GREEN BAY – Nearly 24 years after he was the first Packers player to jump in the stands, LeRoy Butler says he’s proud to unveil a new statue honoring the Lambeau Leap.
The bronze statue sits outside the new pro shop at Lambeau Field.
“Celebrations, you can’t pull out pens, you can’t pull out cell phones, but if you want to do a Lambeau Leap it’s ok, because you’re not showing up the Raiders or the other team,” said Butler. “You’re showing how much you love your fans.”
That love is what Butler says made him spontaneously leap into the Lambeau stands in 1993.
“I used to dance a lot and when I would score, the rare times when I’d intercept it, I’d dance,” said Butler. “But this time it just seemed like there was one particular guy just said in my eyes hug me.”
The leap led to Robert Brooks’ song “Jump In the Stands.” Ever since then, Packers players have been continuing the tradition.
Now Packers fans have their own chance at a Lambeau Leap with the statue at the reconfigured Harlan Plaza.
“Originally we thought maybe we’d have a player and then the fans could come around him, but ultimately we decided that we thought the fans would be portraying the player,” said Mark Murphy, Packers President & CEO.
“I wanted the people to experience being me and being one of the fans,” said Butler.
Plenty of fans are already leaping at the opportunity.
“It’s for the fans,” said Sue Lemke of Ashwaubenon. “The games, when you go to the games and you see a Lambeau Leap, it’s wonderful.”
Butler says the feeling is mutual and the statue is the perfect representation of that.
“I just want the fans to know that a lot of this stuff doesn’t go unnoticed by the players,” said Butler. “They know the part they play in it and they know the part the people play in it.”
Murphy says the team looked at a lot of Lambeau Leap pictures so the statues would mirror what typical end zone fans look like.