GREEN BAY (WITI) -- Green Bay may be a small town, but covering the Green Bay Packers is big town business. National media frequents Titletown, and that makes for a crowded locker room!
When a photojournalist heads to Lambeau Field to cover the Packers, it's not just lights, camera, action. That won't be enough to properly do the job.
"The thing with Green Bay is that although it's the smallest media market, because of the way the state covers the Packers, it's as big a media market as any other in the NFL," FOX6 Sports Photojournalist Mickie Leach said.
And thus, those entrusted with collecting the comments of the Packers players rely on a simple hardware store purchase -- a step stool.
"It's an advantage. You really can't do the job in the locker room without the step stool. A step stool is a revolutionary piece of equipment for a photojournalist," FOX6 Chief Photographer Jim Wilson said.
"The step stool is tremendously helpful. Our guys -- there have been a couple times when we've been in bad positions and you come in late and you've got no shot unless you've got that step stool to get up over the crowd. And I'll tell you what, it helps avoid the elbowing. I've been in other places -- I'm not going to name any other cities, New York, where it's literally like boxing out for a rebound," ESPN Reporter Bob Holtzman said.
"You've got to be able to maneuver successfully in and out of them, and that's an art. Not everyone can do that," NFL Network Reporter Michelle Beisner said.
The presence of the step stool in the NFL locker room is accepted to have started in Dallas in the mid 1990s. They have made their way elsewhere around the league, but not everywhere.
At Lambeau Field, there's a place for everything and everything in its place. Case in point, the place for media is the press box. The place for fans are the seats at Lambeau Field. The Packers locker room is the place for the players, and behind the green door is the place for the step stools.
"The step stools are rare obviously here. I know Patriots -- huge media crowd there. You always see step stools there. Beyond that, I'm not sure I can remember step stools anywhere," Holtzman said.
"Jacksonville -- you probably don't have much campaign for step stools in Jacksonville. You know, I haven't been to Jacksonville in quite some time. I'll leave it at that. Maybe that's a bad example. Denver, a lot of step stools. The Rams of St. Louis -- not quire as many this time of year. Dallas -- always a lot of step stools," Beisner said.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of step stool stories -- but one stands tall above the others.
"At one point, there was a creative crew, if you will, with the ingenuity of putting the person with the camera on the shoulders of the individual with the microphone. That garnered access to the interview subject, but didn't end very well -- but it became legendary," Leach said.
So it's lights, camera, step stool, action in Green Bay.