Super Bowl Capsules: Fans celebrate Packers win with final tailgate
February 08, 2011 5:56 PM
By TODD RICHMOND, The Associated Press
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers fans chanted and cheered as the Super Bowl winning team walked onto Lambeau Field for welcome-home ceremony.

The 50,000 tickets for Tuesday's "Return to Titletown" celebration sold out in a matter of hours. Fans from across Wisconsin jammed into the stadium, waving Super Bowl champion flags.

They exploded in a chant of "Go Pack Go" as the players emerged from the locker room and walked on to the field. The players high-fived fans in the first row and shot video with their cell phones.

Coach Mike McCarthy brought out the Lombardi Trophy and promised fans to win next year's Super Bowl as well. The fans screamed their approval.

Tickets for celebration sell fast

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Giddy fans reveling in the Green Bay Packers' fourth Super Bowl title bought out all 50,000 seats to Tuesday's celebration at Lambeau Field in a matter of hours, despite forecasts that call for frigid conditions.

Tickets to the "Return to Titletown" event went on sale Monday morning for $5 each and were sold out by that evening, team spokesman Aaron Popkey said. Tickets were selling on the online ticket sales site StubHub on Tuesday for as much as $140.

The celebration figured to be an icy one. Forecasts for the Green Bay area on Tuesday called for a high of 10 degrees and subzero wind chills.

It didn't matter to the Packers faithful, who began showing up at the stadium hours before the Tuesday event began.

Don Jobe, 24, of Appleton, and three of his friends were in the Lambeau parking lot by 9:45 a.m., braving 3-degree temperatures and a negative 14-degree wind chill to tailgate.

"That's what true Packer fans do," Jobe said as he struggled in the cold to light the group's grill. "You only win the Super Bowl so often."

Jobe's friend, 21-year-old Stephanie Tipler, said the group wanted to get to Lambeau by 7 a.m., but that she talked them into holding off until 9 a.m.

Packed in the group's trunk were brats, beer and cupcakes.

"Typical Wisconsin cuisine," Tipler said.

The cold didn't bother Ken Hampp, 23, of Appleton, as he sipped a Budweiser.

"The weather's fine. I can barely feel it," he said. "That's my favorite thing about winter. You can just stick your beer in the snow."

Green Bay has been in the throes of a non-stop party since the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Sunday night.

Thousands of fans surged into the city's downtown streets Sunday as green-and-gold fireworks exploded overhead. On Monday, fans packed city sidewalks to cheer on the team's returning motorcade.

Schools let out early and people skipped work so they could see the team as it traveled from Austin Straubel International Airport to Lambeau Field along a route that included Lombardi Avenue, named in honor of the legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi.

Some fans milled around the stadium's atrium and lined up for tours of the stadium, while others just stood in the parking lot and screamed in jubilation.

The stadium's pro shop was so packed with customers snatching up Super Bowl gear team that officials made shoppers stand in line to get in. Fans across the atrium shouted "Go Pack Go!"

Steelers want to put Super Bowl loss behind them

PITTSBURGH (AP) — With his season over, Brett Keisel is ready to scrap his scruffy style.

Forget "Fear the Beard."

Much to the disappointment of the bushy growth's nearly 30,000 Facebook fans, it's time to "Shear the Beard."

"It's coming off soon," Keisel said outside the Steelers practice facility. "I'm not exactly sure when or how it's going to happen. But it's going to come off soon. It was a good thing. I think looking back, I wouldn't change it."

Win or lose the Super Bowl, Keisel's lumberjack look was in for a makeover.

He had promised not to cut or trim the reddish-brown beard as long as the Steelers kept winning. So, Keisel can bust out the clippers this week, though his full-bodied facial hair surely would have kept him warm during a Super Bowl parade that would have been held on a frigid Tuesday had the Steelers beat the Packers in the Super Bowl.

Instead, his whiskers will soon swirl down the drain like the Steelers' championship dreams.

Keisel and the Steelers had one final team meeting Tuesday, determined to put their crushing Super Bowl loss to Green Bay behind them. Players stuffed belongings in black trash bags and zoomed off into an uncertain offseason.

Almost 48 hours after the loss, coach Mike Tomlin met with the Steelers and told them the franchise remains committed toward winning the Lombardi Trophy.

He also addressed some various rules and restrictions that would come if owners decide to move ahead with a lockout. The Steelers, like most NFL players, are worried about what will happen with OTAs, minicamps, health insurance and other necessities when the collective bargaining agreement expires March 3.

"Hey man, you better save some money, just in case," defensive end Nick Eason said. "A lot of things have changed. I mean, we've been taken care of through our health insurance, and things like that, and we're going to have that no longer. So it's time to save, time to not buy cars and spend money."

Tomlin, of course, wasn't around to talk about the meeting. Same with Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu. The Steelers let two players talk to the media at the podium: Antwaan Randle El and Chris Hoke.

About an hour after the meeting ended, Tomlin walked out of a side door of the practice facility wearing a scarf and his AFC champions ballcap, but no coat, on a brisk day where the wind chill was below zero.

Tomlin waved before he slipped into his SUV and backed it up to the doors of the practice facility to load some belongings. He then tipped his cap as he drove out of the parking lot.

Inside team headquarters, the Steelers' six Super Bowl trophies stand together along the wall leading to various offices. The 31-25 loss to the Packers assured there will be no more additions to that collection this offseason.

Hoke, a free agent after 10 years with the Steelers, was a key component in their last two championships. And, of course, he expected to extend the perfect record on Sunday.

"I'm glad we won the first two, because I don't how you deal with it," Hoke said. "It makes you so much happier you won the first two. It's tough to lose Super Bowls. You get there, you dream of being on top of that podium holding that trophy, passing it around, celebrating with your teammates."

Hoke hopes to return and expects to find most of his teammates back with him for the new season — whenever that starts. Linebacker LaMarr Woodley and cornerback Ike Taylor are two top free agents. The Steelers want to re-sign both.

Under the Rooney family, the Steelers have long been fond of stability. And Art Rooney has already said not to expect many changes.

Who knows. Maybe Keisel's mangy mane might be the biggest offseason transformation.

"It was a lot of fun and I think a lot of people had a good time with it," Keisel said. "We'll see what happens, hopefully I can grow another one."

-- Dan Gelston

Nev. sports books eke out $724K win on Super Bowl

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Sports books in Nevada hung on to win just over $724,000 from Super Bowl bets despite heavy gambling on the Green Bay Packers and lots of scoring, Nevada gambling regulators said Tuesday.

The Neva