It's not easy being a Bears fan at Lambeau Field. Unless you get some… (Scott Strazzante / Chicago…)
Heading to Lambeau Field on Monday? RedEye spoke with two Packers fans living in Chicago to learn the do's and don'ts for Bears fans in Green Bay.
MEET YOUR GUIDES
Tony Lonien: Lifelong Packers fan and lifelong Chicagoan. Regular Lambeau attendee, including each of the past five seasons. @allday427
Keith Hoehne: Lifelong Packers fan who grew up in Wisconsin and moved to Chicago in 2011. Has attended 17 games at Lambeau. Writes No Off-Season blog on ChicagoNow. @keithhoehne
What are the must-sees and do's about Lambeau Field and Green Bay?
TONY LONIEN: Let's be frank: there is not a lot to do in Green Bay. I highly doubt a Bears fan would enjoy going to the Packers Hall of Fame. Stop by Curly's Pub though—a definite stop to grab some grub. The cheddar ale and bratwurst soup is even better than it sounds. The oink and moo burger has six slices of double smoked bacon, and maple-infused ketchup. I also hear the Wal-Mart at 2292 Main St. is a spectacle to be seen.
Tailgate. Public drinking is not just accepted but encouraged. You can drink all the way up to the gate. If you need a brat, zip up your jacket to cover your Bears jersey, and step up to anyone grilling and give them the "Discount Double Check." Works every time. If it's a little chilly Monday night before kickoff, stop in to Stadium View directly across from Lambeau Field. Stadium View gets a little crowded after the game, but the Green Bay Distillery usually has open seats.
Do not expect good service anywhere you go in Green Bay. It's a small town, and they never seem to be able to keep up with the increase in patrons during home game weekends.
KEITH HOEHNE: If you have time, get there well before the game and just walk around the stadium (the parking lot, Brown County Arena, The Hutson Center, and nearby neighborhoods) because the whole area just goes nuts! It's the only professional stadium I know of that is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The area takes on the feel of a college campus.
Recommended restaurants, all of which are a short walk from the stadium: Curly's Pub (inside Lambeau), Brett Favre's Steakhouse, Stadium View Bar and Grill, Andruzzi's Sports Club, Sideline Sports Bar.
What is the best/safest way for Bears fans to enjoy the rivalry at Lambeau?
LONIEN: When watching a game in an opponent's house, always stay humble. Cheer on your team, but don't talk smack. Especially to a team you haven't beaten in three years. Packers fans are not malicious. If you don't egg them on, you'll be safe anywhere in the stadium.
When I watched the game at Soldier Field last year, I told my girlfriend it was a business trip. Instead of hooting and hollering after big plays or scores by the Packers, we would give each other handshakes. Keep it professional. It's actually a fun way to celebrate.
HOEHNE: I know this sounds corny, but the best and safest way to enjoy yourself is to just respect where you are. You are at Lambeau Field! It's one of the greatest sports venues of all time! Embrace the atmosphere. Look at the statues of Lambeau and Lombardi, read the plaques in the atrium about all the great games that have taken place there. The worst thing you can do at a place like Lambeau is to take it for granted.
Is there any particular area of Lambeau that Bears fans should avoid for fear of their safety?
LONIEN: If you're a Bears fan heading north of the border this weekend, fear not. Green Bay folks are very hospitable, even to Bears fans. You will hear the chant of, "The Bears still suck," heading into the game. Aside from that, soak up football. It doesn't get much better than these two teams at the (not quite yet) frozen tundra.
HOEHNE: If you respect the rivalry and the game, there is no dangerous area at or around Lambeau. Football is taken very seriously and like any fan in any city, arrogant and drunk fans of the rival team do not do well. But if you are kind to us, we will be kind to you. So wear your Bears stuff and cheer for your team. You will have a fun and safe time.
Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. @readjack
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