Packers Football: Next week Wednesday, children’s bikes will line the gates of Lambeau Field as kid’s hope for the chance to run along-side a player on their way to practice. The Green Bay Packers kick off Training Camp at 10:45am that morning, no doubt to the cheers of hundreds of fans present to watch their first look at the 2022/2023 team. Some might say that Football is so close, you can smell it. But just what is that smell exactly?
Candle companies have done their best to reel in Football fans with turf, or leather football scents. There’s one out there now called “Gridiron Rush” that’s citrus and crisp apple mixed with fresh-cut grass and sandalwood. I don’t think there’s a person alive that walks into an NFL stadium and inhales the sweet aroma of citrus and crisp apple. Let’s be honest, the fans in the stands also probably don’t smell the turf, the sweat, or the leather on the football for that matter. So, what truly is the scent of Football?
In Wisconsin, we definitely pride ourselves on our tailgating game. As you approach Lambeau Field on gameday you’re guaranteed to take in the smell of many different grills fired up and cooking a pregame meal. All the good foods, Brats, Hot Dogs, Burgers, you name it, it’s on the grill or boiling in a pot outside in the parking lot. Inside the stadium, you add on the popcorn, the nachos, but all in all, they’re pretty much the same smells, they just come at a much higher price. What if you’re not at the game? Maybe you’re having some friends over, or maybe you’re by yourself, doesn’t matter, you have that food spread ready at your fingertips. Taco dip, mini weenies, potato chips, those smells fill the room, and they are glorious. The first true scent of Football is the food, and it is delicious.
Ah, my favorite, the delicious mostly golden, nectar. I mean, we have to stand in solidarity with David Bakhtiari, right? What would a Football game be without the beer? For me, it has to be a product of New Glarus Brewery. I make sure to stock up on their Staghorn Oktoberfest every year, as it just smells and tastes like Football season to me, and I want it for every game. This is Wisconsin after-all and no matter where you are, if there’s a Football game going on, there is beer being enjoyed by someone. But don’t worry Aaron Rodgers, if beer isn’t your drink, I’m sure the scents of other drinks are out there. Perhaps you prefer wine, seltzers, or Aaron’s single malt scotch? It’s all out there in the tailgates, the parties, and the stadium. And how could I forget the touchdown shots? They might be strong, they might be weak, but who doesn’t love that celebratory toast when their team scores a touchdown. Some enjoy it sweet which creates a more pleasant aroma in the air, just don’t enjoy it too much, or you could end up creating our next smell of football.
Oh no, everything I listed above, it’s all coming out. Did you drink too much? Was it something you ate? Or was your team just that terrible that it made you sick? No matter what, no one wants to smell this scent of football. But I promise you, it’s there. The leading cause of course, is the drinking, if someone had one too many at the game, hopefully they’ve left the stadium and they met their stomach’s demise in the parking lot. But unfortunately, I’ve seen rows clear out due to this un-pleasant scent. Of course, there are the innocent cases of a team scoring too much and someone just couldn’t keep up with the celebratory drinks, it happens. Or maybe their stomach just didn’t agree with them, and they had to pay a visit to the dumpsters outside of Lambeau Field. My wife has had a few comedic encounters with the Lambeau Field dumpsters in that regard that will always live in infamy. In her defense though, they were all due to an upset stomach, but that doesn’t mean we won’t still laugh about it every time.
So, what does Football really smell like? Nothing you’d expect. Unless you have a sweaty helmet on, and your face is buried in the turf as you clutch onto the ball at the bottom of the pile, you’re not smelling any of those cliches. The people in the stands, in the parking lots, or on their couches at home create the smells we associate with Football the most, and they will be a welcome aroma when Football returns to Green Bay next week.
Greg Meinholz is a 24/7/365 Packers fan. When he’s not spending time with his family, he can be found meditating in his Packers shrine with a good beer. You can follow him on twitter at @gmeinholz.