They did it at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 1, and they did it again Thursday night at Lambeau Field. Detroit Lions took over a road stadium that feels generally impenetrable by the opposing teams' fans, and as a practical matter gave the Lions some level of a home field feel.
Next to having had a 30-year run of Hall of Fame quarterback play, the Green Bay Packers take pride in the fact Lambeau Field has a lengthy waiting list for season tickets. There is a sprinkling of opposing teams' fans for individual games, but they are generally overwhelmed by all the green and gold in the stands. As it should be.
On Thursday night, as chronicled by beat writers and seen throughout the game, that was not so much the case.
Lions fans made Lambeau Field into Ford Field West. That surely would not stand with the Packers, right?
Lions fans' takeover of Lambeau Field prompts Packers to issue a cry-baby statement
The plethora of options on the secondary ticket market provides selling opportunities for home fans who can't, or don't want to, attend a game. A Thursday night game feels like a prime spot for someone to sell their tickets, unless they take Friday off work or school.
On Friday, the Packers issued a statement about the bevy of Lions' fans at Lambeau on Thursday night. No one should be surprised at what amounts to crying about it.
"The Packers have encouraged our ticket holders to sell to other Packers fans when possible, The secondary market, however, allows fans from anywhere to purchase tickets and Lambeau Field remains a popular destination for all fans, including those from other teams. We have seen this particularly with divisional games. Conversely, this is how the Packers often enjoy many Packers fans at away games.”
The caveat about "this is how the Packers often enjoy many Packers fans at away games" does not soften the cry-baby message. Opposing teams, say the Vikings, don't issue this kind of statement when Packers' fans invade U.S. Bank Stadium in droves. I'm guessing the Bears have never done so after "Packer-backers" take over portions of the Soldier Field stands.
But Lions' fans did it at Lambeau Field, and the Packers promptly whine about it the next day. #AsExpected.
The Lions have one of the best PR and social media teams in the league. So the easy reaction to the Packers' statement was posted on Twitter, eyeing the next road game at Tampa Bay in Week 6.
The Lions broke the will of the Packers' players, and the head coach, on the field Thursday night. And Lions' fans that had the audacity to buy freely available tickets and travel broke the will of the Packers' organization, as their "home field advantage" was encroached on in a way they didn't like.