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Packers-Saints Press Box Notes


TONIGHT: The Packers bid to even their preseason record and rebound from a loss in Monday's opener, 21-3 to Seattle...It's the team's preseason finale at Lambeau Field, as the Packers don't return for nearly a month, until Sept. 19 vs. Chicago, and play just one home game over the next 42 days...The Packers play tonight after only four days "rest," or two days fewer than a standard regular-season week.

BROOKS PART OF TALENTED '99 DRAFT: Aaron Brooks, who missed last week's New Orleans opener, is expected to make his preseason debut in Green Bay, his first NFL home...Former Green Bay general manager Ron Wolf took Brooks with the his first of two fourth-round selections in the 1999 draft (the other fourth-rounder was punter Josh Bidwell)...Wolf then dealt Brooks to the Saints, July 31, 2000, with tight end Lamont Hall for linebacker K.D. Williams and a third-round pick in the 2001 draft...Brooks was second of two starting NFL quarterbacks selected by Wolf in consecutive drafts; the other, a sixth-rounder in 1998, was Matt Hasselbeck, now starting for Seattle...Brooks and Hasselbeck are two of 11 Brett Favre backups who've left to start for other teams.

OUTSTANDING BACKFIELDS ON DISPLAY: Tonight showcases the NFC's top two running backs, the Saints' Deuce McAllister and the Packers' Ahman Green. In 2003, Green and McAllister ranked 1-2, respectively, in rushing and total yards from scrimmage among NFC players.

SHRINE GAME: Tonight marks the 55th annual Upper Midwest Shrine Game, one of the NFL's oldest team traditions. Each season at the game, the Packers donate funds 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 nearly $3 million for the Midwest Shrine's burn centers and hospitals for crippled children. Designated proceeds from tonight's contest will go to the Shriner's Children's Hospital in Chicago. The facility specializes in helping children with orthopedic needs. The Packers are 26-25-3 all-time in the series. The series is so old, 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.

BUBBA'S BIKE WINNERS RECOGNIZED: Before kickoff, the Packers will introduce the four area youngsters who won a chance to meet Bubba Franks Aug. 13. The Packers, ShopKo and Reebok teamed up on a promotion with the local Boys & Girls Clubs to further the great Packers tradition of players riding children's bicycles to practice. The winners each received a custom-made dual suspension 'Bubba's Bike' from Magna. Not only did they get the bike, but Franks broke in the bikes for them as he rode their new bicycles to and from the team's training camp practice field across the street from Lambeau Field for Aug. 13 practices.

TONIGHT'S NATIONAL ANTHEM: Former Shrine patient Janine Brass will sing the Star Spangled Banner.

AT THE GATES: The team is again distributing 2004 magnetic schedules, sponsored by Miller Lite...Last week, the same schedules were distributed to Green Bay 'Green Package' season-ticket holders. Tonight marks the first 2004 game for Milwaukee 'Gold Package' season-ticket holders.

PACKERS QUESTIONABLES/SCRATCHES: CB Ahmad Carroll (groin), WR Robert Ferguson (hyperextended knee), WR Scottie Vines (Achilles') and C/G Scott Wells (biceps) are questionable. Nine players are early scratches:

POOL REPORTERS: Cliff Christl of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, appointed by the Pro Football Writers of America, is the home pool reporter. Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette is the alternate. Jeff Duncan (primary) and Brian Allee-Walsh (alternate), both of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, are visiting pool reporters.

NEXT WEEK: Green Bay flies to Jacksonville to meet the Jaguars, Friday at ALLTEL Stadium, a 7 p.m. kickoff. New Orleans is also in action Friday, making a trip to Soldier Field to meet the Packers' arch rival, Chicago.

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