In the Russell Wilson Era, the Seahawks lead the series 3-2, but a Wilson led Seattle team has not won at Lambeau Field.
When the Seattle Seahawks step onto Lambeau Field this week there will be reminders of the NFC Championship Game in 2015. It was a historic game, a wonderful testament to “It ain’t over till it’s over,” delighting Seahawk fans while breaking hearts in Green Bay Wisconsin. The Packers had jumped ahead 16-0 before the Seahawks showed signs of having a pulse. With 4:44 left in the third quarter, on a fake field goal, Jon Ryan, the punter, threw a touchdown pass to Gary Gilliam, an offensive tackle.
The Fail Mary was still lingering in the hearts and minds of Brown County Wisconsin. Seattle’s home field advantage, already at mythical proportions, began building while watching Marshawn Lynch run one in for six. Then, in Overtime, Russell Wilson, with four interceptions already in the game, throws a touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse. It’s like Kearse finally realized it wasn’t opposite day and Seattle won a football game.
But this time the Seahawks are stepping onto Lambeau Field. The Kearse is gone. Seattle doesn’t mean all that much to a guy like Vince Lombardi. You know, the guy the trophy is named after. The swagger of a Super Bowl isn’t enough. This landscape is legendary. This is home to a team that can win two Super Bowls in a row.
This is The Frozen Tundra
If Vince Lombardi would have had his way, nobody would call it the Frozen Tundra. A name that sticks like the grit in expectations. The big fog of breathe before each snap. The cold smack of skin. Football.
Vince had expectations. Those expectations won Super Bowls. A $200,000 dollar irrigation, drainage, and radiant heating system had been installed. When the system failed, 13 degrees below zero, the field flash froze into a sheet of ice. Lombardi thought calling it the Frozen Tundra was redundant and embarrassing.
Coach Lombardi had argued for the heating system, which tells everything about his expectations right down to the surface of the field. He wanted it pristine, ready to showcase the power sweep. He was a teacher, in the purity and beauty of the game, he wanted to win. He wanted it to be a shining example.
Even so, those 1967 Green Bay Packers, took to heart Coach Lombardi’s philosophy and words:
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”
There is no cursing at the failure here. No excuses, this the NFL’s most historic stadium, a team of habit. A legend made in spite of what went right.
Today, Mr. Lombardi’s expectations are met perfectly. Since 2007, the playing surface at Lambeau Field has had a state of the art drainage and heating system underneath it. A combination of drain pipe, gravel, drain tile, and 43 miles of 3/4 –inch hydronic tubing, help provide a root zone temperature of 55 degrees or better during the winter months. Kentucky Bluegrass and DD GrassMaster’s synthetic fibers are stitched together every three-quarters of inch along the surface. These synthetic fibers extend down close to seven inches into the ground, exposing about an inch of synthetic grass blade on top. This makes the carpet soft and durable. Portable grow lights are used to extend the field’s growing season past November. The ultimate in lawn care. The ever present expectation to be ready for the post season. Pristine.
Or whatever goes through Aaron Rodger’s mind when he is sacked.
Hello Sheldon Richardson. It is September and The Frozen Tundra hasn’t been frozen in 50 years.