Growing Up Green Bay
Adam Seibel remembers watching Super Bowl XXXI and quarterback Brett Favre when he was just five years old. Now, a few weeks shy of his 25th birthday, the 24-year-old looks forward to football season in 2016 and would like to see another Packers versus Patriots contest, 20 years in the making.
Originally from Lake Mills, Wisconsin, Seibel now resides in the city of Stevens Point where he enjoys the great outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and, of course, watching the Green Bay Packers on game day.
Seibel grew up on the Packers. The youngest of a close-knit family of four, he became interested in football when he was about three years old.
“I didn’t understand what exactly was going on, but it was always fun to sit with my parents and my aunts, uncles and cousins,” Seibel recalled.
Like many Wisconsinites, Green Bay football runs in the family.
“There are no Bears’ or Viking’ fans in my family, except my cousin is a Kansas City Chiefs fan – none of us know where that came from!”
More recently, Seibel has been to two games at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. He remembers his first game – Packers versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. Green Bay won.
“I went to the game with my friend, Jake, who went to Saint Norbert’s at the time,” Seibel said. “We pulled the trigger and got tickets. It was a long weekend because my cousin got married the night before, so I partied down in Waukesha, got up at 4 a.m., and drove to Green Bay the next day.”
Seibel’s first game also happened to be on Halloween weekend. Although he did not wear a costume, a roommate of his friend showed up to tailgate before the game in a full panda suit – similar to a mascot ensemble.
“It was really funny – like an actual headgear panda and full-body suit panda,” Seibel recalled. “He’d go run off, and we’d be like ‘Where’s the panda?’ It was one of the more unique things I’ve seen at a game. People around were like, ‘What’s up with the panda?’ and his answer was, ‘Why not?’”
His first experience at Lambeau Field was everything he expected it to be, and fans of both teams were in good spirits.
“There were some crazy fans that were getting nuts, but no matter what, everybody was really respectful,” Seibel said. “I think that was the most surprising thing. I’ve been to Brewers games, and I’ve gotten into arguments with some other fans, but this was different.”
Seibel’s second game day at Lambeau Field really gave him the ultimate Frozen Tundra experience.
“I went the week before college graduation from UW-Stevens Point,” he said. “This one was much different. It was zero degrees outside, and I wore just one pair of socks and tennis shoes.”
Seibel said he didn’t care that it was cold by the end of the fourth quarter.
“My feet froze, but they won over Atlanta after a three- or four-game losing streak, and it was awesome.”
He’s still not sure if he will brave another December game in the future, but he is thankful for the experience and recommends it.
“I’m glad I did it once,” Seibel said. “I think Packer fans should do at least one cold game. You’ve gotta try it and say you’ve been to Lambeau in the cold, but I’d definitely do a fall game or Halloween weekend again. Absolutely.”
A Falcons’ fan approached Seibel while he was in a concessions line at the freezing game, surprised at how “crazy” Lambeau Field was.
“The Atlanta fan came up to me and he goes ‘This place is just absolutely crazy,’” Seibel recalled. “And it is unreal. No matter what the temperature is – could be negative 30 or over 100 degrees and fans would still be there. He was like ‘It’s crazy. You guys are nuts.’ And that’s just how I’d put it too. It really is a crazy atmosphere.”
While in the Green Bay area, Seibel has had a few encounters with players at a pizzeria in Suamico, called Rustique.
“I’ve seen Jordy Nelson, Tim Masthay and Mason Crosby there,” he said.
As for a favorite player, Seibel appreciates Packers he considers to be real team leaders.
“Obviously, I wasn’t around yet when Bart Starr was around, but he’s just such a classy guy,” he said. “Very much a class act and gentleman of the game.”
He described Favre as the “first big-time superstar” he was able to watch play. “But of all-time, I’d have to go with Woodson – Charles Woodson. Again, a classy guy – there’s just something about him – the guy was resilient and a good leader.”
The history behind the Green Bay Packers is what Seibel really likes most about the team itself.
“They are in the smallest city of the NFL teams, and the history is just great,” he said. “It’s really one of a kind. The fans own the team, and it’s just so cool that that’s part of the history. It’s fun that no matter what, that stadium is always sold out, even when it’s a bad year and they’re not doing well. There is just something unique about it.”
Seibel enjoys that the game of football itself is a “true team game” with all members working together.
“It’s not just a one-player-wins-all,” he explained. “It’s an absolute team effort, and if all pieces aren’t moving correctly or with each other, it can be an absolute fail. So I love the actual teamwork and team-bonding aspect.”
Although he really enjoys going to cheer on the Pack at Lambeau, Seibel said he’s fine watching the game on TV right at home.
“There’s just something about Sundays spent sitting on my couch, watching it on my TV or at my parents’ or a friend’s house – as long as I get to watch the game I’m happy,” he said. “I don’t have a ritual of doing the same thing every week for the games, so sometimes I definitely grill out, go up north, or something like that.”
Seibel has several Packer mementos displayed around his apartment, including flags, photographs and mugs.
“If I see something unique or cool, I’ll usually get it,” he said.
His favorite item is a framed image of Lambeau Field, digitally edited to include his name on the scoreboard.
“That was always my favorite, and I’ve had this since I was four or five years old, so it’s definitely traveled with me,” Seibel said.
Looking ahead, Seibel is ready for the draft to see what may be in store for Green Bay this coming season.
“I honestly think if they have a decent draft, they can win,” he explained. “It’ll be 20 years since Favre beat the Patriots in his Super Bowl win, so I’d like to see a Packers-Patriots Super Bowl 51.”