Packers-Falcons Press Box Notes

-JUST FOR THE RECORD: The Packers and Falcons, all even at 10-10 in 20 previous regular season meetings, also own identical home field records against each other coming into today's game, each having won 7 of 10 on home turf.

The Packers have won three of five meetings with Atlanta in Lambeau Field and compiled a 4-1 record against the Falcons at Milwaukee County Stadium, where they annually played some home games prior to 1995.

The Falcons, in turn, have won 7 of the 10 games in which they have hosted the Green and Gold in the Atlanta Fulton County Coliseum and, more recently, the Georgia Dome.

The Packers, however, own an 11-10, overall edge on this afternoon's visitors, having posted a 37-20 victory over the Falcons in a wild card playoff in "Lambeau" in '95 - their only postseason meeting to date.

-A TIE WITH TERRY? By presiding over a Green Bay victory today, Brett Favre (66-12) would tie the 67-12 record Terry Bradshaw compiled over his entire 79-start home career. Bradshaw set the mark while leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl victories during the '70s.

-FAVRE ENTERS TODAY'S opener with a remarkable touchdown-to-interception ratio in the red zone of 191-to-20.

-FAVRE, WHO HAS already thrown touchdown passes to 31 different receivers during his 11-year pro career, has an obvious opportunity to expand that list today, since he will be throwing to two new receivers - Terry Glenn and Javon Walker - in addition to second-year pro Robert Ferguson, who was not recipient of a TD pass as a rookie in 2001.

-THE PACKERS' FIELD GENERAL goes into action assured of making additional Packers and NFL history.

Favre will be making his 158th consecutive start, extending his league record for quarterbacks.

He also will be playing in his 160th consecutive game and thus tie Packer Hall of Famer Dave Hanner for 10th place on the club's all-time list for most games played.

Favre's 160 games have been consecutive and, by playing in today's game, he moves to within two games of Larry McCarren, who is third all-time with 162 consecutive games played. Forrest Gregg is the all-time leader with 187 straight, followed by Willie Wood with 166.

-JUST FOR OPENERS: Today's opening day start may be Hardy Nickerson's first for the Packers but it will be the 15th of his16-year NFL career...his 10th straight opening day start.

His only miss, he says, occurred in 1992 when - "I tweaked my back the week before the opener and had to sit out the opener." Nickerson then was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had selected the University of California linebacker in the fifth round of the 1987 draft.

-FAVRE, MEANWHILE, will be making his 10th consecutive opening day start (every one since 1993) while his 38-year-old "batterymate," center Frank Winters, will be making his 10th "kickoff" start overall after giving way to Mike Flanagan in 2001.

-THE ROSTER: The 53-player regular-season roster with which the Packers open the 2002 season includes 14 players who were not on it a year ago.

The list of newcomers includes five veterans - wide receivers Terry Glenn and Karsten Bailey, middle linebacker Hardy Nickerson, defensive end Joe Johnson and cornerback/kick returner Darien Gordon.

There also are five drafted rookies - wide receiver Javon Walker of Florida State, safety Marques Anderson of UCLA, running back Najeh Davenport of Miami, defensive end/tackle Aaron Kampman of Iowa and quarterback Craig Nall of Northwestern (La.) State and four first-year/rookie free agents - offensive tackle Kevin Barry of Arizona, running back Tony Fisher of Notre Dame and linebackers Paris Lenon of Richmond and Marcus Wilkins of Texas.

Lenon is the only one of the 14 who is not totally new to the Green and Gold. Signed as a free agent in late April of last year, he was in the Packers' subsequent mini-camps before being waived July 24. Later, after being out of football for most of the regular season, he was re-signed to the Green Bay practice squad December 27.

-THE HOMECOMING: More than eighty members of the Packer Alumni will be seated in a special section along the northwest sideline during the game and will be introduced individually from the field during halftime.

The group includes three members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame - Willie Davis, Bart Starr and Willie Wood.

Shawn Mulhern, long identified with the Green Bay TV and radio scene - and former field announcer for the Chicago Bears - will handle the halftime introductions.

Most of the "old grads" will be staying around to play in the Alumni's annual charity golf tournament at Oneida Golf and Country Club, proceeds of which are contributed to the Green Bay Boys' and Girls' Club.

-SPECIAL CEREMONIES: President Bush will be featured in today's pregame ceremonies. He will deliver a message to fans across the nation at 12 noon, just before the kickoff.

It will be followed by a tape of the Navy Choir singing "America The Beautiful."

The President's message will follow the national anthem, to be sung by national recording artist Michael McDermott, of Chicago.

The anthem, in turn, will be immediately followed by a fly-over of four F-16 aircraft from the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing, which will be flying in from their Truax Field base at Madison, Wis.

The Color Guard of the Wisconsin Society of the Sons of the American Revolution will be a guest color guard on the field for the anthem, along with the American Legion.

-HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Packers President/CEO Bob Harlan, who will be celebrating No. 66 on Monday (September 9).

-NEXT WEEK: The Packers make their first road trip of the regular season, invading the Louisiana Superdome to take on the New Orleans Saints Sunday (September 15), with kickoff set for 12 noon, CDT (Wisconsin time).

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