While the rest of the world was ringing in 2006 this weekend, I set out on an epic journey. My goal: to see the Seattle Seahawks play the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. My accomplices were many and the rewards were significant. I was drunk for over 48 straight hours, and I want to thank everyone who made this epic journey possible.
It started a few months ago like all crazy road trips as a bad idea someone suggested while we were wasted. A friend of mine was looking at the NFL schedule the remained for the Seattle Seahawks, and mentioned that they would be in Green Bay on New Years Day for their final game of the season. Many more sensible individuals would have dismissed the idea as impossible. After all, Green Bay is cold in July, let alone on New Years Day, and if you talk to Packer fans, they will tell you that getting tickets is expensive and difficult. We were not afraid.
My friend Shane finally stepped up and told me he was in. The plan was simple: Drive to from Omaha, Nebraska to Madison, Wisconsin on New Years Eve, party on the infamous State Street in Madison on New Years Eve, live through the night, and make it to Green Bay for the game.
The biggest obstacle, one would think if they talked to Packer fans, is getting tickets. This was no problem. I found tickets from another friend (Brennan YOU RULE!) with no problems and for face value. After all, the Packers had only won 3 games before Sunday, and just saying "New Years Day at Lambeau Field" makes my testicles shiver.
Getting from Madison to Green Bay was a different story. We knew that after spending New Years Day in Madison we would be lucky to be alive, let alone sober. We needed transportation, and my wife would drive me to a brothel before she would drive 3 hours to drop me off at a football game. We were able to find a charter bus that left from Johnson Creek, WI, about 30 miles east of Madison, and we were set. At least we thought we were set.
My disdain for Fox News is well documented. In the interest of being able to show 10 episodes of When Farm Animals Attack Strippers, Fox, who was televising the game, moved the kickoff from 3:15 pm to Noon. This would mean that the bus would have to leave more than 3 hours earlier than we first anticipated. THE NIGHT AFTER NEW YEARS EVE IN MADISON. The bus driver called and the departure time was switched to 6:00 am. You do the math.
Sane people who were concerned with their own well-being might have stayed at home and took it easy if they knew they were going to have to get up and 5 am and drive 30 minutes to catch a bus. But those of you who read this site regularly realize that I'm not sane and my well-being is something that I often debate. After arriving in Madison, we hit a bar called Mondays, an Irish-themed bar where I think they ran out of pop and other things to mix their mixed drinks with years ago. As a result, you could sterilize a hooker's cooch with one of their Captain and Cokes.
After multiple glasses of firewater and a few glasses of $2.50/bottle champagne, the clock struck 2:00 am and I wasn't in bed. I debated just staying awake, but I figured my liver and brain needed a little sleep, even if it only managed a couple hours. I slept for two hours and when I woke up, I felt like my eyes had been rinsed with sulfuric acid. I was still completely wasted, but fortunately one of my companions had thought ahead (Echo doctor rules) and was at least Ok to operate a motor vehicle.
We made it to the charter bus on time, and I thought I would get a chance to sleep for a bit before the game. I did get an additional hour of sleep before a group of elderly ladies, who had cheered for the team since they dated some of the original Green Bay Packers back in 1845, boarded the bus and proceeded to pass out beer and drink bloody marys, all while conducting raffles on the bus for various Packer memorabilia. I didn't win any raffles, but I did manage to maintain my level of intoxication all the way into Green Bay.
We proceeded to tailgate, drink Captain and Coke, and eventually made it into the stadium, where we continued to drink beer. At this point, I was in a zone. I am not the same guy I was in college where I could drink all day and night and not even notice, but I could feel my years of training in bars and at parties paying off.
All in all, a great trip. The Packer fans were courteous, despite the fact that we were drunk Seahawks fans, cheering against Brett Farve in what will probably be his final shootout at Lambeau. I don't figure he'll want to come back next year and play for a new coach in a what would likely be a new offensive system, but I could be wrong.
Also, before you start talking trash about the Packers beating the Seahawks, let me be the first to point out that Seattle didn't even play some of their starters, and only kept Alexander in the game for the first half, long enough for him to win the rushing title, break the single-season TD record, and give the Seahawks a 14-13 lead. The Packers essentially beat Seattle's fifth string. If you're a Packer fan, and you're proud of that, I'm sorry for you, but I guess a 4 win season is a lot to get used to. And if you're a Packer Fan, I would get used to it, since they won't be better next year without Farve.