Green Bay Packer fans have always been among the most die-hard, loyalists in all of football. From the Ice Bowl to the Brett Favre era to the Super Bowl winning team of 2010, fanatics have braved frigid temperatures and unbearable conditions to watch their beloved soldiers take Lambeau Field. But could it be now that we are accustomed to our large screen definition televisions, pizza delivery and cozy recliners that to brave freezing temperatures and blizzard conditions would be ludicrous?
It’s almost unbelievable to think that Packer Nation has not sold out Sunday’s wild card game at home against NFC rival the San Francisco 49ers. Temps are expected to drop well below zero, so the usual Lambeau loyalists may prefer to stay warm and toasty by the fire while they watch the game.
But there’s just one thing. The NFL has a blackout rule that may prevent Packer fans from watching the game on television. According to the rule, which the FCC is fighting, if a game is not sold out 72 hours before kickoff, local TV markets will be in a blackout zone. In fact, three of the four wild card games this weekend are not presently sold out. This includes the games in Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The Eagles/Saints game in Philly is currently the only game completely sold out. It’s all very hard to believe because football is more popular now than ever, however, a weekend of frigid temperatures combined with the comfort of home seems to be keeping fans out of the stadium and glued to their couch.
The Packers sneaked into the playoffs last week with a game-winning touchdown drive by Aaron Rodgers. The quarterback hadn’t played since November 4th after suffering a broken collar bone. In his absence, the team could only muster up two wins in eight games, putting the Packers in a win or go home situation last Sunday. Rodgers looked a bit rusty for most of the game against the Chicago Bears, however, he stepped up when he needed to. Rodgers found an open receiver on fourth-down and tossed a perfect 48-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb to win the game and earn the chance to face San Francisco in round one.
The Packers are a three-point home dog on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 4:40 pm est. Fans and the NFL feel optimistic that Lambeau will sell out, and Green Bay locals will be able to catch the game from the comfort of home.