Atlanta – The National Football League’s NFL 100th Season starts with a bang in the Midwest this Thursday: the Green Bay Packers versus The Chicago Bears, in Chicago, at Soldiers Field.
The NFL’s released two press documents for the NFL Kickoff Events and the game. I’ve included here as they give more information than I could effectively impart in reasonable time.
Here’s the National Football League’s 100th Year Presentation
HOW TO FEATURE LIVE PERFORMANCE BY INSPIRE CHANGE ADVOCATES MEEK MILL, MEGHAN TRAINOR AND RAPSODY AT GRANT PARK
NBC’S FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA KICKS OFF THE SEASON AT HISTORIC SOLDIER FIELD
NBC/NFL Network Special on Thursday, Sept. 5, 7:30 – 8:10 p.m. ET
Precedes NFL Kickoff Game:
CHICAGO BEARS vs. GREEN BAY PACKERS on NBC
The NFL kicks off its 100th season with “2019 NFL KICKOFF PRESENTED BY EA SPORTS MADDEN NFL 20” – 7:30 PM ET Thursday, September 5. Artists and Inspire Change advocates MEEK MILL, MEGHAN TRAINOR and RAPSODY will perform live before the Green Bay – Chicago game at GRANT PARK in Chicago.
To further the celebration of both the NFL and the Bears 100th season, 2019 KICKOFF EXPERIENCE PRESENTED BY EA SPORTS MADDEN NFL 20 will take place on Thursday, September 5 and will be open to fans from 12:00 PM CT to 10:30 PM CT at Grant Park. Kickoff Experience is free and open to the public and brings fans closer to the NFL through sponsors’ interactive experiences and dynamic promotions. Additionally, Bears’ Legends will be onsite to sign autographs throughout the afternoon: JIM MCMAHON, MATT FORTE and CHARLES TILLMAN.
Fans are also encouraged to stop by the Madden NFL 20 Experience at Grant Park for a chance to watch NFL Legends MICHAEL VICK, CHAD JOHNSON, music artists, Twitch streamers and fans compete in the first ever EA SPORTS Madden NFL Twitch Prime Crown Cup.
At approximately 6:30 PM CT Meek Mill will headline the musical acts of the day on the Kickoff Main Stage. Preceding his performance will be the musical acts from Inspire Change advocates Meghan Trainor and Rapsody.
Following Meek Mill’s performance, fans are encouraged to stay and make history together as the Green Bay – Chicago game is shown live on massive screens throughout Grant Park. This will be a first-of-its-kind NFL KICKOFF WATCH PARTY for fans onsite. Throughout the game, Bears’ and Packers’ Legends will be on stage along with the integration of Bears’ fan rituals and a free-to-play game for interactive fan experience.
A portion of both Meek Mill’s and Meghan Trainor’s performances will be featured in simulcast coverage of the 40-minute pregame show from Chicago from 7:30 – 8:10 PM ET on NBC and NFL Network.
The show leads into the opener of the NFL’s 100th season between Green Bay – Chicago. The historic NFC North matchup has been one of the NFL’s greatest rivalries throughout the last several decades and will start the season off at Soldier Field (NBC, streamed live via NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app across all platforms , Westwood One Radio Sports, 8:20 PM ET). In addition to the live telecast of NFL Kickoff on NBC, the game will be streamed live across all devices via NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, NFL.com, and the NFL app. Additionally, fans on mobile devices can stream the game via the Bears and Packers mobile properties, Yahoo Sports, and other Verizon Media and NFL properties. Audio coverage of the game will be provided by Westwood One Radio, SiriusXM and the TuneIn app.
AL MICHAELS will call the action alongside CRIS COLLINSWORTH. MICHELE TAFOYA will report from the sideline, and three-time Super Bowl referee TERRY MCAULAY, Sunday Night Football’s rules analyst, will join Al and Cris in the booth. The Football Night in America team of MIKE TIRICO, LIAM MCHUGH, TONY DUNGY, RODNEY HARRISON, CHRIS SIMMS, MIKE FLORIO and KATHRYN TAPPEN will also be on site from Chicago.
2019 NFL KICKOFF PRESENTED BY EA SPORTS MADDEN NFL 20 will be executive produced by RICKY KIRSHNER, the Executive Producer of the Super Bowl pregame and halftime shows, and directed by GREGG GELFAND.
In addition to presenting sponsor EA Sports Madden NFL 20, top-tier sponsors for NFL Kickoff include Bose, Bud Light, Microsoft, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Snickers and Verizon.
THE NFL’S 100TH SEASON BEGINS:
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT CHICAGO BEARS
Since the NFL launched in 1920, no other rivalry has contained more vivid history than the GREEN BAY PACKERS and CHICAGO BEARS. And since AARON RODGERS became a starter in 2008, few NFL rivalries have carried as many playoff implications.
Rodgers and rookie Packers head coach MATT LaFLEUR this week make the 34-minute flight to Chicago, where the Bears will host Thursday’s historic opener (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC). The Packers have 56 wins on Kickoff Weekend, most in the NFL, including the longest active streak in the NFC, four games. Chicago’s 54 Kickoff Weekend wins rank second.
Victory at venerable Soldier Field, the league’s oldest stadium, has proven significant during the Rodgers era. In nine of the last 10 years, the winner of the lakefront game between these clubs has advanced to the playoffs. In seven of the last nine seasons, the winner of this Soldier Field game has gone on to win the division. And in 2010, a Windy City win in the NFC Championship also gave the Packers a trip to Super Bowl XLV.
A different team has won the NFC North each of the last three years, the NFL’s only division with that distinction, and the division hasn’t seen a repeat winner since 2014.
Entering this year, the Bears are kings of that hill after capturing the NFC North under their own rookie head coach, MATT NAGY, and second-year starting quarterback MITCHELL TRUBISKY, the second-overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. On the path to the postseason, Chicago finished 12-4 to capture the NFC’s No. 3 seed, joining the HOUSTON TEXANS (AFC South) as the two teams to complete a “worst-to-first” turnaround in 2018. In 15 of the past 16 seasons, at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in last place.
Thursday also marks the Bears’ first game under new defensive coordinator CHUCK PAGANO. The former Colts head coach inherits a unit that led the NFL in fewest points allowed (17.7 per game), takeaways (36), interceptions (27), interception touchdowns (five), fewest rushing yards (80.0 per game) and fewest net yards per pass play (5.3). KYLE FULLER tied for the league lead with seven interceptions and EDDIE JACKSON tied for the league lead with two interception-touchdowns. Meanwhile, KHALIL MACK (12.5 in 2018) is one of just three NFL players with at least 10 sacks in each of the last three seasons.
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