The United States of America is littered with sports venues. Yet there are a select few stadiums that are held above others, timeless cathedrals to the great sports of this nation.
One of those palaces can be found in Green Bay, Wisc., and it houses the most celebrated professional football team in history, the Green Bay Packers.
Opened first as City Stadium and later rechristened in honor of the Packers' founding father, Lambeau Field stands at 1265 Lombardi Ave., a street named after the team's most legendary coach.
The stadium and the town are ever evolving. Lambeau, once a single-level bowl, now stretches to nearly twice its original height. The area around the stadium leans towards it, creating the feeling of an enclosed campus. The community doesn't just support the team, it is the team. Its fans, many of them shareholders, make Green Bay not only the home of the Packers, but the location of football mecca.
Lambeau Field has played host to innumerable great moments in NFL history, from the famed "Ice Bowl" to Al Harris' playoff-game winning Pick 6. Winter games played by a team forged by the snow.
A special atmosphere results when the Packers, their fans, and the cold winter conditions descend upon Lambeau Field. Almost like time travel, the fans look to the field rather than their phones, the players huddle together on the sidelines with eyes locked on the gridiron action. In that moment, nothing else matters. Football is always a point of pride in Green Bay, but on game days it's the singular focus of a nation of fans united under a Green and Gold flag.
When the Packers faced playoff elimination in Dec. 2010, the atmosphere of the town was tense. A season of close calls had built up, and the fans released it all against Green Bay's opponent. The snow had fallen throughout the week, and the fans came in during their spare time to clean off the field. All that matters in Green Bay is getting to game day.
Flash forward to Sunday. As Aaron Rodgers threw a strike to a breaking Jordy Nelson for the game's opening score, the entire city cried out at once with jubilation. Being in that crowd and taking part in the celebration is a once in a lifetime experience. The game ends, the crowd departs, and the team moves onto the next week, but the memory of the game stays with them all.
Lambeau Field is the architect of those memories, and the backdrop of those yet to be formed.