GREEN BAY, Wisc. — Trevor Davis stands on the corner outside his downtown apartment, three miles from Lambeau Field, waiting to cross the street. The Packers wideout is carrying a Styrofoam container of takeout lunch (a gooey sandwich with egg, bacon, ham and cheese) and he’s shivering from head to toe.
Ninety-seconds later, the light still hasn’t changed. He starts jogging in place to stay warm. “OK, like this is really cold, this has to be like 15 degrees right?” he says, whipping out his phone to check the weather. “Maybe 20 degree tops.”
He scrolls, and then blurts, “What the heck! It’s 36 degrees? You mean it’s going to drop like 50 degrees at some point this winter? This is hella cold already.”
Davis, a fifth-round rookie out of Cal, is still adjusting to his new life in the NFL’s most cherished, remote and frigid football city. The San Francisco Bay Area native, who has three catches and a touchdown in 10 games this season, was left awestruck by his first interaction with Aaron Rodgers. “It was a walk-through, and he kind of looked at me, but I didn’t think he was actually going to throw to me,” Davis says. “I wasn’t ready. I thought about that for two weeks. Like dang, I dropped my first pass from Aaron Rodgers. He’s never going to throw to me again.” But nothing has been as hard as getting acclimated to the upper Midwest winter.
“OK,” he says, as the crossing signal permits him to scurry home. “I think it’s finally time. I’m going to buy a winter jacket.”
Before he moved to Green Bay, Davis knew a few things about the Packers. “Obviously being from Cal, I knew this is Aaron Rodgers’ team,” he says. “I knew that they don’t have an owner, but a lot of owners, and I knew that there was a great tradition.” And he had a vague idea about the winter weather: “I knew I should get a jacket. North Face seems to be a popular brand. I’ve heard of parkas, or something like that. I don't really know what a parka is. I think that’s the thing with furs on the hood? Is that what makes a parka a parka?”
We head to Dick’s Sporting Goods to find out.
Tuesday is the typical off day for NFL players, and it’s not as glamorous as you might think for a 23-year-old professional football player. “I just try to catch up on errands I don’t get done when I’m too tired to after work,” says Davis, who knows that Target is exactly 4.3 miles from his home, and that the nearest Ikea is more than three hours south, in Chicago. “I did that Ikea trip on my off day a few weeks ago. Mostly because I love deals. I bought a bunch of stuff so I don’t have to go back, hopefully.” Two days ago, Davis moved into a brand new, $1,600-a-month two-bedroom apartment in a high-rise. (High-rise is a relative term in Green Bay, because they don’t build anything taller than Lambeau Field.) The second bedroom is for Davis’ 18-month old identical twins, Braden and Camden, who split time between California and Green Bay. “They’re at that age where they get into a lot! Last week they accidentally locked themselves in the bathroom. I love having them, but I have to keep them on a strict regimen. It’s hard to study when they are always running around, trying to grab my iPad from me. I try putting them to bed at 9:30 sharp, and it helps the Packers have lists of babysitters in the area.”
The twins are still in California with their mom on this Tuesday, and Davis’s apartment still doesn’t have internet or cable, so if not for the winter jacket excursion, he’d probably spend the day studying film and shooting a Nerf ball into the mini-hoop. “Yeah,” he says. “It’s good to go out, and let’s get that jacket.”
Davis makes a beeline to the North Face section and says he wants a black coat. He’s gone this long without a jacket because he’s outside only when he walks across the street to his favorite cafe, or when he goes from his car to the stadium.
“It’s freezing those couple yards,” he says. “But it’s only for a few seconds.”
He tries on a puffer that he thinks makes him look like a burnt marshmallow, but says, “it is comfortable.” He looks at the price tag: $330. This, Davis says, will be his biggest splurge since becoming a professional. “I really don’t spend a lot,” he says. As Davis zigzags between racks, wondering aloud if he’ll need a beanie or fur-trapper hat (“It will keep my head extra warm”) or a neck gaiter (“The team will give them to us, but we have to give them back after games. Does it make me seem really lame if I get one?”) a salesman chimes in: “Well, if you get a jacket like this, it’s going to get wet. Say you’re out for an hour, sledding or doing whatever you’re going to do, and it’s coming down hard and it’s a wet snow, it’s going to get wet and stay wet if you’re out if you’re out longer for an hour.”
“So, it’s like goblets of things coming down?” Davis asks.
“Oh, wait until January or February,” the salesman says. “We’ll have snow, we’ll have rain, sleet. Last year, right around this time, we got hit with 13 inches in the span of four to five hours.”
“But what about the snow we just saw?” Davis asks. “Last weekend, that was a lot.”
“That was two to three inches,” the salesman says.
It was the first snowstorm Davis had ever experienced, and he looks dejected. He’s then led to the “serious winter coat section.”
After 30 minutes, Davis settles on a waterproof puffer, a white knit beanie, and a new Nerf ball for his hoop. He walks out of the store with his new gear as flurries fall the parking lot. Finally, a little bit of warmth follows him outside.