I would have offered my advice to anyone so clearly befuddled as to how to gear up for a maiden voyage into Lambeau Field.
“I’m not sure I like the way you’re dressed,” I joked as I eyed up the head-to-toe Viking togs of two people weighing their options in front of a Hothands display. “But I’m happy to give you some advice.”
“We’d really appreciate it,” the gentleman said. “We’re from California.”
And there in the sporting goods aisle of Mills Fleet Farm on a game day Saturday afternoon I cheerfully instructed a man and woman I had never met, who turned out to be Mr. and Mrs. Frank Kalil, parents of Viking left tackle Matt Kalil.
Perhaps I should be embarrassed to learn I had given detailed fashion tips to Miss California 1981, a woman whose mere presence at the 2012 NFL draft caused an Internet sensation. But I was just really intent on teaching these people how to be comfortable in a stadium I thought of as my own.
Maybe your son isn’t a hotshot rookie left tackle who started all 16 games for the Minnesota Vikings and earned a spot as Pro Bowl alternate. Maybe you’re not an impossibly good-looking couple, a former professional football player and a model.
But I’ll bet you too could benefit from my sage advice.
I’d like to think we’ll be heading back to Lambeau again this post-season and I want to make sure we’re all comfortable. So, here’s what I told Matt Kalil’s parents:
1) Buy the Hothands packets. Then stick the foot warmers over your socks as close to your toes as possible. Do this at the tail gate party or in your car just before you head into the stadium. I like the mega warmers for my mittens too. These little packets of love retail for about $1. My sister uses a Hothands body warmer as well.
2) Choose your footgear carefully. While eager shovelers famously show up by the hundreds to clear out the stadium snow, they can’t help but leave a thin sheen of ice, sprinkled with blue salt melt. You don’t want this mess on your Christmas Uggs, which, by the way, aren’t waterproof anyway. A good pair of water proof clunkers are your best bet. Put those on your feet right before you clump into the stadium.
3) Either bring a stadium seat from home or rent one in the stadium. We sit on metal bench seats at Lambeau and they get icy this time of year. You don’t want to be those fans, the ones walking around all cold and miserable with wet spots on their bottoms because their fannies melted the ice on their seats. (This tip didn’t prove to be all that useful Saturday night as all 70,000 fans stood for the entire game.)
We’re just warming up here in Packer country and we like to be good hosts. So, Seattle fans, here’s what you do: beat Atlanta and head on over to our town. We’ll be happy to spot you a foot warmer or two.