Packers Family Night has been a tradition for the Packers and their fans since the late 1990’s. For me it holds a special place in my heart because the very first time I stepped into Lambeau Field was back in 1999 for Family Night.

Family Night used to feature just a scrimmage between the offense and the defense but since 2013 the format has changed to more of a practice inside Lambeau field, but still it’s a great opportunity for someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to go to a normal game to experience Lambeau Field.

For rookies and players who haven’t played at Lambeau Field, it’s a chance to play at one of the most historic venues in football. It’s almost like a gameday atmosphere for them as they get to practice in-front of fans inside Lambeau Field under the lights.

For coaches, it’s yet another chance to evaluate players and how they react to playing under the lights and inside an NFL stadium.

There have been some memorable moments during Packers Family Night in the past.  Some players have made a name for themselves during Family Night, putting up strong performances.

Memorable Moments

One memorable performance was Abdul Hodge back in 2006. Hodge had been making plays all training camp, but it really started during the Packers Family Night. During the scrimmage Hodge made a bone crushing hit and sent a message to everyone that he wasn’t going to be taken lightly. Even though it was just a scrimmage Hodge played like it was an actual regular season game. He went on to only play for the Packers for one season before being cut by the Packers in 2008 after he suffered an ACL injury that cost him the 2007 season.

Matt Hasselbeck, aka Mr. Preseason for the Packers, was just a back-up quarterback in 1999. What is memorable though was the first time I saw him play during Packers Family Night in 1999. Hasselbeck was throwing darts and completing passes to second/ third string Wide Receivers and looked like a natural at quarterback.  While I had not heard of him at that point, I knew we were going to be ok at backup Quarterback. Turns out a few weeks later he would have to play the whole Pre-Season when Brett Favre injured his thumb during a pre-season game against the Broncos. But that Family Night performance made Packers Fans realize they had someone special at back-up Quarterback. Eventually Hasselbeck went on to play for former Packer head coach Mike Holmgren in Seattle and play in one Super Bowl.

Unmemorable Moments

There are some un-memorable moments though for Packers Family night that we do want to forget about.

For some reason, the weather hasn’t been the best for the scrimmage.

The Family Night Event has been rained on or rained out multiple times in its history.

Another un-memorable moment is when Bryan Bulaga tore his ACL during the scrimmage in 2013 costing him the 2013 season and also forcing the Packers to change the format of the event from a scrimmage to a practice.

Although it’s just a practice, Family Night is a special night not only for fans but players as well as some bring their own families out to enjoy Lambeau Field under the lights.

After the practice is over some players bring their families out on the field and the fans get to enjoy fireworks over Lambeau Field, which truly makes the event more special.


Hau Khuong has been a Packers fan since 1996. He currently works as a video editor in Green Bay and writes for and you can follow him on twitter at @HauKhuongSports.