There is nothing better in the NFL than a division rivalry game.
Ok, so it can get a little better.
There is nothing better in the NFL than a division game that features one of the league’s most storied franchises, the Green Bay Packers.
And, lucky me, I will be at the great Lambeau Field this weekend when the Packers welcome the Detroit Lions to the Frozen Tundra.
However, I won’t be the only dedicated NFC North fan at the game. Comedian Larry the Cable Guy will also be in town cheering on his favorite team, the Green Bay Packers, and introducing the first ever flavor-coated frequent heartburn pill: Prilosec OTC Wildberry.
Earlier today here at MSF, Jerod told you about the sweepstakes Prilosec OTC is running, which is free to enter and that will be sending one lucky fan to the Super Bowl, Daytona 500, and the NCAA hoops championship game. Click here for details.
Larry the Cable Guy, like many visitors to Green Bay, is interested in learning more about the Packers and their fans. He should be, and he’s in for a treat!
What makes the Green Bay Packers so special? Well there is a lot. I could go on and on and on. However, I’m going to keep it down to MY favorite things about the Packers.
1. How They Came To Be
On August 11, 1919, Curly Lambeau and George Calhoun gathered with a group of young athletes and organized what would become a great football team.
With the help of Lambeau’s first employe – Indian Packing Company – they created the “Packers,” who went 10-1 their first season. A year after the new national pro football league had formed, the Green Bay team had become so popular that Lambeau with the help of others obtained a franchise in league.
However, financial woes plagued the team, and they forfeited by the end of 1921. Lambeau worked hard to find individuals to back the franchise and continued to fight to keep the team alive.
With help from individuals like A.B. Turnbull from the Green Bay Press Gazette, the Packers soon rose to a powerful league franchise. Finally on August 18, 1923, the Green Bay Packers became a publicly owned, nonprofit organization that sold stock to help finance the team.
2. The Lombardi Era
The Lombardi Era is one that is well-known and discussed by many Packers fans.
In his first season, 1959, Vince Lombardi went 7-5, winning unanimous ‘Coach of the Year’ recognition. Then in 1960, the Packers captured the Western Division title, only to lose the NFL title game at Philadelphia. However, Lombardi rebounded to win world championships in 1961, ’62, ’65, ’66, and ’67.
His teams finished no lower than second from 1960-67 and became the standard of football excellence. In nine years, Lombardi went 98-30-4 (.766), including 9-1 in postseason, winning his final nine playoff games.
You can learn more about Packer history here.
3. The Fans Own The Team
I am a proud shareholder of the Green Bay Packers. Like I said earlier, the Packers decided to sell stock in the organization to help keep the team afloat financially. Fans have supported the team financially through five stock sales: 1923, 1935, 1950, 1997 and 2011.
The Green Bay Packers organization is the only professional sports team that is owned by the community and not by a company, individual, or partnership. To protect against someone taking control of the team, one person cannot own more than 200,000 shares. Also, shareholders do not receive any dividends on their investment.
Many people think purchasing a Packers share is a stupid idea. Those people are either a) jealous or b) Bears fans.
4. Tailgating in Green Bay
One of the greatest fan experiences is tailgating, and Lambeau Field has one of the best tailgating scenes in the country! Check out the local bars that surround the stadium for plenty of beer, brats, cheese and good old Wisconsin fun.
The menu for my tailgating party on Sunday will include: beer brats, chili, beer cheese pretzel dip, craft Wisconsin brews, Green and Gold jello syringes, and something sweet for dessert I am sure. With food like this, I might need to see if I can track down Larry and test out the Prilosec OTC Wildberry!
I am also bringing along my cornhole set for some competitive games to stay warm!
While tailgating in Green Bay, you will meet some of the great Packers fans, like “The Owner” or the “Packer Pope.”
Packers v. Lions Preview
This weekend, not only will I have the opportunity to tailgate with good friends at one of the best sports venues in the nation, but I will also have the opportunity to watch the Packers take on the division rival Lions. With the Bears and the Packers so close in the Division race, each game is important.
Last week the Packers took down the Vikings, but issues with the offensive line were still very apparent. And the defense couldn’t shut down Adrian Peterson. Fortunately for the Packers, the Vikings need more than Adrian Peterson to win games.
With James Starks injured again, the Packers brought back former running back Ryan Grant to help revive the running game. Injuries keep building for the Packers at the conclusion of every game. Star players Clay Matthews and Jordy Nelson did not practice on Wednesday, and it looks as though they will be out for Sunday’s game.
Luckily the Packers were happy to have wide receiver Greg Jennings back on the field last week, and you should see even more of him this week with Nelson along the sidelines.
The Packers met the Lions in Week 11 in Detroit and scraped by with a victory. However, with home field advantage and the continually slumping Lions team, the Packers should be able to put a decent lead early in the game and keep the Lions subdued. At least that’s the game I am hoping to see on my trip up to Green Bay!
Final: Packers 33 – Lions 14
Look for me in the Green and Gold #90 jersey doing the Raji dance!