The best things in life are free?

The Packers are premiering last season's highlight film, "The Next Generation: The Story of the 2005 Green Bay Packers," on Monday night. It's a good thing it's free,'s Steve Lawrence says.

You've got to hand it to the Green Bay Packers. At least they have the good sense not to charge their fans for the honor of watching the season's 2005 highlight film.

The film, "The Next Generation: The Story of the 2005 Green Bay Packers," will premiere Monday night in the Lambeau Field Atrium.

Assuming the film lasts between 20 and 25 minutes — got to get those commercials in when it starts running on ESPN and The NFL Network — one wonders if the film will be a continuious loop of the, say, 1 minute and 30 seconds of actual highlights — slow motion, of course — from the dreary four-win campaign.

Then again, with NFL Films producing it, the Packers will look like the greatest team since, well, the 1996 Packers. Zillion interceptions? What interceptions? Brett Favre will look like he should have won his fourth NFL MVP award. Samkon Gado will never fumble. Nick Barnett will never over-run a play. Grady Jackson will not look fat. In fact, my sources tell me, the package is so slick that Ahmad Carroll will not get penalized for holding. Not even once.

OK, so that part's a lie.

Face it, you can put caviar on rotten fish and it's still going to taste like rotten fish. Why anyone would want to watch a highlight film of a 4-12 season is beyond me. Then again, people enjoy gawking at car accidents.

Thankfully, the Packers are offering more than just this wonderful highlight package. Rob Davis will be on hand to answer questions and sign autographs. No knock on Davis, because he's one of the team's true good guys, but my life will be complete even without his autograph.

While the highlight-film thing seems a bit silly, what's not silly is Wednesday morning's Packers shareholders meeting. More than 20,000 fans/owners are expected to file into Lambeau Field for one the great events in sports.

Of course, it's because of the owners-are-fans setup, but where else can Joe Fan get to address the Packers' braintrust and ask questions? Sure, the Packers will do their best to screen out the "What the (expletive) were you thinking?" questions, but even if most of the questions are softballs, it's still a great segment.

(Word of caution to fans: Please no operating heavy machinery during Ted Thompson's talk. Seriously, snoring is in poor taste.)

As a member of the jaded media who gets to be inside the Packers' locker room, I have to admit walking inside it is still a thrill. For fans to do the same — another where-else-in-sports touch — is another stroke of genius by the fan-friendly Bob Harlan.

So, fans, if you intend on attending the Monday-Wednesday doubleheader, don't let the misery of the team's 2005 lowlight film ruin the shareholders meeting experience. Even when the Packers are awful on the field, being a fan is an honor the rest of the world never will understand.

Lawrence is a regular contributor to Send comments to

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