More than an intra-squad scrimmage

The New York Giants and rival New York Jets will scrimmage each other Saturday, and team officials expect a crowd of around 10,000 to attend. Other NFL teams will scrimmage this weekend as well, either against themselves or against other teams. Some teams might draw more fans to their scrimmage, some less, but none will match the fever that Packers fans have for their team.<p>

The Packers announced Thursday that they have sold out Saturday's 'Packers Family Night.' The event is returning after a two-year hiatus due the renovation of Lambeau Field, and fans are coming in droves to watch the team's intra-squad scrimmage and an on-field question and answer session with GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman and several players. A crowd of nearly 70,000 is expected and the scrimmage will be televised on a state-wide network.

This is just another reason why the Green Bay Packers are so unique when it comes to any other sports franchise. Packers fans love their team. They come from around the world to watch the team practice for the upcoming season. Stadium tour guides have a board that features people from 47 different countries (through Thursday) that have visited Green Bay and Lambeau Field. Crowds of 2,000 and more have surrounded the Clarke Hinkle practice field for training camp practices this week, and that's very typical attendance. Fans typically applaud a great catch or tackle. Heck, they'll even applaud Ahman Green running untouched into the end zone.

"There are two things that don't surprise me in Green Bay," said Sherman. "Number one, whatever Brett Favre does doesn't surprise me, and the enthusiasm of our fans. You just say 'wow' to both things. Our fans, by far, are passionate about their football team. That goes back years and years and continues. It makes this the greatest job in all of sports."

The Family Night idea originated in 1999 and has gotten bigger each year. With tickets priced at $8 apiece, it is an affordable night out for many families with children who might not otherwise be able to afford paying $60 and up for a ticket to a regular season or preseason game. Also included in the evening's activities is the popular "Jersey Off Our Back," with approximately 20 jerseys — all of which will have been worn by the players in the just-completed scrimmage — to be given away in a random drawing.

A fireworks show returns to conclude the night.

Family Night is a great idea on the part of the Packers and it has turned out to be another healthy revenue stream for the organization.

The team, meanwhile, will capitalize on the game-like atmosphere the evening brings.

"I'm excited for our players because it gives them a chance to go out there and really absorb the feeling of what it is like to play in Lambeau Field, and what our fans bring to the football game," Sherman said. "Here we have a scrimmage and over 70,000 people. It says a lot about Green Bay and says a lot about the fans."

Said guard Marco Rivera, "It justifies what has been said around here that we have the best fans in the world. When you have 70,000 showing up for a scrimmage, it says something about the fans."

It says they are the most loyal in all of sports. Go Pack Go!

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