Look past the towering rock concert stage that engulfs part of the Lambeau Field parking lot and there’s a pair of massive banners depicting Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees hanging off the arena across the street.
Hotels will be full. Schools will close early. Coolers will be stocked and grills will be sizzling as a presidential speech goes largely ignored. As Kid Rock warms up for a pregame concert, there will be no doubt that a bigger-than-big game is hitting the NFL’s smallest market – Green Bay.
Rodgers and Brees are the last two Super Bowl MVPs, leading the last two Super Bowl winners into tonight’s opener. For the league, it’s a chance to finally put away any lingering resentment from an offseason filled with ugly and tense – and ultimately successful – labor negotiations. For the Saints and Packers, it’s a chance to send an early message that they intend to contend again.
“If you think about ‘teams of the decades,’ those teams won multiple Super Bowls,” Rodgers said. “The Steelers of the ’70s, Niners of the ’80s, Cowboys in the ’90s, Patriots in the 2000s were multiple Super Bowl victors. We want to re-establish that tradition of going deep in the playoffs every year and making runs at Super Bowls.” – AP