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Tailgating in Green Bay is taken to a level that some sports teams probably could not comprehend.
Tents are rented, generators are purchased. Bars are set up and big screen plasma TVs are hung for all to gather around.
And the food...oh, the food. Simmering, sizzling, marinated menus of decadent football amazingness is prepared on the blacktop outside the main gates.
One group of tailgaters in particular was so saturated with happiness that I could feel their energy when I walked past them. It took me two seconds to turn around and talk to them, and within two minutes, I was at the top of a fan pyramid they were building.
Yes, this is Lambeau. (Insert large, contented smile.)
I was told, with enthusiasm, that they were "Upper Peninsula u-pers," out of Michigan. This was important, I was encouraged. Don't forget that!
Travis' first game was at the age of six or seven, escorted by his enthusiastic grandfather along with his six additional cousins. (What a great grandpa.)
"We were raised Packer fans before we could talk," Travis said. "When I first walked up to that stadium, I felt like I was living in a dream."
Nick, on the other hand, was 27 for his first get-go, not too many years back. Fortunately, he was not a child because the trip was not ideal by any means, but the reward of Lambeau was worth it all.
"We stayed at a ghetto hotel with blood on the curtains and a cockroach on the pillow. It was not a mint," Nick said. Despite this, there was laughter in his voice and a joke reflecting out of his eye.
Travis, above, had been the lucky buddy along with him, sharing a very different first time experience that they now compared as friends.
Josh remembered things slightly differently, however.
"I remember thinking it was a lot smaller than I had thought it would be walking in."