Last night, a good friend of mine named Rylee and I were talking about the place we call home. For two people who have only met in person a handful of times and don’t even live in the same city (yes, I met her on the Internet…), the word “home” meant the exact same thing to us. We felt at home in the same place.
1265 Lombardi Avenue, Green Bay, Wisconsin: Otherwise known as Lambeau Field.
Yes, a football stadium. It seems strange, but Lambeau Field is an interesting place to be. You’re not at a football stadium, you’re…well, home.
I first went to Lambeau Field in the summer of 2013. Obviously, since it wasn’t football season, we hit the Packers Pro Shop, and that was about it. Yeehaw. The second time I went to Lambeau, I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
For years, I’d been begging both of my parents to take me to a Packer fan. My mom, who isn’t too big into going to football games, concerts, etc., always said “Ask Dad.” So I did. My dad works at a news station, and the station has season tickets for the sports reporters to head up to Lambeau to get some coverage for the shows. Because of this, my dad promised me that he would take me to a game in the 2014 season. However, whenever I asked, he kept saying “I’ll keep trying.” That soon turned into “I couldn’t get the tickets. Next year.”
Long story short, that Christmas, my dad gave me tickets to see the Green Bay Packers versus the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. (Yes, I peed myself).
December 28th, 2014: The day I went home. My dad and I got to Lambeau around noon, and the game started at 3:25. I was officially tailgating in the Lambeau Field parking lot, something I had dreamed of doing for years. Finally, I was there, and I was doing it. My dad and I grilled up some steak sandwiches, ripped open a bag of chips, cracked open a beer and a Mountain Dew (guess who had which), and kicked back in the parking lot, all while a playlist called “Tailgate” played from the Bluetooth speaker in the trunk of our car. It was heaven.
When it came time to go into Lambeau, I think I was more excited than I’ve ever been in my life. There’s something about standing in the Atrium, but walking into the stadium itself…It’s unbelievable. It’s indescribable. Seeing so many people who are just as passionate about the Green Bay Packers as you are, seeing the players run onto the field, it’s a feeling I can’t even put into words.
Looking around Lambeau Field as light snow fell around me in 11 degree weather on December 28th, 2014, I realized something: “This is it. This is home.”
To me and Rylee, Lambeau Field is so much more than a football stadium. It’s so much more than we can even put into words. It’s the place were we feel most at home. Cheeseheads aren’t just a fanbase, they’re a family. As cheesy –pun very much intended– as that sounds, it’s the truth. There’s just nothing like Lambeau Field.
Rylee promised we’ll go to tour Lambeau together this spring, and I can’t wait. We have friends who work there (yes, I met them on the Internet, too), I can’t wait to experience my favorite place on the planet with them. My goal is to walk on the field. Even if it’s just one step, I need to stand on Lambeau Field.
Like I said before, there’s just nothin’ like it.
Oh, and by the way, that game I went to: The Packers beat the Lions 30-20 and claimed the NFC North championship. Boom.