During his Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech last summer, Ron Wolfe referred to Lambeau Field as, “football’s most storied cathedral.”
I’ve been very blessed in that I’ve been able to attend a lot of Dallas Cowboys games in my life. A majority of the time I’ve been accompanied by my best friend – my Dad.
A year ago we decided that we’d seen Texas Stadium, we’d seen AT&T Stadium, and now it was time to explore the rest of the National Football League.
We settled on Soldier Field in Chicago and saw the Cowboys pull of a nice victory on Thursday Night Football against Da Bears.
When the 2015 schedule was released we saw that the cathedral Ron Wolfe referred to would be part of the Dallas Cowboys’ tour. There was no second choice. This was Lambeau. We had to go.
We brought reinforcements this time. My Dad, his best friend, his best friend’s son, and his best friend’s son-in-law all accompanied us as we made our way to Green Bay, WI last weekend.
Here is a bit of our trip at what I can now say, from my own experience, is unquestionably football’s most storied, historic, and illustrious cathedral.
Brett Favre’s Steakhouse
We first laid eyes on perhaps the most iconic venue in sports on the night of Friday, December 11th. We were making our way towards dinner at Brett Favre’s steakhouse and passed by Lambeau in all her glory.
For the time being our eyes, and stomachs, were focused on something else. Talk around the town was that Favre’s put one fine piece of meat on a plate, and we had to check it out.
This thing is a living shrine to the ‘Ol Gunslinger. The food is almost as manly as his style of play was.
There’s a mini museum that highlights all of the accomplishments by Favre during his time in Green Bay. Magazine covers grace all of the walls and cheeshead hats are for sale in the gift shop.
There are footballs from Super Bowl XXXI, photos of Brett and his family, and just about everything Favre-related that you can dream up.
There’s also food. Lots of it.
We each ordered a ribeye steak and baked potato that came with ice cream sized scoops of butter on top. One bite in we knew that the trip was already well worth it.
The only sound that came from our table for a solid ten minutes was that of satisfaction as we each feasted on what I think was a whole cow.
We raised a glass to friends, family, food, and of course the Dallas Cowboys. With a weekend of good times ahead of us… we were on top of the world. Did I mention that we were a few blocks away from Lambeau Field?
After dinner we ventured over to Lambeau. I had waited long enough, I wanted to stand in her presence.
We pulled up and got out of the car. You can’t help but just stare at the stadium and let your mind wander over the course of history as you reflect how football was built here.
Right outside the stadium they have some statues. Vince Lombardi, Curly Lambeau, and a little monument to the Green Bay fans. This “statue” serves as a spot where fans can emulate the iconic “Lambeau Leap.” You know that I had to get in on this.
I closed my eyes and pretended that I scored the winning touchdown during the Ice Bowl… avenging one of the most heartbreaking losses in Dallas Cowboys History. I then proceeded to find some fans in the crowd, jumped up, and soaked in the moment. They were happy… you can see it on their faces!
That wrapped up our experience for the night, but we’d be back in the morning.
Green Bay Packers Hall Of Fame
As it was Saturday there wasn’t any football going on that needed to be watched. We loaded up the car and set sail to see Lambeau with some sun on her.
The stadium is incredibly large with so much going on. We wanted to check it all out, see the pro shop, but more than anything we wanted to tour the Hall of Fame.
The Packers have their own mini museum inside of Lambeau Field that is dedicated to the greatest to put on the green and gold. They also have a larger-than-life Vince Lombardi Trophy that is fifty feet tall!
Both Cowboys and Packers fans filled the line to get into the museum. Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Ray Nitschke, Troy Aikman, Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Sean Lee were just a few of the many different jerseys well represented.
The museum encompasses everything related to football. There’s a portion completely dedicated to the scouting process of the NFL… you can even measure yourself at the high jump!
There’s fine details concerning the NFL uniform, the Packers weekly preparation, Ron Wolfe’s contributions, the rise and fall of the Packers… it’s got it all.
There’s a particularly great portion of the museum that has bronze footballs dedicated to each player/coach/contributor who has helped make the Packers great over the years. Once you make your way through that you find yourself in the Trophy Room.
Super Bowls I, II, XXXI, and XLV are represented by their respective Vince Lombardi Trophies.
There are smaller level trinkets in this room that stick out as well, though.
During the days of NFL Championships they didn’t hand out Super Bowl Rings. Watches, pocket watches, and even lighters that were commemorations for those particular teams are on hand for you to see.
The one that I found most interesting is Aaron Rodgers’ Super Bowl XLV Ring. This thing, his ring, is just sitting here!
I can’t believe that Aaron wouldn’t want to keep it on him at all times, but I mean… it’s obviously safe in the museum.
It’s pretty sweet that all Packers fans can cruise through the museum and see the exact ring that belongs to their MVP quarterback that they watch Sunday after Sunday. Nobody does things like the Green Bay Packers, that’s for sure.
Our tour for the day ended and we decided to head on over to a local casino and play some slots. The real deal was only a day away.
Dallas Cowboys Vs. Green Bay Packers
Sunday, December 13th was a day circled on all of our calendars for a long time. When it finally arrived we put on all of our gear (there was 100% chance of rain) and headed out for Lambeau.
Upon arrival you can immediately sense that this place is completely different from any NFL environment. It feels like, in some ways, a high school game in terms of the excitement in the air.
I say that in the sense that it is awesome. Every fan… young and old is a complete die-hard and you can feel it in the culture of the place.
There were Christmas carolers singing, “God Bless The Packers” as we walked by the entrance gate. The electricity was tangible. It felt like, just because of where we were, a playoff game.
We got inside and went straight for our seats. At Lambeau the bottom level isn’t your traditional stadium seats… it’s even more traditional with bleachers!
Before I knew it kickoff was upon us and the magic of it all started to settle in.
The Dallas Cowboys. The Green Bay Packers. Lambeau Field. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything like that in person.
Every sense of the stadium is incredibly rich in history… and that extends towards the Packers fans. This isn’t a game for them and its not even a tradition. It’s a ritual of time, family, and a deep love for their Green Bay Packers. Everything that happens there, whether on gameday or when no one is watching, is magical.
If you’re looking for an NFL stadium to visit then I cannot recommend Lambeau Field enough. It was the experience of a lifetime. Go now. Take me with you. I’ll show you around.