Everything Is Coming Together Nicely

Flight is booked.  Hotel is booked.

I arrive in Dallas on Friday Feb. 4th at 7:12pm.  I’m meeting up with a friend of mine who lives in South Texas and works as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent.  From there we’ll get checked into the hotel (Super 8 Grand Prairie) and scope out the “lay of the land”.  That Friday night Scott and I are the only ones from our group that will be in town, but something tells me we’ll be able to find some more Packer fans.

Saturday we have 8 more guys coming to town.  Once they arrive…it’s on.  From the sounds of it, we’ll be at Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub in Arlington on Saturday night.  They reached out to The Fan 107.5 FM in Green Bay to be their “host” so I figure we can show them some love.

Follow me on Twitter @KCousineau09 for more “minute by minute” updates of the debauchery that will be Packer fans in Dallas.

A Little Bit More “About” Me – Part I

If you read my Twitter bio, it reads “Diehard Packer fan that lives in the shadows of Lambeau Field.  Full time appraiser, part-time bartender, life long Packer fan.  That pretty much sums up my life.  How I got there, is a little bit longer of a story.

I was born in the wonderful city of Green Bay, on a cold wintery day in February 1980, just 13 days before the Miracle On Ice.  I was born to wonderfully loving parents.  My mom, a Green Bay native herself, grew up on the West side of town and used to sneak into Lambeau Field in the late 50’s and early 60’s.  My father was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Escanaba to be exact, but moved to Green Bay just days after he graduated from high school.  Shortly after my brother Aaron was born, our family settled into my childhood on the Southwest side of Green Bay, within blocks of Vincent T. Lombardi Middle School.  It was in that neighborhood that my love for the Green Bay Packers, and all sports for that matter, was born.

By the time I was 9 years old I was pretty much wrapped up in the Packers.  That year was the year of the “Heart Attack Pack”.  Don Majkowski and Sterling Sharpe lead the Packers team to an NFC Central Division winning 10-6 record, highlighted by the infamous “After further review…” game at Lambeau Field.  That season gave me a hardcore case of Packers fever that I still haven’t found the remedy for…thank God.

That next season began the Summer ritual that I carried on for the next 5 years.  During the Summer of 1990 I officially became a Lambeau Field “Bike Kid”.  After much back-and-forth with my parents, I finally convinced them to let me make the 4.89 mile trek from my parent’s house to a quick stop at childhood friend Nick Mocco’s house, then to another friend Matt Wolcanski’s house, and then on to Lambeau Field.  The purpose?  So we could meet the Green Bay Packers outside of the stadium and try to get them to ride our bikes (mine was a Huffy) down to the practice field on Oneida St.  This continued every single day of training camp for me from 1990 until 1994.  Five years of riding nearly 5 miles to Lambeau Field, and then riding 5 miles home.  As I got older, you know…12, that happened twice a day so I could run home and deliver the Green Bay Press Gazette around the neighborhood as quick as I could so I could make it back for the afternoon practice.  That’s what I call dedication.

Those Summers shaped me to be the Packer fan I am today.  Getting to know every single Packer player by name, face, and number is still something I carry with me today.  I got to meet a lot of great friends when I was a “bike kid”, some of whom I still consider friends today.  Back in those days I had the knack for having some big offensive or defensive linemen ride my bike.  My guess is because we had the same mentality.  “It’s hot out…let’s not move too fast and tire ourselves out”.  I’ll admit it.  It was commonplace to see some kid huffing and puffing as he/she ran along side their bike as some WR or RB was riding their bike and smiling.  Not me.  I wasn’t an idiot.  I enjoyed the company of such guys as Bob Nelson, Dan Fike, Tootie Robbins, and Guy McIntyre ride my bike.  My little brother on the other hand was lucky enough to have such Packer heroes as Desmond Howard and Reggie White ride his bike to practice every day.  You want to talk about life not being fair.  He nagged and nagged about being able to go to Packers practice with my friends and me and he showed up and landed the “Minister of Defense” for a Summer and then Desmond Howard for another Summer.  I may have been jealous then, but you know what, I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

Okay, I lied…it would have been cool to have Reggie White ride my bike.

How This All Came About

I owe it all to Jason LaCanfora from the NFL Network really.  If it wasn’t for him, this wouldn’t be happening.  Because of him, I’ll be in attendance at Cowboys Stadium to watch the Green Bay Packers take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 45.  I had the pleasure of meeting Jason back in December 2010, the night before the Packers-49ers game at Lambeau Field.  Jason and I met at Purcell’s Lounge, inside the Radisson in Green Bay, for a few beers and about 3 or 4 hours of conversation.  We talked about the Packers, hockey (he previously was the Red Wings beat writer for the Detroit Free Press), even Brett Favre, and all things football.  I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and were later joined by Chris Lempesis of the Ol’ Bag of Donuts blog.  Enjoyed meeting Chris as well and we all said our goodbyes before parting ways.

So last night I was bartending at The Abbey Bar (located in De Pere, WI right across from St. Norbert College – training camp home of the Green Bay Packers) and had NFL Network playing on the TVs.  I saw Jason do a live remote so I sent him a Tweet basically saying hello.  Jason and I have shared a few e-mails back and forth as well as numerous Tweets since our meeting in December.  After my message to him, he came back with “what’s up Kyle? You making it to Dallas? Let me know dude. Congrats on your Packers”.  That opened the door for something amazing.

I told Jason how I was debating if I were going to head to Dallas to party for the Super Bowl, and that my decision would be a lot easier if I had tickets to the game.  That’s when my night got crazy.  Jason Direct Messaged me on Twitter saying it was my lucky day because his friend (who turns out to be Detroit Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood) was not going to be able to make it to Dallas.  Understandable considering the Red Wings play the 4th, 5th, and 7th.  Jason told me he was going to do some more checking to make sure “Ozzie” was for sure out.  As my luck has it, Ozzie was out.  Jason sent me this Tweet this morning: “Ozzie can’t go, so it’s all yours brother. Just let me know if you’re in for sure.”  Needless to say, my jaw hit my desk and my heart beat shot through the roof.  If I weren’t alone in my office at that time I would have hugged someone.   I’ve been on “cloud 9” all day and I don’t know how much sleep I’ll be getting this week.

Big thanks for Jason LaCanfora, and in a roundabout way, even bigger thanks to Chris Osgood for not being able to make it.

Test

What the hell am I doing?  Is this thing on?