Remember the temperature at kickoff for the New York Giants at Green Bay Packers 2007 NFC Championship Game?
The wind chill was about 20 degrees below zero and it only got colder from there as the night (and an overtime game) progressed.
People were sitting on metal bleachers – if they were sitting at all – and most were wearing half a dozen layers of clothing.
Now take a trip a couple hours south to Madison, Wisc. where numerous football games have been playing in well-below-freezing temperatures.
Like the people in Green Bay, they are more than willing to sit on metal bleachers … if indeed they are sitting at all … come rain, hail, sleet, snow, you name it.
There’s no doubt that these are tough people; real football fans.
Now we go to San Diego where people were complaining about a wet stadium and 60-degree temperatures when the Chargers hosted the New York Jets in the 2004 AFC playoffs.
No metal bleachers; no freezing temperatures. But from the cry of how “miserable” it was inside Qualcomm Stadium, you would have thought Green Bay’s Lambeau Field would be a January luxury in comparison.
Lambeau Field opened in 1957 and has 72,298 seats; it’s been sold out since 1960; and the stadium underwent a $295 million renovation in 2003.
Qualcomm Stadium was built in 1967 and has 70,000 seats; it was 15,000 seats short of a sellout for the Chargers’ first home game in their 1994 Super Bowl season; and it has had renovations in 1984 and 1997.
What’s the difference between Wisconsin and San Diego?
The University of Wisconsin has the “Jump Around” before the fourth quarter and mascot Bucky Badger. San Diego State has 50,000 empty seats per game and a historically (politically?) correct Aztec Warrior mascot.
The Packers sell out if it’s 30 below zero. The Chargers struggle to sell out when it’s 80 degrees.
Wisconsin vs. San Diego. One has tradition; the other has the sun. Seems like tradition always wins out when it comes to football.