The Green Bay Packers vs. St. Louis Rams preseason game was filled with great moments that will tell us a lot about what the team will do with personnel, coaching, and schemes in the coming regular season, but it also provided the stage for what was a great reminder of what it means to be a Green Bay Packers fan.
My wife and I recently moved to the St. Louis area, so regardless of regular season or preseason, we didn’t want to miss our opportunity to see our Packers play in our new home town. The Edward Jones Dome is about 20 minutes from our front door. So, we simply jump on a Metro to get into the heart of the city.
Upon arriving at the train station we were pleasantly surprised to find a sea of green and gold. Yes, there was an occasional Sam Bradford Jersey or even a tattered Torrey Holt relic, but the dress code for the game appeared to emphasize green and gold.
This was would not be the typical expectation one would have for an away game. Even as our tickets were being checked at the entrance to the dome there seemed to be one Packers fan for every Rams fan.
The stadium erupted when the Green Bay Packers took the field. The Rams’ reception was also grand, but they had the aid of pyrotechnics and formal introductions.
The game delivered all that Packers fans love. Rodgers making great reads in the pocket and displaying chemistry with tight end Jermichael Finley, several key defensive stands, and especially the phenomenal debut of rookie running back Eddie Lacy, who showed off his incredible spin move on several carries in the first half.
Packers fans were not disappointed.
The greatest moment of the game, however, was more subtle. It was not a great touchdown catch or even Johnny Jolly’s interception. It was a moment that occurred just prior to the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter.
Most of the St. Louis fans were packing up and heading home in the final few minutes of the game. Why not beat the traffic, right? It is, after all, just a preseason game.
It was in these final moments that something really cool began to happen. Packers fans started to make their way down toward the best seats in the house as they were left vacant by departing Rams fans. By the two minute warning the whole section immediately behind the Packers bench was filled with Packers fans who were there to watch every possible snap of Green Bay football that they could. With one minute left in the game the stadium rang with shouts of, “Go, Pack, Go! Go, Pack, Go!”
It was a cool moment to be a part of. You knew that it was just a preseason game. But it didn’t matter. That is what makes Green Bay Packers fans so special. When the game doesn’t even count as far as the win and loss column is concerned, we stay to the very end cheering louder than the home team fans.
Saturday’s performance on the field tells us of the promising season that is to come. But the night isn’t complete without a hard look into the stands to appreciate the loyalty, passion, and pride of Packers Nation – the greatest fans in football.