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#1 Posted : Wednesday, February 9, 2011 6:59:17 PM(UTC)

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Green Bay Packers fans rejoiced one more time with their cherished Super Bowl champions during a frigid ceremony Tuesday to welcome the Lombardi Trophy back to Lambeau Field after a 14-year absence.

Temperatures were in the single digits as the celebration began, but the Packer diehards were undaunted. Fans in the front row of the stadium traded high-fives with the players and reached out to touch the championship trophy as coach Mike McCarthy marched past with the hardware hoisted high over his head.

The Lombardi Trophy carries special meaning in Green Bay because it's named for the Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, who led the Packers to victories in the first two Super Bowls.

"I will never forget this," said Amanda Lee, 33, of Milwaukee, who wore the No. 12 jersey of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Super Bowl MVP. "I got to touch the trophy, but I couldn't actually feel it (because her hands were so cold). I touched Aaron Rodgers' pinky! I'll never wash my hand again."

The celebration capped a party that has been going nonstop in Green Bay since Sunday, when the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Arlington, Texas, to win their fourth Super Bowl title and first since 1996. The ceremony shone a spotlight on the decades-old love affair between the team and the NFL's smallest-market city.

On Sunday night, thousands took to the streets to celebrate amid an explosion of green-and-gold fireworks. On Monday, tens of thousands of hoarse but giddy fans lined the roads from Austin Straubel International Airport to Lambeau to cheer on the team's motorcade as it returned to the stadium.

The 56,000 tickets for the official "Return to Titletown" ceremony Tuesday sold out within hours on Monday. Fans from far and wide were in the stadium's parking lot early Monday morning, grilling brats, throwing down beers and tossing footballs in a final tailgate party - never mind a wind chill of 14 below.

"The weather's fine. I can barely feel it," Ken Hampp, 23, of Appleton, said in the Lambeau parking lot as he sipped a Budweiser, before it froze. "That's my favorite thing about winter. You can just stick your beer in the snow."

The stadium opened two hours before the ceremony. The atmosphere inside was electric as fans watched highlights from the past season on the stadium's giant television screens set to a rousing orchestral soundtrack. The crowd waved world champion flags, erupted into chants of "Go Pack Go!" and danced to House of Pain's "Jump Around" and the Village People's "YMCA."

Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt addressed the crowd from a stage on the 50-yard line, announcing the city would name a street "McCarthy's Way" in keeping with a tradition that calls for the city to name a street after every Super Bowl-winning coach.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker was next, generating a mix of cheers and boos from the crowd. He handed Packers President Mark Murphy a proclamation declaring February Packers month.

But the crowd was more interested in seeing their heroes than their politicians, as evidenced by signs that read "Jordy Nelson, Will You Be My Valentine?" and "Clay Matthews Will You Marry Me?"

Kimberly Zachary, 19, of La Crosse, held a sign that read "Driver Your Smile Makes It All Worth While," referring to veteran wide receiver Donald Driver, whose ever-present grin has helped him emerge as a fan heartthrob.

She said she chose to attend college at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in part because of the Packers.

"It's like going to a school for a boyfriend or girlfriend," Zachary's friend, Kelly Peerendboom, 20, of Tomahawk said. Then she sighed. "I don't think I've ever felt so happy to be part of a team."

When the players finally emerged from the tunnel that leads to the field from their locker room, the crowd erupted, purging 14 years of frustration. The players, bundled up in parkas and stocking caps, strolled along the front row of the stadium on their way to the stage, smiling, pumping their fists and high-fiving everyone who could reach them.

"Just a very special moment," safety Nick Collins told the crowd from the stage. "Something I'll cherish for the rest of my life. I've been chasing this dream for a long, long time, and I'm just glad to be a part of it."

Driver, who injured an ankle in the Super Bowl and couldn't finish the game, seemed overwhelmed by the moment.

"We're Super Bowl champs, baby! All season long, you guys believed. . We love you guys so much," he said.

Team officials saved Rodgers for last. With a towel wrapped around his head like a scarf, Rodgers yelled into the microphone, "What's up, Titletown?" The crowd responded with a roar.

"We did it together! We brought that title home! We love you!" Rodgers said. "I tell you what, Green Bay, we're going to be right here next year doing the exact same thing!"
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Fan Shout
Smokey (5h) : BG is in no hurry to anounce a new Rodgers deal. Smart !
gbguy20 (5h) : When is Rodgers signing that extension that was supposedly only awaiting Kirk? Typing on a phone makes things tough.
Nonstopdrivel (7h) : That's what I was thinking: I wasn't aware that he was quitting.
Zero2Cool (9h) : Hopefully not for a long time. We need him.
gbguy20 (13h) : when is 12 resigning
Nonstopdrivel (15h) : I have to say I like it, even if it means I have to put up with occasional ads for Maseratis. 😂
Nonstopdrivel (15h) : Interestingly, since I blocked third-party cookies, ads I see tend to relate to the content of the page instead of my most recent Amazon searches.
TheKanataThrilla (23h) : Mathieu to Texans? I thought he wanted to go to a play that was all about winning football games?
hardrocker950 (17-Mar) : Bears already matched
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : Bears will certainly match it though. Maybe restructure after year one?
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : but bears got lots of money, didn't think anyone would make the offer
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : good question
Nonstopdrivel (16-Mar) : Can another team come and big even higher, or is it a one-off thing?
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : Bears WILL match the Kyle Fuller offer, but still, good move.
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : @RapSheet Source: The #Raiders are expected to sign #Colts FA CB Rashaan Melvin. More defensive talent adde
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : Packers sign Bears CB Kyle Fuller to offer sheet
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : Packers have signed TE @TheJimmyGraham. Graham will wear No. 80 for the Packers
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : Vikings are finalizing a 1-year deal with Sheldon Richardson,
Nonstopdrivel (16-Mar) : Beast, my five-year-old wants to know that you're the best.
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : Eagles are releasing DL Vinny Curry
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : CB Bashaud Breeland cut his foot in a non-football injury and it got infected, source said. He is now a few months away from being able to pass a physical.
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : @massey_evan Can confirm that the #Packers have been in touch with Tyrann Mathieu.
hardrocker950 (16-Mar) : Good CBs don't come around every day... It shouldn't be a surprise that they get paid well.
DarkaneRules (16-Mar) : These CB contracts were out of control. Maybe there's value in the later rounds of FA
DarkaneRules (16-Mar) : pack runs a tight ship
Cheesey (16-Mar) : Jennings didn’t act like a jerk when he was here. After he left he did.
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : We should bring S Eric Reid, played some LB and is just 26.
Smokey (16-Mar) : OK--> lol
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : ww = we ? I'm not sure.
Smokey (16-Mar) : Who is ww ?
gbguy20 (16-Mar) : the way greg has acted since he left i can't believe ww ever liked him
Cheesey (15-Mar) : Jordy got his big payday. And went to the team where players go to die.
Cheesey (15-Mar) : Jennings must still think he’s the GREATEST! (That’s why he’s no longer wanted as a player)
gbguy20 (15-Mar) : greg is an idiot
Nonstopdrivel (15-Mar) : With Derek Carr tossing him the rock. That will be interesting to watch.
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2017 Packers Schedule
Sunday, Sep 10 @ 3:25 PM
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