It doesn't matter if you're a rookie, head coach, or the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player; the kickoff of the regular season is always special.
"It's the best," Head Coach Mike McCarthy answered when asked about opening up the season at Lambeau Field.
"Been blessed, this will be 6-out of-7 times we've opened up here. The kickoff game is always special.
"It's fun, these games count now," says quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
It's a challenge. It's exciting to have a new team to do this with."
The season opener has a big-time feel in 2012. When San Francisco and Green Bay square off Sunday it will be the first NFL opener in 13 years featuring teams with a combined 28 wins from the year before.
"It's definitely going to be a big challenge for us," says guard T.J. Lang.
"They've ranked top-5 in defense the last couple of years now, and really their front seven is as good as you're going to see. We are going to have our hands full."
A big point of emphasis in the game Sunday will be securing the football. The 49ers led the league in turnover-differential in 2011, and the Packers finished second with 38 takeaways to only 14 giveaways. Not surprisingly, San Francisco and Green Bay finished the regular season a year ago as the top two seeds.
"That's exactly how it works," says defensive lineman Ryan Pickett.
"You keep the ball and you take it away, you are going to be the top teams. We have to do a good job of taking the ball away from them this game. It's going to be big; if we get the turnovers we can get the win."
Rodgers is always prepared with statistical proof.
"We looked at a lot of research and obviously if you look at the turnover ratio in general, I think it is about 80 percent win/loss," said Rodgers at his locker Wednesday.
"As far as opening games go over the last few years, it's been closer to 90 percent. We have to take care of the football; they are trying to take it away. They do a good job at not giving it away, and the team that takes care of the football better is probably going to win."