It’s game day in Wisconsin and that means all over the state tailgaters like me are up early making last-minute preparations before heading to Lambeau.
From Kenosha to Marinette and all the little towns in between, gently bathed racks of ribs, beer soaked brats, seasoned ground beef and marinated steaks all help build the pre-dawn excitement of a season opening game day.
In a ritual as old as Lambeau, Packer fans pull out their Tupperware bins and check supplies for another season. Garbage bags? Check. Paper plates? Check. Zip loc bags for the leftovers? Check. Bottle opener? Knife for the buns? Matches? Lighter fluid? Check. Check. Check.
Last season, we joined some wiley friends who should patent their tailgating plans. A group of fans all paid a lump sum to park behind a house near the stadium for the entire season. They store a large gas grill right there. Genius.
Early in our tailgating days we once spent an uncomfortable hour in the shadows of Lambeau with all a bunch of well-seasoned raw meat while our ice-cold grill sat tucked in the trunk of a car stuck in traffic on highway 41. Awkward.
I thought Vince had lost his mind when he suggested we tailgate before the NFC Championship playoff game in 2008. The actual temperature at kickoff was -1º and the windchill more than -35º. Thanks to our clever hosts, though, we spent the pre-game toasty. I left their heated tent somewhat reluctantly and watched Brett Favre’s last game as a Packer hunkered down under two down coats, a ski mask, scarf and hood.
I’ll choose my game day gear carefully today, too, because I believe in supporting win streaks. So, whatever I wear today, weather permitting, I’ll have to wear every game day until we lose…and I want to look good in New Orleans.