Its January, its cold, and I love this time of year!  Crazy, right?  But you already know that I love football, and my favorite part of football season is when the playoffs are underway.   And the past few days have been very enjoyable.

Sunday I got to see my Packers beat Washington 35-18 in the wild card round, to move on to face Arizona in a Divisional match up, and proving that anything can happen in the playoffs!  Then Monday night we were treated to a pretty decent National Championship game!  I’m not a fan of either Alabama or Clemson, and always root for the underdog when I don’t have a dog in the fight (and remember my bold prediction last week?).

So on to wearing your team colors … and some lessons learned along the way.

Our family has ALWAYS been Packer fans.  And even though our kids were born and raised in the south, they have been Green Bay fans since the day they were born (not that we gave them any choice).  So this week’s post is going to show you how we wear our team colors.

December 1998 (above left) – We attended our first game as a family when the boys were 10 and 5.  They loved their Packers jackets, though we were a little worried about them being warm enough.  But a win can help you stay warm, and beating the Houston Oilers by a score of 30-22 made the cold weather bearable.  The Green Bay weekend included a visit to the Packers Hall of Fame, and attending the taping of the Mike Holmgren show!

October 1999 (above right) –  We opted for a little warmer weather, and went to Green Bay in October.  We were joined by my dad, and my brother and sister-in-law from Milwaukee.  No weather concerns about wearing our team colors this year!  And beating the Tamp Bay Buccaneers s 26-23 made it sweet!

December 2000 (above left)– A Christmas Eve game with the extended family, reindeer at the tailgate party, and really warm parkas over our Packers gear.  How cold was it?  Just before kick-off, it was announced over the loudspeaker that the temp on the field was -18 degrees (with the wind chill) and the crowd cheered!  We already knew how cold it was when someone knocked over a beer at the tailgate party, and the beer froze before it could run off the edge of the table! They don’t call it “The Frozen Tundra” for nothing!  And the Packers beat the Bucs in OT, 17-14!

December 2001 (above right) – It was warmer than last year, but the chili and hot chocolate at the tailgate still felt pretty good, as did a win over the Vikings 24-13.  We had a big family group again, and seats in the top row.  This meant we had a wall to our backs, and could stand the entire game (moving around helps to keep you warm).

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October 2005 (above) – We traveled to Ohio, where one of my brothers lives, and met up with my dad and step-mom.  We all tailgated outside Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium before watching our Packers lose to the Bengals 21-14.  Another warm game where we had lots of clothing options, including the Cheesehead I wore during the whole game, even when the crowd was going wild cheering “Who Dey” for the Bengals win.

November 2010 (above left) – We live just north of Atlanta, so when Green Bay had an away game in Atlanta, we knew we had to go.  It was actually kind of chilly tailgating outside, but the dome was warm (which does NOT feel like football to me).  The Falcons kicked a field goal with 9 seconds remaining in the game to win 20-17. But in the end it was okay, because the Packers won the re-match in Atlanta in the NFC Divisional game in January, on their way to the Super Bowl!

October 2011 (above right) – The Packers were in Atlanta again … we are so lucky! We had many fellow Packer fans stopping by our tailgate party to pose for picture in their gear (we are all family in the picture, except the guy in the middle in the white jersey).  And we had a much better outcome this year, winning 25-14.  It gave me chills to hear the chants of GO PACK GO fill the stadium!

December 2012 (above left) – Back to Lambeau Field for another cold one, but we got smart about getting bigger sized jerseys to wear OVER the warmer clothing layers.  What made this game memorable?  Beer and brats at the 9:00am tailgate party.  A balmy 20 degree day.  Seats in the 3rd row!  And total Packer domination, beating the Titans 55-7.

December 2013 (right) – We woke up in Green Bay to snow falling heavily, which continued to accumulate 8” that day.  But snow means a little warmer weather, as long as the snow doesn’t melt down your neck (ask me how I know).  We watched Matt Flynn in for Aaron Rodgers (who was still out with his collarbone injury), and Eddie Lacey breaking John Brockington’s franchise rookie rushing record (and on his way to NFL Rookie Offensive Player of the Year).  But unfortunately we lost to the Steelers, 31-38.

2014 - NFC North Champs

December 2014 – We were lucky to be at Lambeau for the game that decided the 2014 NFC North champs.  Jordy Nelson had 6 catches to reach 1519 yards for the year (breaking Robert Brook’s single season franchise record).  Aaron Rodgers got hurt and carted off the field, but the crowd went wild chanting “MVP … MVP” when he made his way back onto the field later in the game.  We prevailed over the Lions 30-20, and won the NFC North!

I hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane, but I know you started reading this post for some tips on how to wear your team colors, right?   So what have we learned about wearing our team colors to games?

  1. Layers are good – they trap warm air and allow some adjustment if the temps change.
  2. Keep your hands and head warm (and dry) – if it snows, it’s important to have something on that is water resistant.  Snow melts on warm bodies, and gets wet (and cold) very quickly.
  3. Standing – if you can stand and move around, you will stay warmer than just sitting.
  4. Hot Hands – those little chemical warmers for your hands are a life saver.
  5. Cardboard – a layer of cardboard between your feet and the stadium floor, or between your butt and the stadium seats, can really protect you from the cold.
  6. It’s not as cold as you think – being packed into a stadium with 81,000 of your best friends, all wearing lots of clothes, can keep you pretty warm!

What tips can you share about wearing your team colors to a game?

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