Rick Reilly and espnW’s Sarah Spain take visits to Green Bay’s streets, lots and yards

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“Countdown’s” Rick Reilly on
Green Bay’s Unmatched Tribute to the Packers

No other NFL city rewards their former players with street names as much Green Bay, Wis. There are currently 10 streets named after famous Packers, and if Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt has his way, fans would “drive nothing but Packer streets to Packer games,” reports “Monday Night Countdown’s” Rick Reilly.

This unique feature of “Titletown, USA,” is the subject of Reilly’s story tonight on ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” (6:30 p.m. ET). The piece, produced by Tina Cerbone, includes interviews with Schmitt and the latest living Packer to have a street named after him – Super Bowl-winning wide receiver Donald Driver (see photos below). “It’s awesome. . . From a guy that’s lived on the streets to now having his own street, I’m honored by it,” said Driver of his street name. — Mac Nwulu [/box]

espnW contributor Sarah Spain hits the road this NFL season bringing fans the “biggest and best tailgates and traditions from nine unique NFL cities in the country,” in the new digital series, “No Spain, No Game.”

In the series, Spain makes nine stops including, most recently, Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers. In the video above, Spain talks to some of the most dedicated Packers-backers – including quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ parents. ESPN’s Monday Night Football is at Lambeau Field tonight for the Chicago Bears-Packers’ clash (8:30, ESPN). The Chicago resident tells Front Row how the tailgating series came about and answers the question, “what is ‘yardgating’?”

What inspired the No Spain, No Game series?
I went to see the Bears play in Nashville last year and had such a fantastic time, I wanted to find a way to encourage other fans to see their favorite NFL team on the road, rather than just at home. I really wanted to be comprehensive in our videos, showing not just parking lots, but bars, neighborhoods, restaurants and local game day favorites. A lot of people can’t afford to go on the road, so I wanted to give them a look at what NFL Sundays are like around the country.

Who do you work with to pull the features together?
I work with a different freelance crew in each city and we usually start to shoot about five hours before game time right up until kickoff. The tapes get sent out to [ESPN’s headquarters in] Bristol, Conn. I work with espnW deputy editor Joy Russo and associate producer Ashly Robinson on the editing and final product, which usually runs a week or two after the shoot.

What makes Lambeau Field tailgating unique?
Though I’m a Chicago gal with a deep love for the Bears, I can admit that Green Bay does it right. The tailgating scene is completely unique because not only do you have the parking lots and bars you might see elsewhere, you also have “yardgating,” parties in the front and backyards of the people who live literally right next to the stadium.

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