ESPN cameras love Lambeau
— When it came time for ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” producers to decide which NFL cities on the schedule this season would be a good fit for an extended pregame live broadcast, Green Bay was at the top of the list.
“Monday Night Football” was in town for the Green Bay Packers-San Francisco 49ers game at Lambeau Field on Monday with live coverage from outside the stadium to capture the game-day tailgating scene for viewers at home.
Green Bay was one of only three cities last season to get the bonus tailgating segment. Let’s just say Packers fans delivered.
“The atmosphere that was out there, it was really a no-brainer for us to come back and try and take advantage of what goes on in and around Green Bay and give our viewers that perspective,” said Matthew Garrett, coordinating producer for the show.
“It’s so unique and so much different than almost every other NFL city ... Who knows how many football fans ever get the opportunity to go to a game at Lam- beau Field, so we love to give people at least a little bit of a taste.”
“Countdown” includes host Suzy Kolber and analysts Charles Woodson, Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss, Steve Young and Louis Riddick.
For Garrett, who has been to NFL stadiums all over the country, it’s the intimacy of the Lambeau game-day
experience that both sets it apart from other cities and makes for good television.
“It’s a smaller town. It’s a stadium that’s obviously steeped in history. It feels a little more probably like what a college environment feels like than a lot of NFL games,” he said. “It kind of feels like you’re at a big family reunion, like the entire city of Green Bay is having a family reunion on a Monday night for ‘Monday Night Football.’ It’s a cool feeling you don’t necessarily get at every stadium.”
While other stadiums also stand out for Garrett — the Louisiana Superdome after Hurricane Katrina, the loudness of Seattle Seahawks fans at CenturyLink Field, the Minnesota Vikings’ new U.S. Bank Stadium — Lambeau’s neighborhood setting is special.
“The stadium is right next to somebody who has lived in a home for decades,” he said. “Most stadiums are surrounded by parking lots for however far. In Green Bay, it backs up to somebody’s backyard. There’s a kid who plays on his playground in his backyard and when he turns around he may be staring at Lambeau Field, one of, if not the
It’s familiar territory for Woodson, the former Packers defensive back who played for seven years in Green Bay. His connections to the stadium and the city are many.
His younger brother, Jonathan Patton, owns Cover 2 Sports Bar and Lounge on downtown’s Washington Street, where they proudly pour Charles Woodson Wines. When the Packers won Super Bowl XLV in 2011, Woodson celebrated with a tattoo at Tattoos by Rick on Military Avenue. He lived in a condo downtown as a player and enjoyed the local dining scene.
“Republic Chophouse. I had to eat there at least two or three times a week. Black & Tan (Grille) was there, and then Koko’s (Sushi Bar & Lounge) relocated and they came downtown, so I had some of my favorite spots within walking distance,” he said. most, hallowed stadiums in the NFL.” Woodson enjoys the trips back
Former Packer and current ESPN analyst Charles Woodson poses for photos in 2017.
Fans keep an eye on the Packers and the Brewers-Dodgers game on Monday night.