TONIGHT: The Packers and Chargers kick off the league's first full preseason weekend, on national ESPN television...This marks only the third preseason NFL game, after the American Bowl in Tokyo (Atlanta 27, Indianapolis 21) and Hall of Fame Game (Chicago 27, Miami 24) last weekend...Green Bay bids for its first preseason-opening win since a 37-24 triumph over the N.Y. Jets here at Lambeau Field in 2000.
NICOLET INTRODUCES LAMBEAU FIELD WATER: Nicolet (nik-o-LAY) Forest Bottling Company, Inc. has collaborated with the Green Bay Packers to bring fans another way to celebrate and support the team - Lambeau Field Water...Nicolet has been the official water of the Green Bay Packers for over 15 years. It plays such an important role in the physical hydration process, that Nicolet is requested for all away games. So it was only natural to extend the commitment of rehydration and refreshment to the fans with the launch of Lambeau Field Water..."Now fans can take a piece of Lambeau Field pride with them wherever they go...biking, hiking, walking, picnics, tailgate parties, anywhere and everywhere," said Dave Holdener, president of Nicolet Forest Bottling Company...And the support goes beyond just drinking the natural artesian water out of the green and gold bottle with the Lambeau Field logo on the label...One hundred percent of royalties will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, according to Craig Benzel, the Packers' director of marketing.
TONIGHT'S NATIONAL ANTHEM: Janine Brass, a former Shrine patient, will perform our Star-Spangled Banner.
FIRST OF TWO CHARITY GAMES ON TAP: Tonight marks the 56th annual Upper Midwest Shrine Game, one of the NFL's oldest team traditions...Each season, the Packers donate a percentage of the gate to the Shriners' Hospitals for Children...The Shriners' facilities provide specialized medical services, helping children with birth defects and other injuries, at absolutely no cost...To date, the series has raised more than $3.25 million for the Midwest Shrine's burn centers and hospitals for crippled children...The Packers are 27-25-3 all-time in the series, which is so old that three stadiums have hosted a Shrine game, two of which are no longer standing: Milwaukee's State Fair Park (1950-51), Milwaukee County Stadium (1952-82, 1984-94) and Lambeau Field (1983, 1995-present)...In 1959, Vince Lombardi's first season as an NFL head coach, the Packers and George Halas agreed to play in the Shrine game annually; Green Bay and Chicago played each preseason at County Stadium from 1959-73...Green Bay's second annual charity contest, The Bishop's Charities Game, is Aug. 26 against the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots.
AT THE GATES: The team is distributing 2005 magnetic schedules, sponsored by Miller Lite.
HALFTIME ENTERTAINMENT: After the Coldwell Bankers "Take it to the House" promotion, local Pop Warner football teams will compete.
NEXT WEEK: Green Bay travels to Buffalo to reunite with the Bills, in town last week for two days of joint practices and the Family Night scrimmage; the Packers and Bills kick off at Ralph Wilson Stadium Saturday, Aug. 20, at 5 p.m. CDT...San Diego makes its 2005 home debut, hosting St. Louis Sunday, Aug. 21 (1 p.m. PDT), in the NFL's only contest that day.