Saints vs. Packers: Game day preview
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Back in February, the Green Bay Packers were savoring a championship; tonight, they'll savor something much more basic.
"It's great to be able to celebrate the return of football", said Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.
An extended labor dispute between players and owners had the season in doubt until just over a month ago.
But now, there's peace, and football.
"I think people are maybe a little bit more stoked than they would be had it been a regular off season", said NBC Sports, Al Michaels.
Adding to the excitement is a kickoff game on the hallowed ground of Lambeau Field, home to a Packers franchise that won its first NFL title back in 1929.
"You go to Lambeau, and it's different", says Michelle Tafoya of NBC Sports. "It just is different. It's a different crowd, it's a different feel."
And the NFL's smallest city is braced for pre-game excitement like it's never seen -- a concert featuring Lady Antebellum, Maroon 5, and Kid Rock.
"I could probably hear him from my office," joked Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "That's about as close as I'll get to the concert. But, it's an impressive setup. It's going to be a great day for our fans."
But when the music stops and the action starts, the Packers will be hosting the league's previous champion, the New Orleans Saints, in a battle between two of the league's most explosive offenses.
""We see ourselves as a great team, a contender," said Saints quarterback Drew Brees. "They see themselves as a great team, as a contender. The fact of the matter is, it's one game."
Perhaps it's only one game, but it's one that puts the NFL back in business.