Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/6/12

70,000 sold out tickets. For a scrimmage?

What was going on in Green Bay Friday night?

Brought to you by multiple sponsors, Green Bay Packers Family Night was certainly more than the old Intra-squad game of back in the day. Fully a whole day and evening of pageantry, commerce, and adulation fraught with powerful symbols, Friday's Packers Family Night was a celebration of Packer culture, a massive pep rally for northern Wisconsin.

And what a pep rally! Many hours before the scrimmage Lambeau Field parking areas became a carnival midway of food vendors, kids games, and sand sculptures

As the stadium filled up youth footballers were allowed to scrimmage on the sacred tundra.

Cultural symbols took center stage. The U.S. Army Golden Knights parachuted into Lambeau Field in a show of strength. The Oneida Nation conducted an Opening Ceremony, giving the event a religious feel, as if marking the start of a special religious season like Lent or Advent, Green Bay Packer Football Season.

The Oneida Nation is big time in these parts, nobody you fool with by accident, and their dancers made an awesome spectacle. The Nation also provided the color guard for the national anthem, inspirationally sung by the very young Skylar Stecker, daughter of former Wisconsin footballer Aaron Stecker

At that point, I realized that I was watching a massive pep rally and one much better than any pep rally from high school days.

It was just a big old, "we love us" feel-good pep rally on a massive scale. There was an intense emotional crowd sharing the sense of belonging to something special.

That was the effect of the massive pep rally on Packer Nation.



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