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Packers force Green Bay school to abandon Friday night kickoff

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

The roots of prep football in Wisconsin run deep. Unfortunately for one school, the roots of Green Bay Packers football run a bit deeper, even when the only thing on the line is a meaningless preseason game for one of the NFL's most storied franchises.

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Green Bay's Lambeau Field

Green Bay's Lambeau Field

According to the Associated Press and a handful of other sources, Green Bay (Wisc.) Notre Dame de la Baie Academy decided to move up its season-opening home game against Manitowoc (Wisc.) Lincoln High on Friday from 7 p.m. to 4 p.m. There's an obvious reason why they're doing so: The Packers have their preseason home opener -- the first competitive or non-competitive game played at Lambeau Field (pictured above in post Super Bowl celebratory delirium) since the team's Super Bowl victory against the Steelers in February -- scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. just down the road.

While one can understand why the Tritons would buckle to the pressure of bumping schedules with the reigning Super Bowl champs, doing so comes at a steep price, since they will no longer get to play their own season opener under Friday night lights.

"We're so close to Lambeau Field and we're right in the traffic flow at Mason Street that we do not like hosting events for traffic and safety of our kids," Notre Dame athletic director Ken Flatten told WLUK-TV.

Of course, you'd think that the people most upset about the schedule conflict would be the players themselves, who miss out on the traditional rite of passage of looking up into the floodlights on a warm August night. Yet for Notre Dame's game, at least one notable player said he thought the decision to move the game's kickoff time was a win-win adjustment for everyone involved.

"I don't think it's a big deal," Notre Dame quarterback Paul Allen told WLUK. "It's a home game, now people can see both games."

Given the proximity of the two stadiums, fans and players alike might even be able to see both games in person. If anything is worth giving up that first Friday of high school football under the lights, an afternoon of high school football followed by an Aaron Rodgers championship belt performance might be it … at least if you're a teen in Wisconsin.

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