Green Bay Packers Cheeseheads - Please Don't Go Home

     I am extending total hospitality to our Cheesehead rivals.  You were all over the city this weekend, and it’s OK.  I know you kicked our ass yesterday.  We lost.  You won.  Blah Blah Blah.  But this is not about that. As we watched the more or less doomed from the beginning game – on a grey bleak day at Soldier Field…I flashed back to a prior  Bears Green Bay scenario.

     Bears are playing the Packers for the first time this year in Green Bay on a Thursday night .  My Guy suddenly gets a light bulb moment and asks, “Why don’t we drive to Green Bay and go to the game?”  Neither of us had ever been to Green Bay, so being the spontaneous woman that I am, I reply, “Sure, why not?”

     We quickly bought a couple of tickets online Wednesday night and we were off early the next morning.  Driving along, GPS’ing our way – munching on snacks from the cooler in the back seat – we were excited.  Then I thought I would throw this out for discussion….”What about a hotel?”  To which my in-charge Optimistic Guy said, “Don’t worry about it; I’m sure we’ll find something once we get there.  We always do.  Do I ever fail you?”  I wanted to say, “Well yes, and then run through the list of when the “Don’t worry” stock phrase proved to be a real leap of faith.  Anyway, in the spirit of the ADVENTURE, I refrained from commentary and we headed into Packer Land.

     We were like infiltrators, boldly crossing the boundary into enemy territory, brazenly wearing our Bears Outfits.  I even displayed our Bears seat cushions on the dashboard.  We passed up a lot of other Bears vehicles with flags and other Bears armor, so we hooted and honked and signaled our Go Bears unity, on the road and  in the mini-mart pit stops.

    Green Bay Wisconsin.  We have arrived.  We decide to drive by the stadium to check out the scene.   I don’t know what we expected, but I will tell you this…it was definitely UNDERWHELMING, and I am being kind in my description.

   Now, I am starting to think…why did I go with the flow…now we are in pretty much a hell hole of a town, and it’s beginning to look like we’re sleeping in the car.  I was making call after call and there was no room at the inn.  Anywhere.  My Guy was still unphased, repeating his WE’LL BE FINE mantra.  “I want a bathtub – no shower only room,” I whined.  This was my focus.

     And of course, he is SOOOO not concerned, and doesn’t want  to be bothered with the “Where the hell are we going to sleep” issue.  I know that I will be driving aimlessly after the game – right – because I WILL be the self-appointed designated driver, and he WILL be slumped down and snoring in the front seat. My RaRA Mood was waning.

     But, as fate would have it, a guiding star led us to what was probably  the very last room available in this crappy town.  It WAS the Bates Motel.  It was the most disgusting hotel/motel room I had ever seen.

     The SMELL…we walked in and both gagged.  “Oh my God, is there a rotting corpse under the bed? “It was nauseating.  My Guy calls the front desk to complain.  The result was something like….”We are so sorry that you are not happy with the room; however SINCE WE HAVE GLADLY RIPPED YOU OFF FOR FIVE TIMES WHAT WE COULD EVER GET FOR THAT PUTRID ROOM IF THERE WASN’T A GAME TONIGHT – AND YOU HAVE NO WHERE ELSE TO GO – TOUGH SHIT STUPID BEARS FANS.  And then, with the Devil’s laugh…DON’T LET THE BED BUGS BITE. HaHaHa

     I give him the DO SOMETHING LOOK.  He went down to the Office and returned with the FUMIGATOR – a young girl operating a large canister shaped machine.  Soon, she is pumping out massive blasts of  “freshened air” into the sorry room, and  a heavy cloud hangs overhead. 

     “This is a first,” I note.  “Guess they have a lot of call for this – you know where a simple can of air freshener just won’t do the trick.”  So now our room smells like lemon-scented vomit.

     Off to the Game.  Bears Lose.  Humiliation.  You get the picture. 

     Back to the dreaded room.  No sleep.  Eyes wide open looking for crawly things.

     On the road again in the morning light. There is no game day  ruckus.  We are taking a good look around. driving up and down the streets.  FYI: When Bears fans chant “Green Bay Sucks” this can double for not only the Team but also the City of Green Bay.  From what we saw, they’ve got nothing here, pretty ugly, dreary, industrial  town with no charm or quaintness to be found.  Did we miss it?  I don’t think so.  Just my opinion, but I would guess it didn’t make the 1000 Places to See Before You Die list.  Not a vacation destination.

     Granted, there are hell-hole hotels in Chicago that also, I’m sure, have pukey odors.  Maybe some of the Packer Fans that swooped down on our beautiful city this weekend stayed at them.  Whatever.   But when they step out of that seedy hotel…VOILA.  They are in a world class city with a beautiful lakefront, a cultural mecca with renowned  restaurants, night life, charming neighborhoods, skyscrapers , etc. etc.

     As I am contemplating this, I turn to my Sports Guy and ask, “What would you rather have – an NFL team that was guaranteed  to make the playoffs EVERY year, but you’d have to live in a city like ugly Green Bay – OR –have a LOSER team that disappoints year after year , but you would get to live in a great city like Chicago?”

     He just gives me The Look, says nothing, dismissing my hypothetical questioning as lunacy.  He continues to immerse himself in the misery of some Post Game Day Show analysis.

     So, in view of all of the above , I am reaching out to all you Green Bay Cheeseheads that left Soldier Field all cocky and trash talking.  I hope you didn’t rush home last night.  I hope you’ll spend a day or two.  Stroll down the Magnificent Mile with thousands of twinkling lights, have a beer at the bar on the 95th floor at the Signature Room, take pictures at The Bean, hang out at Navy Pier – hell stay a week or two.  You are NOT going to run out of places to go and things to do,

     I am personally extending a warm Chicago welcome and a big BEAR Hug.

     We both know that even though your Packer Bruisers creamed us on the field – admit it, you really don’t have anything else.  I feel your pain.  I’ve been to Green Bay, and  now, YOU HAVE TO GO BACK THERE!  SORRY. Stay …call in sick. You’ll have the time of your life.  I guarantee it.

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    Dear Peggy,

    As a citizen of Green Bay who has traveled the world and visited cities far more impressive than Chicago (New York, London, Paris, the list goes on), I take offense to your disparaging comments about my adopted home. Don’t get me wrong, Chicago is a fine mid-western city with a fairly impressive skyline, grand hotels, excellent restaurants and other niceties that one can only find in a mega metropolis. But along with the impressive aspects that go along with a city of 2.7 million people also comes the utter hell hole of urban blight and congestion. I wouldn’t trade my 15 minute drive to work from my affordable home in a wooded lot overlooking the Green Bayfor all the steaks at Ditka’s.

    The bucolic landscape that surrounds the Green Bay (i.e. the body of water for the geographically illiterate) also seems to exhibit an irresistible force that draws the boisterous, uncouth braggarts of FIB nation each summer. You can barely toss a bratwurst without hitting a dim witted flatlander meandering around the quaint streets of a Door County village purchasing some Wisconsin trinket at twenty times its value. Yes, we are a pastoral lot, but we are also modest. Unlike the egotistical buffoons that vacation in our state each summer, over imbibe in our taverns and subject us to a litany of examples of why Chicago is so great. At which point, we come to the obvious conclusion that it’s not for her people!

    If you ever decide to bring your narrow-minded snobby self to another Green Bay Packer game try to be better prepared. There are plenty of decent places to stay in Green Bay and the surrounding area. Just like Chicago it is difficult to find a good hotel room at the last minute. And when you look around in disdain at the common folk that mill about Lambeau Field prior to the game, remember that these seemingly simpletons have transcended all you large market sports fans to become something that you will never become … an owner of favorite your team.

    So trundle on you arrogant sophisticate and be careful not spill a hot coffee on your lap the next time you are stuck in a traffic jam.

    Best regards from your cheese making neighbors to the North

  • In reply to Tom Garland:

    Dear Tom,

    Touche! I hope you know that this was written (tongue in cheek) just a little jabbing in the spirit of our historic rivalry on the field. Of course there are pros and cons to our mutual city preferences. Vive le difference! Happy Holidays! Peggy

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