Welcome back, everyone! Sunday mornings in Green Bay will live with me forever. Driving down Lombardi Avenue and approaching Lambeau Field on game day is truly something special. I love seeing the thousands of Packers fans filling the parking lots before each game tailgating; when you can smell the grills and see the smoke in the air, you know it's football season in Wisconsin. I’m sure many of you have been on the stadium tour or visited the Packers Hall of Fame, but this month I’d like to take you on an inside look at Lambeau from a player’s point of view.
I'll never forget walking into Lambeau Field for the first time. We really have the best facilities in the league. Our locker room is shaped like a football and it’s fantastic – there are huge lockers and plenty of space to promote camaraderie, hang out with everyone on the team and do post-game interviews with reporters. Plus, we’re there every day. A lot of teams have separate locker rooms for their practice and stadiums. You might practice one place and then play your games 20 miles apart. Having everything in one spot is really nice. But my favorite part is right before we walk into the locker room we see the four Vince Lombardi trophies – it’s a really special thing to walk past every day and especially meaningful to me because I helped get one. Whenever I see them, they’re a huge motivator for me to work hard to win another Super Bowl.
Also, the facilities are open for us 365 days a year so we can come in to work out, go to the training room, or get food whenever we want. Obviously Green Bay has some great restaurants (and I do love Curly’s Pub), but it’s pretty cool how no matter the day or the time, there’s access to a cafeteria with tons of food options.
I bet one thing most fans don’t know is that there's a full-court basketball gym at Lambeau. Everyone has the same “I could have played in the NBA” or “You should have seen me in high school" story and having that court allows us to see who’s all talk – but I won’t spill any names. We also had a pretty sweet dodgeball game there in camp.
This year we added a new section to the stadium in the south end zone. With 7,000 new seats, it will only help our home-field advantage. There were a couple of times during the Washington game where I could barely hear my coaches and teammates on the sidelines. It was by far the loudest Lambeau Field has ever been in my career. I'm looking forward to home games this year and I can't wait for my next Lambeau Leap!
Besides football and family, I'm busy throughout the season hosting my show Inside the Huddle. This is my second season hosting the show and a good friend of mine is helping me out with the hosting duties this year. You might have heard of him, he plays football too...Randall Cobb. The show tapes live from The Bar on Holmgren Way every Monday night at 5:00 p.m. and it's free to the public. The Bar, which is a couple of blocks east of Lambeau, is a great place for the show. They're always ready for a huge crowd and if you like football, like I do, you need to stop by on game day (Order the wings, I get them to-go every time I host Inside the Huddle). I'd love to see all of you at a show this season; and if you're lucky, you might win our in-show audience raffle and meet me during the show.
It's great to share stories and experiences about the state I have grown to love over the past five years. It's hard to believe that I've been in the league for that long and I'm extremely fortunate to play for such a great organization with a rich history and amazing fans. I hope you enjoyed my inside blogger’s tour of Lambeau Field. If you’d like to visit Lambeau in person, you can run through the players’ tunnel and learn even more on the official tour.
I’m looking forward to sharing more with you in my next blog.