Carrying on another Green Bay Packers tradition - this one that dates back more than 30 years - the Packers hosted the premiere viewing of the team's 2004 highlight film, "Belief Within: The Story of the 2004 Green Bay Packers," Tuesday night in the Legends Club of the Lambeau Field Atrium.
As has been a fixture in the long-standing tradition, Packers' team historian Lee Remmel served as the emcee for the evening's proceedings, introducing the film and later calling to the podium the event's featured speaker, defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.
The near 200 fans in attendance cheered their Green and Gold heroes at the high points of the film produced by NFL Films that detailed the Pack's event-filled run to a third consecutive NFC North Division title.
The film is scheduled to be available for purchase in VHS or DVD format through the Packers Pro Shop, located in the Lambeau Field Atrium, starting in mid-July.
At the conclusion of the viewing, Gbaja-Biamila took questions from the crowd and shared some of his feelings on the season gone by, as well as a look ahead to the 2005 campaign.
Staying true to the film's theme of belief within, the defensive end recalled what he and his teammates were able to gain from the difficulties they faced during some of the low points of last season.
"Life is about tests and trials and tribulations, and how you persevere through them and build character," Gbaja-Biamila said. "During that time, we learned so much about each other. We learned how strong we are, and that believing in one another can really inspire a team to do great things."
He went on to state how excited he is to be working with the new defensive staff, including defensive coordinator Jim Bates and defensive line/defensive ends coach Bob Sanders.
Gbaja-Biamila said that he expects great things this season and is especially pleased that many of his teammates on the defensive line have stuck around Green Bay this offseason to work out together.
Hearing the positive message from the defender was the highlight of the evening for Tim Sutton, a long-time Packer fan from Appleton.
"It was great to see the video, but even more so than that, hearing what Kabeer had to say after the video was great," Sutton said. "I'm glad he's excited about the changes on the defensive staff and I hope the rest of the players are just as excited as he is."
Following the question-and-answer session with the fans, Remmel and Gbaja-Biamila held a drawing for Packers gear, including hats, t-shirts, and a pair of autographed footballs before signing autographs and providing more highlights for many in attendance.
"I thought the video was great; I thought Kabeer was great," said Mark Wautocky of Green Bay. "This is an awesome thing the Packers put on every year. The Packers are all about tradition and this is another one of their awesome traditions that they've kept."
"We try to make it every year," said Barbara Van Beek, a veteran highlight film viewer from Green Bay who was the winner of one of the footballs Tuesday evening. "Last year I won one of the hats and had Ryan Longwell autograph it, so I've been pretty lucky."
Regina Bevington of Little Chute echoed the sentiments of many of the fans who took part in the evening's proceedings.
"I just think this is a great event," she said. "It's an opportunity for fans that don't often get a chance to come to the games to be a part of the Packers experience at Lambeau Field."