**Big thanks to NFL Canada for the incredible trip to Green Bay as well as to Bill Stefaniuk and Red Batty for the amazing behind-the-scenes experiences.
In November, my Dad and I went on a trip of a lifetime together. We travelled to Green Bay to see the Packers take on the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field.
The trip was all thanks to NFL Canada who I’ve partnered with for the past two NFL seasons on my Instagram page.
It was such an incredible and special trip to be able to share with my Dad. In fact, it’s the first one we’ve ever taken just the two of us.
It was also amazing to experience all the hype that goes on around game day in Green Bay. Last year I went to a Packers vs. Vikings game in Minneapolis but nothing beats the thrill of being on home turf!
Here are my top 5 favourite moments from the trip.
Table of Contents
1. Getting a Private Tour of the Packers Locker Room
You can’t beat a Saskatchewan connection – even in Green Bay! Dad and I met up with Packers Equipment Manager Red Batty all thanks to a Saskatoon connection with Bill Stefaniuk (who also happens to be a Packers, Riders and Rush fan). Bill and Red have been friends for decades. When Bill heard I was heading to a game, he made sure to connect us.
As a Canadian-turned-American, Red gave my Dad and I and a few other Saskatchewanian’s the royal treatment at Lambeau.
On our first day, we had a private tour of the Packers dressing room from Red, as well as a tour of the facilities where the Packers hang out, work out, practice and prepare for every game.
2. Getting Field Passes from NFL Canada
NFL Canada hooked my Dad and I up with field passes that gave us up close and personal access to watch the Packers and Panthers practice.
We were allowed to go down on-field (on the sidelines) and watch all the players warm-up and interact with their fans.
3. Experiencing the “Snow Globe”
Lambeau Field is an open stadium and the weather in Green Bay can get pretty cold during games later in the season. Like good Canadians, Dad and I came geared up and ready for cold weather (ski pants, mitts, toques and all). But what we didn’t expect was the complete experience of Lambeau Field turning into the most perfect snow globe.
It was calling for rain later in the night but the temperature dropped just enough for it to turn to snow. At half time, it really started coming down and by the end of the game, everything was dusted in the perfect coating of snow. It couldn’t have been more magical!
4. Dining at The Union Hotel and Restaurant
Post-locker-room-tour, we met with Red and the other Saskatchewanians at The Union Hotel and Restaurant. The restaurant has been around since the late 1800’s and their dinner guests have included every Green Bay Packers head coach dating back to Curly Lambeau.
But best of all, Red regaled us with a few behind-the-scenes stories – everything from sharing Canadian-made chocolates with Brett Favre during a game to creatively solving a cold-weather issue by putting staples in the bottom of the player’s shoes during a game in the late 1970s (we laughed about how that totally wouldn’t fly today).
Red also told us how important footballs are in a game. The Packers go through 800 footballs a year. Aaron Rodgers takes 60 footballs to pick 24 top footballs. Then he narrows it down to the final 12 to play with based on the texture and feel of the oils on the leather.
During a game, there are six balls that can be in play. But usually only the first three footballs ever actually get used. We learned and heard about so many cool behind-the-scenes stories from Red.
5. Post-Game Cheese Curds for the Win!
After the Packers finished crushing the Panthers, Dad and I walked across the stadium parking lot to celebrate with some hearty, Wisconsonian cheese curds at Kroll’s.
The line was nearly out the door when we got there, but the wait wasn’t too long before we were diving into the greasy goodness of pub-style food. It was the perfect way to cheers to such an incredible weekend.