Voice of the Fan

Can you imagine Terry Glenn, Joe Johnson and Hardy Nickerson on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field versus the Rams in the 2002 NFC Championship Game?<p>

Those three new Packers......all ringless.....gazing at the bracing Wisconsin sky......looking up into the stands...reading the Ring of Glory, their breath freezing.....waiting for the January spectacle to begin. It's time for the coin toss and all focus is on the 50 yard line as Lambeau Field public address announcer Gary Knafelc first announces the team captains. Knafelc then pauses briefly as he prepares to reveal the Packers honorary defensive and offensive captains for today's historic game -- the 13th post-season game at Lambeau Field.

Lambeau Field falls silent with anticipation as two of the greatest defensive linemen in the history of the Packers, #92 Reggie White and #87 Willie Davis are announced on the public address system. As White and Davis stroll out to the 50 yard line the stands begin to erupt when the Lambeau Field video screen shows Davis forcing a Unitas fumble against the Colts. And then we see White's sacks of Bledsoe in Super Bowl 31. A powerful inspiration is sent into the Packer defense as a pall of gloom emerges and begins to fall on the Rams frigid sideline. Peering through their facemasks, the helmeted Nickerson and Johnson look on as White and Davis are greeted at midfield by Packer safety LeRoy Butler.

Then again the Lambeau Field crowd grows quiet with anticipation as Knafelc unveils the Packer honorary offensive captains.....Max McGee, Boyd Dowler and Carroll Dale appear to another thunderous ovation. There they are, ghosts of the past......#84, #85 and #86, jogging in from the Packers sideline towards the center of the stadium. With the crowd roaring in affection, quarterback Brett Favre is there to greet the three legendary receivers. The coin toss is made and the Packers win the toss, electing to receive. But wait! In a moment of spontaneity Favre and Butler motion Reggie, Willie, Boyd, Max and Carroll to stay on the field. Already halfway to the sideline, suddenly Nickerson and Johnson step out onto the field to meet Davis and White. At the same time wide receivers Terry Glenn and Robert Ferguson, escorted by William Henderson and Earl Dotson, step onto the field to meet McGee, Dowler, and Dale.

There they are...Terry Glenn and Robert Ferguson surrounded by Dale, Dowler, and McGee.... shaking hands, nodding to one another, giving each their final words of encouragement. 10 yards to the south you see Nickerson and Johnson standing face to face with White and Davis -- listening intently as they get their instructions. With Butler standing there, Davis' eyes suddenly grow wide as he points to the stadium video screen. In a moment for the ages all eyes are on the video screen as Henry Jordan's 3 and a half sacks against Rams QB Roman Gabriel are replayed. And in the next instant the screen begins flashing with electricity as clips of Dale's memorable catches and touchdown reception that were made 35 years earlier are relived.

One final look, one final tug, one final handshake, and the Packer newcomers are ready to go...ready to stop the Rams cold...to shut them down...to keep the Lambeau field playoff streak alive, and lead the Packers to Super Bowl 37. The national anthem...the Air Force jet flyover......"ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLE?". There they are: Joe Johnson, Hardy Nickerson, Terry Glenn and Robert Ferguson, playing in the biggest game of their short Packer lives on the frozen tundra in Green Bay. Their mission to bring another title to Titletown has been laid before them. "START ME UP!!" and "GO PACK GO". Packer Football, Packer Pride, Packer History, and Packer Tradition ...... they are becoming real Packers.

Let the 2002 season begin.

Editor's note: Want to be featured in packerreport.com's Voice of the Fan? E-mail any Packers experience, thoughts, or commentary to Packer Report managing editor Todd Korth at packrepted@aol.com.

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