Friday, February 4, 2011
XLV: Packers nearing finish line
By Kevin Seifert
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Green Bay Packers have spent the week in North Texas, living in a suburban hotel, conducting interviews for at least an hour each day and watching as the intensity increases with each day of Super Bowl XLV hype week.
To keep his players sane, Packers coach Mike McCarthy will do everything he can to protect their normal routine over the next 48 hours before Sunday's 6:29 p.m. ET kickoff.
McCarthy's efforts actually began Thursday evening, when he showed the team a famous clip from the movie "Hoosiers." In it, coach Norman Dale (played by Gene Hackman) asks his players to measure the lane length and hoop height of the court in the gym that will host the state championship tournament. Obviously, the dimensions are the same as the team's home court.
The message: It's the same game even if it's a different stage.
"Everybody loves 'Hoosiers,'" McCarthy said Friday.
Corny as it might have been, I'm guessing the resulting laugh calmed at least a few nerves.
McCarthy is also keeping players on a schedule similar to one they would have for a Sunday night game at Lambeau Field. Here's what their schedule looks like from now until Sunday, according to McCarthy. All times are local (CT):
- 10:30 a.m.: Meetings end
- 11 a.m.: Bus to Highland Park High School for team photo and practice
- Players free for rest of day (until curfew)
- 8:30 a.m.: Meetings begin
- 11 a.m.: Meetings conclude
- 8:30 p.m.: Chapel
- 9 p.m.: McCarthy said he will have a guest speaker whom he declined to name.
- 10 a.m.: Team meeting
- 2 p.m.: Bus leaves for Cowboys Stadium
McCarthy said earlier this week that the Packers won't change hotels the night before the game, as the Pittsburgh Steelers will do and has often been the tradition among Super Bowl teams.