Kathy – Just so you know, I never liked football until a few years ago. Once our youngest, Stephanie, went off to college I would see Hank watching football all the time. I never understood the game so Hank took the time to explain it to me and answer all my questions during the games for the first year or so. Once I understood the game I literally fell in love with it. Thank you Hank!!
Sometimes I think I am more of a fan now than Hank. Then I had to pick my favorite teams. Well, obviously the Seattle Seahawks is my number one team. My number two team is the Green Bay Packers. I just love all the history of this team: the fact that they are the only publicly owned team, and the coaches and players devotion to their fans. So, Seahawks #1, Packers #2…if the Seahawks are out of the playoffs then the Packers move up to the #1 slot. Got it? Good. 😊
Well, today was a pretty spectacular day! First, I dropped some cash off at the Packers Souvenir Store and had them mail my precious finds back home. Then I decided to walk around the neighborhood near Lambeau Stadium. It was great to see all the love and support displayed at businesses, in private yards, on houses, gardens, and fences for the Green Bay Packers football team. Everything in this city screams green and gold. I then walked about the outside of the stadium where I met lots of Packers fans and saw/read a lot of Packers history.
Then came the highlight of the day—a tour of the Packers stadium with Antonio Freeman! Antonio was a receiver on the Packers for eight years. During that time he helped the team win one NFL Championship game along with two trips to the Super Bowl – winning once. I was escorted to a private section (or box seating area) of the Packers stadium where it overlooked the entire stadium. Pretty amazing to see. There, the 15 of us met Antonio Freeman. He is a dynamic speaker. He talked to us about how he got drafted to the Packers, his first game, his career highlights, and finally his retirement from football. He talked about his feelings throughout it all (the good and the bad) and frequently gave encouraging words about working hard, never giving up, and following your dreams. I really wished I would have video taped it because it was so inspiring.
After Antonio spoke for about 20 minutes then we had question and answer time. This man is a true leader. He was down to earth when talking about his life and yet remained positive during even the worst times. He made every person in the room feel like he was your best friend, and he was so kind, funny and energetic. In the end you couldn’t help but love him. After this we all got an autographed tour souvenirs from Antonio. Then we got to go down to the locker room area and run out to the field from the players tunnel (where all the players come out). Antonio was talking to us the entire time and telling us the inside scoop on how the team practiced together, looked out for each other, and gave it their all when they walked out on to the field. Truly impressive!
Being in the Packers stadium, right on the field with a previous MVP player talking to you about his most famous plays that happen right where we were standing was just amazing. We each got our pictures taken with Antonio Freeman as our conversations continued with him before we headed up the stairs to walk through the inside stadium areas. I must say I was on cloud nine! If my sister-in-law Barbie was with me her arm would be SO sore from me hitting her in excitement. She can attest to this from when we suddenly met Gene Simmons from KISS in Cabo a few years ago. Just so you know I love KISS and their shows, not gonna apologize. Today was another great experience like that. I was the same way about 30 years ago when I met Bob Barker on The Price Is Right. My sister Ginny watched me make a fool of myself on stage and I ended up with laryngitis for two weeks afterwards from screaming so much. And, to answer your questions yes, I kissed Bob Barker, got up on stage, won about $6,000 in prizes (which was a lot back then) and then lost out when spinning the wheel so I did not go to the showcase showdown.
Anyway, meeting Antonio Freeman today was pretty special. I did tell him I biked over 2,500 miles from Washington just to come to the Packers stadium. For some reason he was impressed with me and even though he still looked extremely fit he said he has difficulty just cycling up a hill. Too funny! I tell you it was so fantastic going on the private alumni tour and meeting Antonio Freeman. I was a bit sad that Hank wasn’t there with me as he opted to go to the railroad museum. Oh well, I was not going to miss this opportunity, lucky me!! I chose wisely today. 😉 After the stadium tour I went to the Packers Hall of Fame Museum. It was an outstanding museum with all sorts of Green Bay Packers history. I tell you, today was SO much fun! This bike trip has opened us up to so many new experiences. Feeling very blessed and thankful for this opportunity.
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