A star-studded Packers-Chiefs game at Lambeau with Taylor Swift, Simone Biles was a night to remember
GREEN BAY – If it wasn’t one of the most star-studded nights in Lambeau Field history, surely it was one of the most unforgettable.
A “Sunday Night Football” showcase for the ages. And the game wasn’t bad, either.
Hip hop artist and Green Bay Packers fan Lil Wayne, who sounded like he was reading Packers fans everywhere the greatest of bedtime stories as he narrated the intro to NBC prime-time broadcast, put it best …
“So this is Lambeau under the lights, freezing cold, superstars, Super Bowl memories. Can’t get better than that if you ask me.”
Don’t forget the snowflakes, Weezy. All the best moments at Lambeau come with a little snow.
For a few fleeting hours on the first Sunday in December, as the Packers battled and ultimately defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 27-19 in thrilling fashion, it was as if Green Bay wasn’t just the NFL’s smallest market but also the feel-good pop culture center of the universe.
Taylor Swift showed that if you want to make an entrance in the land of green and gold, you wear a pop of red lipstick and a chic cherry red coat to match. Cameras showed her cheering on boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, from a luxury box just above Packers great Reggie White’s name on the stadium’s facade.
The last time she was in Green Bay 15 years ago, Swift was an 18-year-old emerging country artist who played a sold-out crowd of 8,000-plus at the Resch Center. She returned a 33-year-old superstar — Spotify’s most-streamed artist in the world in 2023 — in a sold-out crowd of 80,000-plus.
As quickly as she flew in on her private plane to say, “It’s me, hi,” she was gone, bye. Less than six hours from touchdown to takeoff.
Down on the sidelines was Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history who has quickly endeared herself to Packers fans by embracing all that comes with being one.
Dressed for the weather in a hooded Packers parka, NBC’s “Football Night in America” pregame show captured her sharing a sweet embrace and kiss with her husband, Packers safety Jonathan Owens. The newlyweds fist bumped before he ran onto the field.
There was homegrown talent on the sidelines, too.
Emmy Award-winning actor and Packers season ticket holder Tony Shalhoub, who grew up one of 10 children in Green Bay, chatted up fans and posed for photos ahead of the game. His newest project, the return of beloved TV character Adrian Monk, was promoted on the stadium video boards and during commercial breaks ahead of Friday’s release of “Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie” on streaming service Peacock.
All that and a shot of a shirtless Santa Claus in green and gold body paint in the stands in 30-degree weather, too. What more could anyone want?
Football purists might make the case it’s just a lot of being starstruck. No argument there, but you know what? For a couple of hours on a slippery, slushy Sunday night, for all the rest of the country to see, it was kind of fun.
Will any of it change the world? Nope.
Did it leave Green Bay waking up this morning wondering if all that really happened in one night? Probably.
Maybe it’ll happen again sometime, with even more people, more starpower and for more than just one night.