondered whether the answer to that question would have changed it I asked him on the way to the Vikings playoff game in 2009. He bought the tickets and our future was sealed, the following morning we would meet at my house at 8 to make the 5 hour trek to Green Bay with time for a little pre-game festivities.
All three of the other members from this road trip asked me to call them repeatedly on Sunday morning to ensure that they woke up. At 7 o’clock I phoned every one of them trying to keep to a tight schedule to make sure that we could enjoy ourselves before the game. I updated my facebook with “Lambeau Bound” and Ryan had enough time to comment on my status and create one of his own saying “who needs an alarm when you got Kodi.” I guess my time management wasn’t enough because Mikey and Ryan didn’t get to the house ‘til 8:30 and were full of jokes. It was so funny to them that I was trying to make sure that we had enough time to get completely across the state of Wisconsin.
The car ride there was pretty uneventful Mikey and Ryan snuggled up together head to head on the pillow Mikey brought to guarantee he was comfortable. I can only imagine what people thought of use when we pulled up to the gas station to grab some munchies and refuel. Mikey was wearing these ridiculous plaid pajama pants and a 5 dollar Giants winter hat that was purchased the day before. There two giant human beings stuck in the front seat of a Toyota Corolla and a blonde haired blue eyed baby with a Vikings hat in the back.
After 5 hours of driving and about $37.42 worth of gas we had finally arrived in Green Bay after traveling down 29 east for what seemed like 1300 miles. Immediately the shit talking began about what a terrible town Green Bay was and how nothing was in the area but Lambeau Field. I will say that as they were talking shit, Ryan was making sure he was the first of his friends to check into the stadium on FourSquare while simultaneously trying to take a fury of pictures with his camera. Mikey was wrestling over Ryan fighting with him to get a shot of the ‘Beau while Greg did everything he could to impede on my ability to get any decent shot with my phones camera.
We were all excited and ready to get out of the car, so much so that we had paid $30 to park caddy corner of the stadium without buying any liquor. We were in a three quarters full parking lot and nobody was willing to let go of their booze, which began a slew of Wisconsin alcoholic jokes. I asked the parking attendant where we could get a bottle of whiskey because as I told him “I needed it after being in a car full of Giants fans for five hours.” He told us where to go, then offered us some advice “the cops are going to be out in full force tonight” and not to drink and drive but just as we were about to walk away he turned to my three buddies and told them “also I got a roll of tissues.” My friends looked at each other with confusion when he finished the jokes “for you Giants fans after the game!”
We charged down to the liquor store and bought a bottle of Jameson, cracked it in the parking lot and passed it around ‘til it was gone chasing with nothing other than Diet Mountain Dew. It took maybe 9 minutes before the three of us had killed the bottle and caught a buzz. After a beer in the pre-game tent outside of Lambeau we got our photo taken in front of the gate and charged our way towards the entrance. Ryan had snuck in a flask of whiskey and pulled it from his boot just feet away from the security guards he brought it past. We found our section and looked for our seats, I thought their negativity would take away from the moment but was surprised to see them actually complimenting the openness of the stadium. Seconds later Greg chimed in by saying “it’s kind of small though” even though they announced later over 72,000 fans had made it through the gates.
All of them were nervous about how the Packers fans would react to them cheering for the opposition and I said that they would be treated with respect. Maybe I should have lied. Greg, the quiet reserved one blossomed into the most belligerent Packer hating fan in the stands after a couple sips of Irish whiskey and some $5 beers. Immediately after the National anthem he started yelling “you know Rodgers win percentage goes down in cold weather!” Which Greg was right about because on the ride in we talked about Aaron’s record late in the season. After looking it up we found he was 9-7 in the month of December and 3-0 in January but all of the latter games were played on the road out of the cold.
I also must remind you once again that we were in the season ticket holder’s section of the ‘Beau and right off the bat Greg was getting on this middle aged woman’s nerves who was sitting in front of us. The game didn’t start well with New York charging down and scoring but it wasn’t until after Rodgers missed Jennings for a TD on the first drive that Greg started yelling about “Rusty Rodgers!” Packers fans were shocked when Hakeem Nicks pulled down a 66 yard TD, but it didn’t help the people around us to hear Greg say “that was like a 12 yard reception if the Packers knew how to tackle.” Immediately he started yelling about Rusty Rodgers coming back on the field and Greg was pissing off the wrong fan. “I’ve had enough of you, cheer for your own team, if they are not on the field shut the fuck up!” the lady told Greg with an evil stare.
“Hey, I’m not the one cussing lady I’m sorry I thought we were at a football game” Greg wittingly replied. He hadn’t been swearing but clearly the woman was nervous and rightfully so. After the Packers went for it on 4th and 5 later in the game Rodgers was sacked by Jason Pierre-Paul. I thought we had steered clear of some drama because Greg was in the concessions getting more fuel for the fire. He came back and yelled “you down with JPP? Yea you know me! ” and started rambling about how the Packers should have punted “that was just hubris not punting the ball right there.” It was starting to go from bad to worse, it’s pretty fucking funny though because if I think about it now he was just having a good time running his mouth like any fan would. BUT. . . This was different circumstances and the Packers are ornery about their squad and this woman eventually blew up on Greg in the 4th quarter.
The game was out of our hands the Packers were still in the game but barely. There was a little over 7 minutes to go and the building was all but deflated emotionally so when Greg started calling out Green Bay fans for leaving it was time for this lady to rip into him and there was nothing her husband could do this time. She turned around and said “You’re in the wrong place for that. There are a lot of people in here that would love to kick your ass. Not me. I’m not going to do anything but I got a couple places for you to go and cheer like this after the game.” To which Greg replied “I’m not trying to start any trouble” but this drunk angry Packer mom was pissed and Greg pushed her over her limit. “No, really I have just a couple places for you to go, just go in there throw your hands up and go ‘yay Giants’ and then we’ll see what happens.”
I couldn’t believe this lady was going into him so hard and I was expecting this type of confrontation but not with Greg but rather Ryan, who surprisingly stayed rather respectful in the stadium. It didn’t help that I tried to tell these guys that Packers fans were classier than the trash at the Metrodome but one woman proved me wrong. After the Jacobs TD it was time for me to smoke a cigarette, which isn’t allowed in any part of Lambeau Field so I walked down the stairs and exited the building. I quickly lit a cigarette and ran through the events of the game, but none of that mattered anymore because it was over.
I angrily walked back to the parking lot and knew that I had been sobering up over the period of the game while the other 3 jackasses in my car were grabbing fistfuls of beer until they were turned away. This was going to be a bad car ride for me and I knew what I had gotten myself into but never expected this outcome. I decided to go with the silent treatment but before I could even start they asked me to open the trunk. I thought they were just putting some of their layers of clothes in there rather than the back seat but then I see Mikey shaking a bottle of champagne. The son of a bitch had bought a bottle of bubbly to celebrate if his team won, which they did handily, and the Egyptian kid from Jersey did his best impersonation of a victorious Nascar driver. I told them they had 6 minutes before I left and that was the last thing I said to them for over an hour.
I couldn’t get out of Green Bay for the life of me and eventually had to stop at a gas station and ask for directions. It was a good thing for the guys who had all gotten a serious case of drunken munchies and it just so happened that this gas station I pulled into had a Taco Bell next to it. They got their food, I got directions and some aspirin to try and alleviate my pain. Just because I wasn’t talking to them didn’t mean that they weren’t talking to me and the three of them just kept reliving moments from the game. It was to be expected but there’s nothing worse than being stuck in a car for 5 hours with the enemy after your team didn’t even show up in the postseason.
The two idiots in the back seat tried to fall asleep, Ryan was the only successful one and we figure that out when we stopped again to refuel. He had passed out with an Arnold Palmer in his hand which spilt all over his shirt and pants. I was furious, for more reasons than one and he is lucky that his baby body held in all that liquid because if he had any in the backseat of my car he would probably still be walking home from the middle of Wisco. Mikey rambled about how the Giants were going to get to the Super Bowl and that we should drive to Indianapolis, blah blah blah. I was glad to hear both Ryan and Greg say that they were cheering for the Niners but hated them inside.
I finally got home after midnight and couldn’t have been happier to get those assholes out of my car and off my property. It was a terrible day, a horrific game and a nightmare of a drive home but in the end it was just another experience and I look forward to redemption next year. I can’t believe how pathetic the Packers played and the onslaught of shit talking that was taking place through my phone and facebook throughout the day but I am no punk and can take it when my team loses. As I said in rebuttal “I spent over ten hours in the car driving to and from Lambeau Field to see my team play terribly and get beaten badly. Glad they were able to bring some joy to Vikings fans because they haven’t had much to be happy about lately.” Go Pack Go!
But it wasn’t over because Ryan asked “where is that roll of towels” and the guys again wondered what the twist was and the little bastard finished by saying “for my tears of joy!” and they literally all got the last laugh.