Took Vonne Mei. She's wearing Starks' actual back-up jersey for the Super Bowl. He gave it to his college (Buffalo) and we got it on an online auction. It is bizarrely tailored for a tight fit. I could barely get it on myself, so I now understand why staff have to pull them on players. It comes with all sorts of tightening bands you don't find on the official replicas, so it's fascinating to look over. Starks signed one of the back 4s.
We left Indy about 7pm and got to the seats a solid hour beforehand, so I could stare at all the construction above us (the new upper deck sections that effectively ends the pure bowl status of Lambeau but adds 6,700 seats, which may increase the Barnett total because my Mom is very close to the top of the waiting list (collectively, my Mom, brother Andy and I now possess 6 seats x 2 regular and 1 preseason game)). We drove back to just south of Chicago before crashing in a cheap hotel around 4am Friday (EDT). It was quite the trek. Naturally, I had to limit myself to Sprite.
My brother Andy came over and shot this as halftime.
My sense of the additions:
- We now have real speakers loaded right behind our upper-bowl section, so the sound is superb on that score now.
- The new high-def screens are awesome. No sense in us watching the closer-in one because the angle distorts the clarity, but distant one is so good you almost catch yourself watching it versus the field (which would be stupid, because you miss all the defensive backfield info)
- The closing in of the bowl will make field goals a lot easier. It also cuts down on what used to be plenty of wind in the open south end, where my seats are.
- Now, I must admit, I feel like my two seats are in a real pro stadium versus on top of a college-style big bowl (Lambeau is the only bowl in the NFL, and the only one with benches versus real seats). Bit sad because now when I go out on the terrace behind our seats, it's no longer an open-air terrace but semi-enclosed. I used to feel on top of the world (or at least Green Bay) before. Then again, there will be actual shelter from the rain/snow/etc back there now.
- Us "bowlers" will be offered the right to move our existing seats up to the new sections. The tradeoff: will be colder up there, but also roofed. Same basic view for me, just higher. Up there you'll have real seats and I could sit side-by-side with my other seat instead of right behind it like now. Downsides: my front seat now sits in row 1 at end of row, so my kids get an unobstructed view. If we go topside, I'd need some assurance that would still work via sharper incline (likely). Of course, they will only grow in height . . .
- Lambeau clearly upgraded the food, which is good, because it has sucked bad for years. Having gone to a good half-dozen other stadiums over the past 2-3 years, that much was evident.
I have the Bears Thursday game in early September, right after a Madison speech that afternoon. Taking an old college roommate to that one because I can't manage one of my kids due to a preceding speech in Denver. So I make that up to my son Jerry with 8th row seats for Saints game in late Sept. Will take older son to Cards in Nov.
Thursday night's showing was dreadful. I don't think we have to fret over a perfect season possibility this year! I think the key is to pray for A-Rod's health, because we are looking like a Colts team under Peyton, right down to the Curtis Painter-type backup in Graham Harrell.