Think how far we have come since March. Many of us thought this day would never come or at least be moved back because of all the lockouts, all the court battles, even the threat of a presidential speech. Now it appears nothing can stop the NFL season from starting on time and you couldn’t ask for a better matchup for the first game.
It’s a battle between the past two Super Bowl winners, the Packers and Saints live at 8:30 from the not yet frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. The pregame celebration of opening night rivals that of the pregame of the Super Bowl. Green Bay will have Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, and Maroon 5 are performing outside the stadium then a really cool pregame ceremony on the field. Great NFL alums from every team (Jags are represented by Don Davey) will march into the stadium holding their team’s flag. They will line up in a two rows, AFC on one side and NFC on the other. Bart Starr will enter the stadium through the middle with the Green Bay flag flowed by the Super Bowl Champs running through the center.
Not to be out done every NFL team will have a pregame remembrance on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. You be able to see this on TV as well All games will feature a special video introduction followed by performances of “Taps” from near the sites of the attacks and moments of silence. After that a full field American flag will be held over the field by members of the community and both NFL teams and coaches. Now each team will have their own special way to remember the lives lost on the day. Here in Jacksonville we will see a flyover, a halftime show with over 300 personnel, bagpipers playing Amazing Grace and parachuters dropping into the stadium.
NFL opening weekend is always special but this year it has a very different meaning, not just because of the threat of a miss season but because it starts on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. With all the great tributes happening it will be a shame if the people in Jacksonville miss them because of a lack of ticket sales.