Kevin Williams has 'pretty much seen it all' at Lambeau Field

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 1, 2012 - 10:43 PM

In 10 trips to Lambeau Field (make it 11 after Sunday), the Vikings' Kevin Williams has "pretty much seen it all."

Kevin Williams is kind of like the family pet. One minute, he's the young pup romping around Lambeau Field as a starter in his first NFL game. The next minute, he's the steady graybeard teaching the new batch of puppies how good it feels to soil that sacred tundra at 1265 Lombardi Avenue in Green Bay.

"I've pretty much seen it all up there in Green Bay," said Williams, the only member of the 2012 Vikings who was with the team before 2004. "These young guys will find out. It doesn't take long before you develop some type of discomfort toward the Packers."

If Williams hasn't seen it all, he is coming close as he gets set for his team-high 11th game at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

While going 4-6, he has played with and against both Good Brett and Bad Brett. He has lost a regular-season game 34-0, but he has also won a playoff game 31-17.

He has been there for Brett Favre's return and Aaron Rodgers' starting debut. Unfortunately, he has also been there for Tarvaris Jackson's starting debut.

He has seen Randy Moss pretend to moon the Cheeseheads. He has lost on Ryan Longwell's 33-yard field goal as time expired, but he has also won on Paul Edinger's 27-yard field goal as time expired.

"Something strange usually always happens up there," Williams said. "Something that you'll remember for a long time."

Here's a closer look at some of the highlights and lowlights through the 32-year-old eyes of the Vikings' five-time first-team All-Pro defensive tackle:

Sept. 7, 2003: Vikings 30, Packers 25

Favre threw four interceptions as the Vikings ruined the Packers' unveiling of renovated Lambeau Field. Williams, the ninth overall draft pick out of Oklahoma State, joined Carl Eller and Al Noga as the only rookie defensive ends to start a season opener. He started the first 12 games at left end before moving to tackle.

"I first walked out of the tunnel at Lambeau Field and ...," said Williams, looking as though finishing his thought might bring a lightning bolt from the football gods. "Truthfully, I was like, 'This is what all the fuss is about?' This stadium didn't look all that great in person at all. On TV, it looks amazing and just huge. But it seems like you're down in a hole with the fans right on top of you."

Nov. 14, 2004: Packers 34, Vikings 31

Remember Ben Steele as a Viking?

"I do," said Williams. "Barely."

Steele was on the Vikings practice squad in 2003 and 2004 before being released before the start of the regular season. He ended up as the Packers' third-string tight end on this night.

With less than 90 seconds left in a tie game, he also ended up in the right place at the right time when Packers kick returner Robert Ferguson fumbled. Or at least that's what the officials say happened. The Vikings still argue otherwise.

Steele and Vikings cover man Derek Ross both staked claim to the ball. After a lengthy scrum in which it appeared that Ross had control first, Steele was awarded the ball.

"You never know what type of calls you're going to get when you go to Green Bay," Williams said. "There's always been some type of questionable calls that change the game entirely. You're never surprised by the calls in Green Bay."

Six years later, the Vikings lost 28-24 in what then-coach Brad Childress called "the worst-officiated game" he had ever seen. Of course, it didn't help the Vikings that Favre, playing for them at the time, threw three second-half interceptions.

But the Vikings did have three touchdowns overturned by review and Childress was fined $35,000 for revealing that the league had apologized to him for making a mistake in overturning a touchdown by Visanthe Shiancoe.

Jan. 9, 2005: Vikings 31, Packers 17

The football knowledge in Green Bay goes well beyond the West Coast offense and the Tampa 2 defense. These folks are so detailed, they know where and when the visiting team buses arrive from the hotel in Appleton.

"They generally don't throw things, but they give you the finger, they throw all kinds of slurs at you and they moon you," Williams said.

And we're not just talking about young, drunk males.

"It's the whole caboodle," Williams said. "They'll bend over, pull 'em down and pat their butts at you."

This particular game will be remembered forever as the day Moss pretended to moon the crowd following a 34-yard touchdown reception.

Some people, including Fox television announcer Joe Buck, were aghast. The league ended up fining Moss $10,000.

"People went overboard," Williams said. "All Randy did was act like he pulled his pants down. You didn't see any skin. I guess the gesture was too much for the NFL to handle. But anybody who's been on a team bus heading into Lambeau would think it was funny. I did."

Nov. 21, 2005: Vikings 20, Packers 17

Mike Tice's last game at Lambeau Field as Vikings head coach was a last-second win that left him with a 3-2 mark in Green Bay. And the two losses were by a combined seven points.

Tice's successors -- Childress and Leslie Frazier -- are a combined 1-5 at Lambeau.

"You got to look at the guys we had to deal with when Tice was here," Williams said. "He did a good job with the character guys we had. It was all about offense at the time. Those guys were pretty much the Vikings. We threw the ball great, but Tice also made sure we ran it, too.

"There was something he was doing right. He didn't get the credit when he was here."

Nov. 11, 2007: Packers 34, Vikings 0

Besides being the worst Vikings loss ever at Lambeau, this also was the game in which Vikings defensive back Dwight Smith was caught on camera laughing hysterically while jumping around on the sideline with the Vikings losing 34-0.

Vikings fans were livid.

"That became a big deal, but I wasn't mad at him," Williams said. "Fans have to understand we all love to play football. But you can't make it so serious that you can't have fun. Nobody likes to lose. I'm pretty sure Dwight wasn't laughing because we were down 34-0. If you know Dwight, he likes to have fun."

Sept. 8, 2008: Packers 24, Vikings 19

In his starting debut, Rodgers completed 81.8 percent of his passes with no turnovers.

"Aaron and Brett are both tough tasks," Williams said. "When I came into the league, I really didn't like playing Favre. But I kind of feel the same way about Rodgers now.

"But if both were in their prime and I had to choose to play one, I'd probably rather face Aaron. Brett, he's a tough competitor. You saw when he was here. The spirit he brings, it just shines all over the team."

Nov. 1, 2009: Vikings 38, Packers 26

Favre's return to Lambeau Field came four weeks after he beat them at the Metrodome.

"Being in that stadium that night, it was like walking on air," Williams said. "Aaron gave it his best shot and old Brett gave it his best shot and threw four touchdowns. One of the rowdiest games I ever played in next to Brett's first game against the Packers at the Metrodome."

Dec. 2, 2012: ???

"How much longer do I want to play?" Williams said. "I've been playing 10 years. That's been great. I think anything over 12 years is a blessing, so I think a couple more years will probably be good enough for me, as long as I can be effective and play at a high level, which I feel I'm still doing that."

Williams' contract runs through the 2014 season. So he's not looking at this as his last go-round in Lambeau, even though his 151 career starts rank second in team history among defensive tackles behind only Hall of Famer Alan Page (157).

"I ain't too gray yet," he said. "But I think in dog years, I have been around a long time."

  • related content

  • The Call: Vikings at Packers

    Sunday December 2, 2012

    One man's prediction: In 2006, the Vikings twice passed on Aaron Rodgers, drafting Troy Williamson at No. 7 and Erasmus James at 18. Rodgers is a known grudge holder --...

  • Chart: Vikings-Packers rivalry

    Saturday December 1, 2012

    Edge Green Bay: The Packers have a 53-48-1 advantage after 102 games. They have won the past four meetings, and have a 28-23-1 home-field lead.

  • Wiederer: It's Jarius Wright's time to play

    Saturday December 1, 2012

    The rookie wide receiver from Arkansas wants to show that he's "always been a playmaker."

  • Harvin declared out for Sunday's game in Green Bay

    Saturday December 1, 2012

    The Vikings will again be without their best receiver as they travel to Lambeau Field for a key divisional showdown with the Packers.

  • Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers looked for a receiver downfield while...

  • WEEK 13 NOON TODAY AT GREEN BAY LAMBEAU FIELD • LINE: PACK BY 8 1/2 TV: CH. 9 (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 115 FINAL
Denver 111
Indiana 100 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
NC A&T 55 FINAL
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
TX A&M-CC 73 FINAL
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
New Mexico St 55 FINAL
Baylor 66
San Diego St 62 FINAL
Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
Incarnate Word 82 FINAL
Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 73 FINAL
UNLV 75
CS-Northridge 56 FINAL
Oregon 79
Grambling St 38 FINAL
Washington 86
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
UNLV 84
NC A&T 70 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close