Radio’s Greg Papa prepares for the weather in Lambeau

There is chicken soup for the soul and there is chicken soup for survival.

Greg Papa will take care of the final Saturday night before taking on game-by-game (KNBR-680 AM) duties for the 49ers in their divisional playoffs against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Temperatures are expected to drop from a low of 20 degrees earlier in the day to 15 degrees with near-zero chill winds at 5:15 (PST) kicking in.

Papa admits he’s toying with the idea of ​​closing the press box window, but he’ll most likely be dressed up enough to look like the Michelin man and put himself in the same elements as the 49ers and Packers. .

“It’s important to me to feel the game, otherwise you feel like you’re in an aquarium,” Papa said in a recent interview.

Papa recalls the chicken soup made available to the media when he got through December’s games at Lambeau against the Raiders in 2007 and 2011. The 2007 game was 15 degrees Celsius, coach Lane Kiffin said. refused to bring on rookie JaMarcus Russell on the field. fall into a loss.

Russell never came off the bench, but Papa, of course, ended the game. He was the voice of radio station Raiders from 1997 to 2017 and for the most recent three seasons with the 49ers, so he’s called his share of cold weather games.

Growing up in Buffalo, he wasn’t overly concerned and was in fact leaning towards Lambeau’s aura and history.

“I would wear layers and pretend I was skiing,” said Papa. “When you’re traveling and experiencing the weather, you’re going to get a sore throat and the voice quality might not be what you’d like, but I wouldn’t be too concerned about the weather.”

More worrisome is the snowy temperatures, which are not expected in Green Bay on Saturday. The “Tuck Rule” game on January 19, 2002, in which the Raiders lost 13-10 in extra time to New England, presented some problems with the first lead.

“It’s not cold at all. I remember sticking my head out the window and breathing it all in,” Papa said. “It was 25 and clear and the snow was beautiful. It goes straight down. But it is a challenge because you cannot see the lines on the field. ”

Papa, 59, is known in the business world for preparing fanatics. But few have been able to peer behind the curtain to see how Papa really works on game day. A short clip of Papa at work during the 49ers’ win over Dallas and posted on Twitter provided a glimpse.

The voice you hear can go crazy depending on the game circumstances coming from a body in constant motion. He was constantly using binoculars, moving around the broadcast counter and scrutinizing the loud touchdown calls.

Given analyst Tim Ryan’s level of excitement, the energy oozes out of the broadcast in a way that might not be appropriate for television but creates a high intensity for radio. Papa has done both, but is old school when it comes to radio.

“I don’t sit down. I stand in the whole game. I can sit down during recess,” said Papa. “For me physically, it was like pushing out of my body. It’s almost like a theater actor on stage. If I sit down, it won’t come out of my diaphragm the same way. I must be able to project. ”

In doing each radio game for the Warriors from 1986 to 1997, season ticket holders were assigned by Papa because of his preference for standing in the game.

“I have fans sitting behind me and they get upset,” Papa said. “I tried and sat most of the game, but there were times when I had to get up”

The days before broadcasting football were greatly aided by modern technology. When he did the part of Raid, he brought a bag of VHS tapes and a television in his room on the way to play them.

“Preparing is so much easier now because I can watch them all on my iPad,” says Papa. “I remember first joining the Raiders in ’97 and asking Bill King how to learn. he said he was going to bring a team’s roster, stopped at a traffic light and said, “ Howard Twilley is number 81 for Miami, Manny Fernandez is number 75′ and memorized it that way. ”

And when Papa says “all,” he means it. He watched all of Green Bay’s games chronologically, both the game broadcast as well as the All-22, showing all the players in each play. Calling this process “downloading my brain,” Papa would watch for 90 minutes a day on his treadmill, while taking out the trash and other places he didn’t want to talk about.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/01/22/how-49ers-radio-voice-greg-papa-will-attack-broadcast-at-frigid-lambeau-field/ Radio’s Greg Papa prepares for the weather in Lambeau

Huynh Nguyen

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