Lockout Levity at Lambeau Field
The National Football League owners and the NFL Players Union have not agreed to a collective bargaining arrangement for the upcoming season as of yet, and thus the last four months of the so-called lockout have been almost void of football news. With no draft picks signed, no undrafted players signed, no free agents picked up or lost, and no organized team activities it has been a pretty boring off season for the league champions and the Nation of Cheese.
My spirits got a big football boost last week though with a trip to the Mecca of pro football. The son of dear friends of ours invited my wife and me to attend his wedding in Green Bay and the reception, which was to be held in the Atrium of Lambeau Field. It turns out that the newlyweds are big-time Cheeseheads and what a great event they hosted.
Lambeau was renovated in 2007 with an enormous atrium which houses Curly’s Pub, the Packer Pro Shop, and the elegant Legends ballroom, where the wedding reception was held, all of which abuts the stadium proper. I had not seen the Atrium renovations until last week and let me tell you, this place is mighty impressive. The first thing that greets Lambeau Field visitors are two giant outside statues of legendary coaches Vince Lombardi and Curly Lambeau. Once inside the Atrium there are enormous escalators that took us up to the fourth floor where the reception was held. The walls on the fourth floor were adorned with huge blown-up photographs of legendary Packer players from bygone eras.
The wedding reception was awesome. The reception kicked off (ha ha) with the introduction of the bride and the groom who danced their way to center stage wearing an Aaron Rodgers jersey (No. 12) and a Charles Woodson jersey (No. 21) draped over their traditional wedding garb. How cool is that? The dinner tables were numbered by appropriate Packer player jersey numbers. We dined at table #85, which, of course, was the Greg Jennings designated table. The catering staff was very professional wearing Packer neckties, no less.
Everything in the Atrium, including the rest rooms, was sparkling clean. During the course of the evening we had the opportunity to peek into one of the executive boxes and look down on the field. It looked a little weird in that the field had no line markers painted, but what a marvelous facility… first class all the way. Tours of the facility were available and I am sure they would be really interesting but our schedule did not allow for such on this trip.
We did venture into Curly’s Pub where several TV programs are taped during the season. The large screen TVs which covered the walls were looping highlights of the 2010 championship season and, of course, we just had to watch those for a while.
A final highlight was a visit to the Packer Pro Shop where one could spend a fortune on every imaginable trinket all colored, of course, in green and gold. The Clearance Sale table (see attached photo) was doing a fire sale on # 4 jerseys but they weren’t selling while we were there. On our way back to our hotel we passed one more reminder of # 4… the Benedict Favre Steakhouse. It looked dark inside and only a handful of cars were parked in the lot. What a fitting end to a great adventure in Titletown. Cheeseheads who have not experienced the Atrium owe themselves a treat on the town.
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