If you happen to see Peter Rodriguez at Lambeau on Sunday, give him warm welcome to the Frozen Tundra.
Better yet, give him a snow shovel. He’s walked this planet for 43 years and has never known snow, and he’s itching to fix that. He might even do your sidewalk for nothing, just for the thrill of it.
The snow and cold are just sideline interests. An Arizona native, Rodriguez now lives in southern Texas, where it was 57 degrees this week. It’s warm there, with only Cowboy fans as far as the eye can see, but somehow in the middle of all that, Rodriguez became a Packers fan.
He found that out when he was a kid, not long after learning he liked girls.
“I happened to walk through our living room, and the game was on, and I was like, ‘Who’s this team?’” Love at first sight. After the game, he rode his bike to the library, to find out what the deal was with this Green Bay Packers outfit.
“I found out their history and I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness.’”
He’s followed the Packers ever since but never got to see them live until a couple weeks ago, at AT&T Stadium in Texas. He was in “nosebleed” seats among hundreds and hundreds of Cowboy fans who heckled him like crazy. The heckling faded as they watched the Packers dig themselves out of a 23-point hole and squeak out a win.
“It was a quiet walk back to the car,” Rodriguez said. “I wasn’t going to say anything stupid …”
The Packers in Arlington, Texas, is one thing, but when a buddy offered him tickets to see them at the shrine itself in the dead of winter, Rodriguez jumped on it. The Packers, live at Lambeau, in subzero weather? What could be better?
He and three buddies planned to drive the 22 hours straight to get here.
That’s after a week of following weather dispatches online, and man, did that get him excited.
“I’ve been looking at The Weather Channel on my phone, checking every four hours,” he said. “I’ve been researching (what to wear). I’ve been buying stuff. I’m prepared to wear five layers, from feet to head.”
Oh, and those tickets he has? “They’re something called ‘box seats,’ whatever that means,” he said.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him.
— firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter@PGpaulsrubas.