Saturday, June 12, 2010

Five easy rules from a Monday night at Lambeau

Every game at Lambeau Field essentially starts the same way. After getting the first glimpse of the crowd waving whatever free foam or towel handout that was provided, there’s always the rush of nervous energy when you step inside the stadium. This is because there is no way to really know what you are about to watch for the next three hours; once the ball is kicked, each game takes on its own life.

With that said, I think there are some constants that every fan can control to get the most out of their Packer game-day experience. Being at Lambeau for Monday night’s crucial 27-14 victory gave me the chance to hastily make a mental list of relatively obvious guidelines for this very reason. In other words, prepare to be amazed. Here they are.

Tailgate. Players have to stretch and run drills before the game, fans should have to tailgate as their pregame warm-up. No matter what happens in the game, the pre-game can still be considered a success with right amount of ignorance. I don’t like talking about the game beforehand, unless I’m approximating how many running backs B.J. Raji is going to eat before halftime (and I really think he could do this). The stresses of the game should be saved for inside the stadium with the outside for everything else.

Stand up. We had a few discussions with the guys behind us about standing up before and after big plays and the conclusion was reached early on that they did not support standing up for any reason other than the national anthem. These people should be in their living rooms. When it’s third-and-ten for the Ravens, I’m going to be standing up. For a place to go where standing is probably not necessary, contact the Cleveland Browns ticket office. Yeah, easy joke I know, but I’m tired.

Let’s try to pay attention. One of the worst parts about going to a Wisconsin football game is the fact that about 60 percent of the student fan base isn’t quite sure they are at a football game until “Jump Around” comes on after the third quarter. Packer fans in general are much more attentive than this, but there’s always someone more concerned with getting “The Wave” started. I hate “The Wave.” According to famed reliable-source Wikipedia, the origin of the audience wave, as it’s called on the Web site, is disputed, but I saw at least two claims that it was started in Canada. Wouldn’t surprise me.

If making a sign, make it creative. I’ve never made a sign, but I’ve seen a fair share of bad ones, especially when people try to include the letters FOX or ESPN for a better chance at getting on TV. But on Monday night, my buddy Mueller spotted one of the most creative attempts at squeezing a network acronym into a phrase. The sign read, “Ray Lewis Stabs People Intentionally,” with ESPN highlighted in the saying. Not sure if that one made the broadcast, but I would’ve loved to have heard Ron Jaworski’s analysis of it.

Don’t leave early. When the couple in front of us left, I looked up at the clock and there was about five minutes left in the game. This was obviously made more perplexing because the Packers were closing out the game at that time; these were the celebratory minutes where you didn’t have to worry so much and simply bask in the upcoming victory. I can’t come up with a good reason as to why someone would leave at this moment, and I’m getting confused just thinking about. So, this is probably a good time to end this column. Happy holidays, everyone.

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