Dawn Elizabeth Wilbur has my vote for "Wife of the Year!" It all started in October, 2013. My beautiful wife Dawn, who is unable to keep a secret, informed me that she and my sister-in-law, Terri had purchased tickets for the Packers vs Cowboys Game for my 52nd Birthday and our 8th Anniversary. The 18th of October I had the tickets in my hand, and then it seemed "real!" (I realize every APC Regular was sick of hearing about me going to the game by mid-November : )
After two months of anticipation, planning, and worry (whether-or-not Aaron Rodgers would be healthy enough to take the field, the game would even mean anything, and whether I would have enough money to keep my wife in beer... : ) this weekend was the most infuriating, humbling, and exciting weekend imaginable!
Friday night, I stayed up until 3:30am finishing my Communications/215 paper, which was due Monday. Finally had to go to bed when my eyes started to cross. Saturday, I got up at 8am, took care of all the dogs, came back in, and started my final edit on my paper. Turned in my paper, packed up the car, and headed east! The wife and I had an enjoyable trip to Arlington, and pulled into the "Days Inn" Six Flags about 5:30 pm. Was very glad I had reserved our rooms in October, because there were at least 10 different Cowboys fans turned away because there was "No Rooms at the INN!" (Hotel was very old, but room was clean and acceptable for a FB Game or Hunting Trip! : )
I had looked for days to find the perfect place to take the wife for dinner. "A Taste of Europe," which was 8 miles from the hotel, foot the bill perfectly! It was on the "Food Network," on "Diner's, Dives, & Drive-In's" and the food was amazing! (Under $30.00 not including tip... : ) Swing by the Stadium, take a picture and email it to Tex... (Which he posted on APC FaceBook Page. : ) Back to the hotel, NFL Network, and a much needed night's sleep!
Up and ready to catch the shuttle at straight up Noon... Wife is excited, I am apprehensive, and we are "packed" in the shuttle with 15 other people, rated for 12... Shuttle drops us off about 800 yards from the stadium, wife didn't enjoy the walk, or understand why they dropped us off one street south of the stadium... Cowboys fans pimping us the whole way. (Nicely : ) Stadium opens at one pm. We get to our gate, they scan our tickets, and they won't scan! (Wife ready to explode! : ) Supervisor scans tickets with Universal scanner, tickets still won't scan! They send us to the Ticket Resolution Window.
1:05 pm, the people who man the ticket resolution windows are still not there. 1:20 pm, I am told that our tickets were sold on NFL TICKET EXCHANGE in October. Steam rolling out of my wife's ears... Now she is ready to implode... Call the Radiologist Dawn purchased the tickets from. Miscommunication with his representative. Hand the phone to Ticket agent... Thinking my dream of seeing the "Pack" is going down in flames... Wife sitting 30 feet away, so mad she can't speak. Ticket agent hands me back the phone, and Doc Mike apologizes for the mix up. He buys us tickets one level up on the 50 yard line... $340.00 apiece... Not what we expected, but made the most of it!
1:30 pm ~ Enter AT&T Stadium... OMG it is impossible to do it justice with the written word. We eat lunch in one of the exquisite food courts. Wife had $14.00 Sushi and I had the most wicked $14.00 Burger I've ever had! Head out-side through the East End-Zone to huge TV screens, Beer, Margaritas, and Smoking area... Stage with cheerleaders, dance contests, interviews, and amazing group of Cowboy/Packer Fans!
3:20 pm ~ Head to our new seats... Emerging through the hallway to see the field was simply amazing. Pre-game pyrotechnics were impressive, and you could actually feel the heat when they went off! Yes, the JumboTron is unbelievable! To put it in perspective, it is 75' high and 160' long... (My Log Home is 75' long! : ) You felt as though you were standing "with" the Captains during the coin toss.
I know everyone saw the game.
What I didn't realize, is how much you can actually see, when you have the most perfect seats in the world, and the Jumbo-est Tron to watch replays! The first half I saw every weakness we have. From the snap of the ball, I knew if it was a pass, where Tony Romo was going with the ball. Matt Flynn's lack of velocity was astonishing.
If it was a run, I couldn't believe the lack of speed with which we chased plays. The middle of our defense is even weaker than I thought it was.
The people surrounding us, on our left were 20 cowboys fans that were obviously from a European country, they didn't really cheer, or have much interest except for beer and food. To our right were a young family with kids that wouldn't sit still, didn't care about the game, and really old Cowboy fans...
As you well know, it can be hard watching a game "Live!" It is so much harder when your team is playing so poorly you have to calm down your wife, who is a true Broncos fan, and is more upset at your teams performance than you are! Believe it or not, I was just truly happy to be there, and as terrible as we were playing, I wasn't all that upset! (Don't ask me why!? : )
I guess I was just truly enjoying the experience, and feeling blessed that I was able to support my Packers, even in desperately dark times like the 1st Half! The only bright spot of the whole 1st half, and I mean, the only bright spot, was watching Mason Crosby make contact from the Cowboy's 48 yard line... It was a thing of beauty!
Unfortunately, wife and I are both smokers. So naturally, we went out the West End-Zone to drink and smoke during half-time... Unlike the East End-Zone, the West End-Zone was 80% Cowboy's fans... My wife isn't scared of anything, or anyone. When a bunch of Cowboy fans started talking smack, she gave it right back... (She was on her 5th ~ $16.00 Margarita! : ) (I was on my 4th... : ) I am not sure how big the TV's are out the End-Zones, but they are huge. My guess would be 5 or 6 screens 25' high x 35' long? I look up and we are receiving the 2nd half kick-off...
My wife is talking to a pair of Packer fans and a Pair of Cowboys fans. She is feeling no pain, and I wasn't about to ruin her fun, to go sit by the "Fun Sucker's Club!"
Eddie Lacy for 60 yards... I'm screaming at the top of my lungs, which I hadn't done yet that day! My wife's eyes were as big as Quarters, and she is instantly pulled back into the game! Dawn says, "Look Honey, I wore my lucky Broncos Socks for ya, we're going to win this game!" She had her pants leg pulled up, and sure enough, she had on her Broncos socks along with my Green and Gold Packers pull-over, and my yellow and green Packers T-Shirt!
When Jordy Nelson pulled in our 1st Touchdown Pass, Dawn asked me if I wanted to go back up to our seats. I told her,
"HELL NO! We couldn't score a TD when I was in the building!" "I'm not moving from this spot!"
Her response was priceless, "It's not weird if it works!" I just smiled! When Andrew Quarless pulled in his TD pass, my wife sheepishly grinned, and said, "I told you we're going to win Baby!" I was just happy we started playing ball... Mind you, all-along, those Cowboy fans just kept twisting the knife...
When James Starks took that screen pass and knifed threw the Cowboys defense, you could hear the Packer fans explode inside AT&T Stadium, and Dawn asked me again, if I wanted to go back to our seats...
I said, "ARE YOU CRAZY? WE ARE ACTUALLY MAKING THIS A GAME! I'M NOT MOVING FROM THIS SPOT!" Crazy Packer Fan, beside me said, "Me Neither!"
When Tramon WIlliams made his 1st disallowed INT, I knew it would be over-turned, just because the ball moved a tick, and boy was Dawn mad. When Dez Bryant scored, she gave him props... It was an amazing catch.
Dawn had switched to Beer in the middle of the 3rd Quarter, and had to visit the Ladies Room. I didn't care if I had to stand in Pee-Pee Pants, I wasn't moving from that SPOT!
When Flynn hit James Jones for his 4th TD, I was in shock and convinced we would somehow pull out the win.
While Dawn was in the Rest Room, Sam Shields made a hell-of-a-play, when he intercepted Romo, who tried to force it to Miles Austin. Dawn was still not back, when Lacy dove 4 or 5 yards deep into the end zone! I hugged the guy next to me, don't know who he was, but I didn't care! You'd have thought by the eruption of crowd noise, the Cowboys had scored again, but it was the sound of ecstatic Packer fans when we finally took the lead!
When Dawn came back not a minute later, I grabbed her, and hugged her... She heard the crowd noise and had assumed the Cowboys had scored. I kissed her, and screamed we did it Babe! We're ahead! She could hardly believe it! (I will leave out all the colorful language! : ) Not only had Dawn needed the Ladies Room, she had gone back in to get our Photo, that had been taken before the game... The one pictured above...
I honestly cannot tell you why we played so horrible in the 1st half, and I have no idea what inspired the Packers to play as well as they did in the second half.... I am just blessed to have witnessed it!
When Tramon Williams intercepted that ball, I knew it was over! I didn't move from my spot though... : ) As soon as the game was over it was a sea of people, and cars, and celebrating Packer Fans, and Cowboys Fans cussing Romo and Garrett.
I could go on and on, tell you about our awesome Shuttle ride back to the Hotel, and how amazing it was watching Jerry Jones' helicopter take off from the stadium, Breakfast for Dinner, and the joy of watching it over and over on the NFL Network... Our trip home was amazing and when we got here, you'll never guess what was waiting for us...
A Check for $680.00!
The Doc, had felt so bad about the mis-communication and ticket fiasco, he refunded the whole price my wife had paid for our tickets! (I think his wife had sold our tickets on NFL Ticket Exchange and not told him!? : )
December 15, 2013, was the most amazing experience I have ever experienced in sports.
Go Pack Go!