The age-old conflict between fat people and babies is being waged once again in West Allis, Wisconsin, and all we can do is take cover and hope the side that wins will be benevolent rulers. Tony Sparacino, a 83-year-old longtime Green Bay Packers fan, is challenging the team’s policy of requiring babies to have tickets to get into Lambeau Field.
His reasoning? There’s bench seating at Lambeau, and the Packers let enormous fat people take up two seats (or more) with only one admission. So why should babies, who sit in people’s laps and don’t take up a seat at all, have to have their own ticket?
Sparacino is calling for the babies of Wisconsin to rise up and challenge this wrong-headed policy. And because babies can’t write or spell, he has written a letter to the Packers outlining his demands:
“Do you think that is fair?” the West Allis man wrote. “I might add that (Sparacino’s 9-month-old grandson Justin) was enjoyed by all the people who sat nearby, as he is such an adorable, loving baby.”
Tony sent along a photo of baby Justin, a copy of one of his tickets and — to drive home his point — a photo of an enormous woman.
I asked Tony who the woman is. He said he found her pictured on a humorous birthday card and thought she perfectly illustrated his argument.
But the Packers’ official response is just as humorous, albeit unintentionally so. The team says that if they change their policy, Lambeau would be OVERRUN WITH BABIES!
The stadium holds 73,128 people. Letting babies in free would put it over capacity, possibly creating a safety issue, said Mark Wagner, director of ticket operations for the Packers.
If children younger than 2 were allowed in free, would enough of them show up to make any real difference in the crowd?
“For Packer fans, yes,” Wagner said. “People pride themselves on starting them young.”
The Packers have no plans to start double-charging overweight customers, as some airlines have. Fans come in all sizes, and in theory, they each get 19 inches of bench space in the stands, Wagner said.
“Over the course of a bench, it evens itself out. That’s just the way it is, and during the winter it does get to be crowded,” he said.
A Million-Baby March is heading toward Green Bay as I type this — although it may take them some time to get there, with the crawling and all. Also they tend to get distracted by shiny objects.