Twenty-five years ago today, I went to Lambeau Field for the first time. On December 1, 1996, my dad and I saw the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears 28-17. With the likes of Brett Favre, Reggie White, Desmond Howard, LeRoy Butler, and many others, the 96’ Packers were a special team. They proved it by winning Super Bowl XXXI later that season. Hard to beat for a first experience.
A few weeks ago, it was the Woodson Art Museum’s curator of exhibitions Shannon Pueschner’s first time at Lambeau Field. Although not there for a game, we were there to represent the Museum during a luncheon honoring recipients of a Green Bay Packers Foundation grant. The Woodson received funding to support the upcoming exhibition What Might You Do? The Art of Christian Robinson, on view December 4 through February 27.
The highlights of the day were taking Shannon through the Packers Pro Shop and Hall of Fame, listening to Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy and the aforementioned LeRoy Butler during the luncheon, as well as re-connecting with the Foundation Board member who vetted the Museum during a site visit, former Packers running back Eric Torkelson.
As Eric can attest, there’s nothing like seeing Lambeau Field for the first time. Arriving at the stadium, the overall size can be daunting. With only residential homes and small-scale commercial buildings nearby, it’s an Everest in Kansas. Walking into the Lambeau Field Atrium, then through the dark concourses, finally to the reveal of the stadium bowl and playing field, the sight can take your breath away. Viewing the location of some of the most storied moments in pro football history makes it a visceral experience to boot.
As Shannon and I recapped the day while returning to the Museum, she said: “now I want to go to my first game!” I’ll chalk that up to a successful first experience for her as well. Now if only the 2021 Packers can repeat the success of the 96’ team . . . .