Leaving for Lambeau Field

APPLETON, Wis. -- Since the word is there is going to be a massive crowd, not only in Lambeau Field on Thursday night, but at all the pregame events, I’m going to start making my way up to Green Bay to make sure I arrive in plenty of time.

For those not familiar with the geography, Appleton is roughly a 30-minute drive from Green Bay. Early in my time covering the NFL, I learned that it’s best to stay in Appleton because there are more hotel options than Green Bay. In fact, most visiting teams stay at a particular hotel in Appleton because it’s viewed as the only hotel in the area that has enough ballrooms to hold team meetings and such.

Green Bay is not a small town, but it’s not a huge city. That makes the atmosphere unique. The Packers aren’t just Green Bay’s team. They’re all of Wisconsin’s team. That was evident Wednesday night as I drove from the Milwaukee airport up to Appleton. I’m guessing that 75 percent of the billboards I passed had something to do with the Packers. I’m sure it will be more of the same on the drive from Appleton to Green Bay.

Once I get settled into Lambeau Field, I’ll check back in. I’ll also get you the pregame inactives as soon as possible. NFC North colleague Kevin Seifert, Scouts Inc.’s Matt Williamson and I will be chatting live during the game. Stay tuned to this blog for the chat as the game approaches. We’re scheduled to start chatting about 8:15 p.m. ET.