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We’ve had quite the athletic viewing adventures these past few weeks, ranging from woman’s professional basketball to the NFL and even roller derby. We are taking full advantage of our year in Minnesota. No one can accuse us of being couch potatoes!

First up, a quiz! Guess which stadium belongs to which sporting event: Vikings football, Roller Derby, Minnesota Lynx basketball, Green Bay Packers football:





Answer (b) – Lynx WNBA: JG and I supported the Minnesota Lynx in their championship series against Indiana (unfortunately, the Lynx lost the series 3-1). We caught Game 1 at the Target Center in Minneapolis and were shocked by the size of the crowd. Granted, the Lynx were the WNBA champions last year but let’s be real, women’s professional basketball gets neither the press nor support that men’s basketball does. Without the flashy moves and abundant dunking, people seem to lose interest in the sport. So we were blown away by the thousands of cheering fans who were off their feet and giving it all they had. It was intense and insanely fun. Plus, they gave out free pom poms and pom poms are cool.

Answer (d) – Metrodome, Vikings: The week after the Lynx game, we scored free tickets to the Vikings versus the Cardinals at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Those tickets came with free parking and access to the VIP tent, which was totally rad. We felt like ballers. We stalked into the tent 45 minutes before game time, handed over our tickets to the well-made up hostess, tucked the free, proffered umbrella under our arms and marched off to our table. The tent had an extensive buffet set up in the center around a Viking’s “V” ice sculpture and was flanked by omelet and stirfry stations. A separate, designated dessert table with a free flowing chocolate fountain and dip-ables convinced me that I’d finally found heaven. Free beer and bloody Mary’s only solidified this.

The game itself was just okay. The metrodome is eerily quiet. It’s like the electric fans that hold up the roof suck up all the sound too and deplete the stadium of energy. And forget trying to walk around during half time. The stadium arteries are clogged and all pedestrian flow comes to a standstill in front of the bars and bathrooms. Definitely not my favorite stadium experience. (HKS Inc., a Dallas-based architectural and engineering firm that recently designed stadiums for the Dallas Cowboys and the Indianapolis Colts, was recently hired by the Vikings to design a new $975 million stadium to be built on top of the old Metrodome, opening in 2016. For more info, click here).

Answer (a) – Lambeau Field, Packers: In contrast, I LOVED our stadium experience at Lambeau Field in Green Bay Wisconsin. We were there for the Packers vs Jaguars game last weekend and had a smashing good time. We tailgated at the Tundra Zone and JG and Meg had brats and beer. Me, being veggie, had to stick with nachos and beer until we could get inside the stadium. People were generally very friendly and polite and we made friends easily. Being Halloween weekend, there were a lot of costumes in attendance.

Lambeau field is open to the elements and we really lucked out with clear skies and temps in the 40s. We layered with Packer gear bought earlier in the Pro Shop and put down a blanket to protect our bums from the cold bleachers. Then I double fisted with hot chocolate and Miller Lite and was a happy girl.  (*UpdateSome very interesting trivia: Green Bay is the smallest town in the nation to have an NFL team; the Packers are the only publicly owned NFL team in the league and the Packers have more Super Bowl championships than any other team in the NFL!!!)

Answer (c) – Roller derby: Yesterday, JG and I were flipping through a community flyer and came across roller derby, of all things. Neither one of us had been to a game, so it was a no brainer. We had to go! Tickets were cheap compared to the other events we’d attended the past few weeks – $10 in advance and $12 at the door. The bout started at 7 pm and we got in line to buy tickets at 6:45 pm. Rookie move – the line was 100 people deep and slow moving. Apparently roller derby is very popular around here.

The rules of roller derby, as described in my community flyer, go something like this: there are 5 skaters from each team on the track at all times and 7 skating referees. The goal of the game is for the jammer, the skater with a star on her helmet, to successfully and legally get through the pack of skaters, known as blockers, before the jammer from the other team does. Once a jammer is through the pack, she skates as fast as she can around the flat track and back into the pack in the hope of scoring points. Each skater the jammer passes legally upon the second time through the pack counts as a point. The “jam” is limited to 2 minutes and the lead jammer can call off the jam at any point and a team of new skaters will take the track. The photos are a little blurry…I’ll chalk that up to fast skaters and not to me holding a jack and coke in my other hand.

The roller derby event was an anti-climatic end to our Midwest Sports Extravaganza. I’d expected to see a lot of thrown elbows and girls kicking ass all over the place, but they weren’t really allowed to use their hands to bring down other competitors. All in all though, I’m still glad that we went.

Next up…hockey??!!