It’s game day in Wisconsin

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.

Lombardi Avenue fence painters put the finishing touch on this year’s display yesterday. “The Big Easy gets Cheesy again!” Look out New Orleans!
I’m not sure how many helpers Tom Sawyer recruited to paint this picket fence, but I like the theme.
Here’s me all toasty at a play-off tailgate before the Giants game last season. Lovely pre-game party, disappointing game.
A little pre-game entertainment, courtesy of a satellite hook up. Nice touch.
The air outside this tent actually froze my hair in 2008, but inside, as my friend Jill is indicating, it was downright balmy.
This is what we looked like inside the stadium for Brett Favre’s last game.
Molly, my sister Kathy and her now husband Keith tailgated with us for the season opener two years ago. Go Pack Go!







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