Green Bay Packers

It Makes Perfect Sense For the Packers To Play in Brazil

Photo Credit: Wm. Glasheen USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Since the announcement that the Philadelphia Eagles would be the home team for the league’s inaugural game in Brazil, fans have widely speculated that the Green Bay Packers will be the away team. Both teams are scheduled to face off against each other in the upcoming season, and the Eagles are already slated to be the home team in that matchup.

The Packers were the last team the league designated to play an international game. In 2022, they faced off against the New York Giants in London. Despite having played abroad two seasons ago, it would make perfect sense for Green Bay to play in Brazil this September.

Last June, the NFL Brazil account released research highlighting that Packers fans ranked first among those who engage with online content. A glance at social media platforms confirms this trend, particularly evident on platforms like Twitter. For instance, pages dedicated to the Packers in Brazil, such as Cheeseheads Brazil and Packers Brazil, have over 32,000 followers combined.

If Green Bay plays in São Paulo, the game’s dynamics could drastically change. While fans from every NFL team are expected to attend the game, the Packers fans’ strong presence could give them a bona fide home-field advantage. Given Green Bay’s immense popularity in Brazil, it’s plausible that at least half of the stadium could be filled with Packers fans. Moreover, it would provide a welcome break from the potentially hostile environment they might encounter at Lincoln Financial Field.

In addition to the potential home-field advantage stemming from a strong Packers fan presence in São Paulo, the team would benefit from the city’s time zone being only one hour ahead of Green Bay. Furthermore, playing in Brazil would afford the Packers a unique scheduling arrangement. With nine home games, seven true road games, and an international game on the itinerary, the Packers effectively gain an extra home game, which could tilt the competitive balance in their favor.

The timing of the NFL’s first-ever game in Brazil presents a unique element for both teams, considering the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere. São Paulo experienced an average temperature of 86 degrees in September 2023, which, while warmer than the typical playing conditions favored by the Packers, remains tolerable. Notably, the team would avoid the sweltering heat of Brazil’s peak summer months, where temperatures can soar to over 100 degrees.

The scheduling of the NFL’s inaugural game in Brazil during Week 1 offers Green Bay an advantage, particularly in planning and preparation for their trip. Unlike games in Europe, where teams often play on Sunday and must immediately embark on a short week due to the long travel involved, the Week 1 timing affords the Packers a more favorable scenario. With ample time to organize their trip to Brazil, the team can approach their journey with careful consideration, ensuring sufficient time for travel and acclimatization.

The prospect of Green Bay debuting in Brazil carries implications beyond just the Week 1 matchup. Given the considerable travel involved, it’s highly plausible that the Packers would play on Monday Night Football in Week 2. With the league prioritizing adequate rest for teams following long international flights, a Monday night matchup provides the Packers with essential recovery time. Not only does it prioritize player safety and performance, but it also provides a competitive advantage in terms of rest and preparation.

The NFL is expected to announce the participating teams for the Brazil game by April 3. While long road trips are usually not ideal for sports teams, the potential advantages for the Packers outweigh the disadvantages. Despite the logistical challenges of international travel, playing in Brazil offers unique opportunities for the Packers to engage with fans and experience the vibrant football culture. If the league chooses Green Bay for this international outreach, they can anticipate a warm reception from Brazilian Packers fans eager to show their love for the team.

As someone who grew up knowing that catching a Packers game meant making the pilgrimage to Green Bay, the possibility of the Packers playing in my home country is mind-blowing. Having followed the team since I was 13, and with my 24th birthday approaching on March 30, the announcement from Green Bay would truly be a remarkable birthday present.

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