Sunday, May 21, 2006

Green Bay Legends

You’re In Packer Country!

Downtown Green Bay is quite compact and is pretty easy to get around. In a matter of minutes, I found myself driving down Lombardi Avenue towards the what is one of the NFL’s greatest shrines, Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers.

This city is absolutely defined by its NFL franchise. When you think of Green Bay, one thing, and one thing only, comes to mind; the Packers. It is nothing short of a religion, and everything about this city just screams green and gold.

I pulled into the famed Lambeau Field. I walked by a fenced-off section that was either the players’ parking area, or it was a Hummer dealership overflow lot (I am guessing the former, as there were several kids mobbing an unidentified man for autographs). Statues of the legendary Vince Lombardi and Curly Lambeau flank the entrance. Inside the atrium there is a sports bar and a pro shop where you can buy anything Packer related. You can even get a guided tour of the whole facility. But what was really neat was getting to visit the Packers Hall of Fame.

Located deep in the basement of Lambeau, this state of the art facility effectively encapsulates the history of the Packers organization. There are tons of interactive displays, game memoribilia, and everything Vince Lombardi. Visiting the Hall of Fame would likely make any dyed-in-the-wool Packers fan a bit misty-eyed. Perhaps the coolest part was getting to walk into the Hall of Fame room where all of the honored players and personnel are immortalized, and the three Lombardi Trophies from their Super Bowl wins are prominently displayed.

Curiously enough, Don Majkowski is in the Hall, which makes me think that the criteria for getting in is a bit lenient. This guy was one of the biggest flashes-in-the-pan and one-hit-wonders of all time. What kind of world do we live in where the "Majik Man" gets in to the Packers Hall of Fame, and poor, unappreciated Terdell Middleton gets left out in the cold? Is there no justice? ;-)

Seeing this place makes me want to be a fan of the Pack. The Vikings have nothing that even remotely resembles this kind of fervor and passion. This visit certainly increased my appreciation and respect for Green Bay's storied franchise.

Having soaked in enough of Lambeau for today (I will be seeing it again tomorrow), it was time to check in to my hotel.
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