Sydney Speaks! Getting ready for an away game

With the start of the football season upon us, Green Bay Packers fans no doubt are preparing for the the big game Sunday by getting their food and favorite beverages ready, and putting new batteries in the remote. But how are the players getting ready? Let me walk you through what the players face from Saturday morning until game time.

Saturday A.M.
They will have a special teams meeting starting around 7:30 a.m. until about 8:20 a.m. Before the meeting, they will already have had breakfast fit for a king, including a choice of eggs, meat, pancakes, waffles ... you name it. While some players eat breakfast, others will play backgammon or dominos, just relaxing until the team meeting.

At that meeting Mike Sherman or someone will go over the itinerary for the rest of the day. Then around 9 a.m. they will break up into offense and defense team meetings. The offense will go over the mistakes from Friday's red zone practice and make the adjustments that the coaches made after watching the practice tape. Then in this meeting, which is usually the most boring for the veterans like Brett, William, Donald, because what they do here is review every play that they have put in throughout the week. That includes goal line, short yardage, red zone, nickel, etc. This takes about one hour because the coaches just hit on the highlights. Also at this meeting they might go over all the audibles that Brett might use, including verbal or physical. Favre might use hand signals, or even raise his heel. It might mean something.

After the meeting the team will go out to the field and practice for about 30 minutes, mainly just to go over substitutions and different formations, such as who is in the three receiver, one tight end set, which they call "zebra" or the four receiver sets, which they call "eagle." The major part of this practice is for the special teams. The coaches will call out who is on what team, and they will take the field. When they come off the field they are responsible for packing their travel bags which means packing up their gear and giving it to the equipment guys to put on the truck. The team usually departs for Green Bay's Austin Straubel Airport to board a chartered jet 1 p.m.

Saturday P.M.
When the team arrives in the city in which it is playing, it receives a police escort to the hotel. The players usually have until 7:30 p.m. for a special teams meeting and separate quarterbacks meeting, when coaches reveal the first 15 plays.

At 8 p.m., Sherman will go over the first 15 plays with the quarterbacks and talk about what everyone would and should expect on offense. Then about 8:30 p.m., the full team gets together and this is where the coach says the things to get the guys prepared to go to battle. After that the team has a meal - usually burgers, spaghetti, fruit and ice cream topped off with a beer or two. At this time some guys get sleeping pills to help them relax. Then they go to their rooms because curfew is 11 p.m. The team's security will check each room to make sure the players are in, believe it or not!

Sunday A.M.
Wake up is early depending on game time. The first order of the day is usually chapel for those that want to attend. Breakfast is served and the buses start rolling out to the stadium at different times. Most of the time, the linemen want to get there very early to prepare their pads. Then it's game time.

Trust me, everyone has a different way to prepare for the game just like the fans do. Some guys like to get their early, such as William Henderson. He prepares for "war" very quietly. He gets into himself. Their are other guys like Ahman Green that prepare very matter of factly. Then there are the guys that talk real loudly trying to gain courage and dance around to their own music. Then there's the wide eyed rookie that is scared to death because he has no idea what he will face.

The season is here, SO GET READY FOR THE GAME!

Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. If you have a question for Harry, e-mail it to managing editor Todd Korth at

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