Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Temptation of the Ranter

A couple weeks ago, Robert and I received a cryptic email asking if we would take part in a top secret communicator assessment program. The only catch? Travel deep into enemy territory and retrieve said communication device. How deep? The heart of the Windy City, that's how deep. In addition, there were numerous other perks that were hinted at, as well. Travel, accommodations....and tickets to a Chicago Bears game. Obviously, our Admiral Ackbar alarms began sounding at a deafening tone. Who would offer this to us? 1) We're Packers bloggers with, frankly, limited talent and an odd sense of humor, 2) we have a minor following, and 3) the Bears. Really? After an intense debate, we warily accepted the offer to join this program.

Saturday, I arrived at our downtown hotel and found Robert enjoying his patented VooDews in his well-appointed room. We ventured out and watched some college football at a cliched Irish Pub, but left at a reasonable hour as we were to be collected at the hotel at 9:00 a.m. In the lobby we were greeted by several other bloggers and our hosts, who were adorned in full Bears paraphernalia. We were pilgrims in an un-holy land. In an effort to prepare ourselves for the sea of navy and orange that we were about to drown in, we partook freely in the ample supply of PBR tallboys while taking the shuttle to So...Sold...Soldier Field. (It's still hard for me to say, I'll just go with "venue" from now on.) When we arrived at the venue, we were whisked to the United Club was glorious. Waffles and omelettes made to order, prime rib, grilled paninis, cheese trays, meat trays, desserts, a nacho bar, a hot dog bar, bloody Mary bar with more fixin's than you could fit in a 32 oz Big Gulp, smoked salmon, oysters, crab, shrimp cocktail, and servers with a ceaseless supply of Boddington's. We even got a chance to have a beer with twitter celebrity @ChicagoBearJew. (Good guy despite his team preference)

Shortly before kickoff we made our way to our seats. The club level seating area's couches and carpeted floors, food and drink stands with minimal lines, clean restrooms, and over abundance of TVs felt more like someone's home than a pro football venue. It was definitely more luxury than anticipated at an NFL game. Our seats were great (for a non-Lambeau venue). Too great.

I started wondering how we ended up here, it ate at me all through the game, and well into our post-game reveling. As I took a bite of the greatest meatball slider ever made at The Purple Pig, it dawned on me...this was all a plot to turn us into stark, raving Bears fans. Robert and I discussed this and agreed that it could be the only rational explanation. I thought that best course of action was to abandon the program and head to O'Hare immediately escaping with our lives and our Packer fanhood intact, we would never stoop so low as to root for the Bears. Robert, however, has always believed in the "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer" mantra. He convinced me that we would remain in the program, use the communication device provided, and gather information on our enemies to the south.

The next day we received our communicators...and, I have to say, they are pretty impressive. We are continuing to explore the features...but rest assured Packers fans, all the while we are monitoring the Bears fans from afar.

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Midwest Fans program and have been provided with a wireless device and five months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

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