Alright, I admit that I am no die-hard fan and that I only watch the games that happen to be televised here, but the Pack will ALWAYS be my team. Fortunately, one of my co-workers is also from Wisconsin and IS a die-hard fan, so I get to hear all about what I missed and what's new in the world of the Packers. Said co-worker is also a regular at Kettle of Fish, the best Packer bar in NYC. I'd been saying for years that I was going to go watch a game with her, and somehow this game, against Da Bears, no less, seemed like the perfect candidate. But there's something you need to understand about the patrons of this bar, and Packer fans in general--we're crazy.
On Sunday, the game started at 3:00 p.m. The bar was opening at 1:00. This naturally meant that in order to be guaranteed a seat to watch the game, we needed to get there and line up early...just after 10:00 a.m. In case standing outside a bar in the West Village for three hours on a Sunday morning doesn't sound crazy enough to you, keep in mind that it was only 20 degrees outside. But I put on all the warmest clothes I had, packed my thermos of hot chocolate (after nearly scalding myself checking to see if it leaked. It did. I responded by wrapping it in a plastic bag and keeping it upright. It worked.) and trekked into the city while Carrie stayed in our warm, cozy apartment.
Fortunately, the wait passed relatively quickly, and just as I began to fear that I may never feel my toes again, a kind stranger appeared with extra hand/foot warmers. Hallelujah! To give you an idea of the scope of the line (and the craziness of those in it), here's a picture I took shortly before the doors opened.
|I knew I was in the right place when I saw cheeseheads.|
Once inside, there were drinks, plates of summer sausage and cheese, and Usinger's bratwursts to help us warm up. I was sadly lacking in Packers garb (a situation my mom is remedying as I type this), but fortunately my co-worker brought me a spare jersey, and another kind stranger was passing out green and gold beads (and cheese curds--yum!)
Anyway, I would describe both that game and the bar as somewhat ugly but awesome. The bar was seriously a little trippy--with the wood paneling, ceiling tiles, and several people in very un-ironic plaid, I could have sworn I was in someone's basement in Wisconsin rather than in the West Village. But it was also refreshing to just be able to give the name of a town in response to "Where you from?" And I think the last time I was surrounded by such enthusiastic sports fans must have been in the student section at a UW-Madison football game. The air in this place was electric.
Oh yeah, and did I mention SUPER BOWL?!?! I am already scheming plans for green and gold foods to make for that day. Suggestions are welcome. And so far the list of attendees at said party includes Carrie, me, and our cats--so if you're going to be in the neighborhood, please feel free to stop by!
After I got home from the game, Carrie and I feasted upon leftover homemade chili in homemade bread bowls. The bread didn't turn out quite like I'd hoped--all four bowls mysteriously shrunk just before I put them in the oven, but they were delicious nonetheless.