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Offline Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, February 9, 2011 6:59:17 PM(UTC)
Rank: Premier Member

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Joined: 10/13/2006(UTC)
Location: Green Bay, WI
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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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Zero2Cool (18h) : High-ankle sprain could sideline Cook
Zero2Cool (26-Sep) : Odell Beckham Jr, Dez Bryant, Alshon Jeffery and Julio Jones on tap for Packers. Yippie.
Cheesey (26-Sep) : Arnold Palmer was a class act all around. RIP
Smokey (26-Sep) : Rest in Peace Arnold Palmer, you blessed us all .
hardrocker950 (26-Sep) : What a strange weekend of football
jdlax (26-Sep) : What's up, friends? It's like bizzaro world right now trailing the Vikings. Blah.
GoPack1984 (25-Sep) : Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 6 interceptions!
TheKanataThrilla (25-Sep) : Cleveland loses.
The_Green_Ninja (25-Sep) : I swear, Jacksonville's hot weather must be a huge advantage. Kept it super close with the Ravens
TheKanataThrilla (25-Sep) : Su'a Cravens with a big INT. A guy I wanted.
TheKanataThrilla (25-Sep) : Can Cleveland win?
Zero2Cool (25-Sep) : T.J. Lang said after one of Aaron Rodgers' TD passes the Packers quarterback head-butted Lang in excitement and said "I'm back."
Zero2Cool (25-Sep) : Terrelle Pryor could see snaps at quarterback
Zero2Cool (25-Sep) : inactives 6 Callahan 37 Shields 42 Burnett 52 Matthews 68 Murphy 95 Jones 98 Guion
Mucky Tundra (25-Sep) : GET HYPE
Zero2Cool (25-Sep) : Packers aim to showcase speed of Ty Montgomery, Trevor Davis
Zero2Cool (25-Sep) : CB Quinten Rollins will start for Shields. Micah Hyde for Burnett. Julius Peppers for Matthews. Kenny Clark for Guion.
Tezzy (25-Sep) : Probably will not be on the top of the Pick'Em leaderboard after today, soaking it in beforehand
Tezzy (25-Sep) : Foosball!
yooperfan (25-Sep) : Game day, tee it up and get this show on the road!
dyeah_gb (25-Sep) : Dyeah! Go Pack!
buckeyepackfan (25-Sep) : GOOD MORNING PACKER FANS! GAMEDAY! GO! PACK! GO!
flep (25-Sep) : Gameday!!! Will see you all in chat later
The_Green_Ninja (25-Sep) : Also, I'm not sure if you guys know. I'm a Memphis Tigers fan. Start looking a Riley Ferguson, QB. He is the real deal.
The_Green_Ninja (24-Sep) : Big whoop, we have Aaron. We are going to win. H8ers.
Zero2Cool (24-Sep) : Matthews, Burnett out; Guion, Jones doubtful
Zero2Cool (24-Sep) : thank ya
macbob (23-Sep) : HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KEVIN (yesterday...sigh...)
Zero2Cool (23-Sep) : Sam Shields has already been ruled out for Sunday's game.
Zero2Cool (23-Sep) : For Lions, Ansah is out. LBs Levy and Williams doubtful and Van Noy questionable. TE Ebron and DE Taylor questionable, too.
Zero2Cool (23-Sep) : Jimmy G sprained his AC joint
Mucky Tundra (23-Sep) : Brady is suspended and 2nd stringer Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a ACL sprain in week 2
Mucky Tundra (23-Sep) : Patriots 3rd stringer QB Jacoby Brissett injuried and needs surgery
Zero2Cool (23-Sep) : Quinten Rollins is the only NFL cornerback to play 20 or more snaps in the slot this year without allowing a catch
Porforis (23-Sep) : Cutler has better luck completing to Packers players 10+ yards downfield than Rodgers does. I say only mostly facetiously.
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