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Packers last tuneup moved to Friday afternoon

MILWAUKEE (May 17, 2006) -- Are you ready for some football -- on a Friday afternoon?

The Green Bay Packers have rescheduled their final preseason game for 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1, after NFL officials rejected the team's request to hold the game against the Tennessee Titans that Thursday night.

The Packers chose the unorthodox starting time to prevent fans from having to choose between watching the team's final tuneup and their local high school teams' games.

"It's not perfect for everyone. We realize that," Packers president and CEO Bob Harlan said in a telephone interview. "But it does protect the high school teams."

The Packers will play their second-to-last preseason game at Cincinnati on Monday, Aug. 28. Harlan said an NFL rule, adopted in 2003, prohibits teams from playing two preseason games in the space of four days.

The Packers asked league officials to grant them an exemption, but Harlan said the league denied the request May 16.

Harlan said he still expected the Packers' usual flock of fans to make the game, saying many people take off early from work on the Friday before Labor Day weekend.

"I think the holiday weekend is a great advantage, frankly," Harlan said.

Harlan said they've held preseason games at the same time as Friday night high school games in the past, but weren't comfortable with possibly harming a tradition that's "so big in this state on Friday nights," Harlan said.

"It wasn't smart, and we never want to do that again," Harlan said.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2006, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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