Rhinelander native gets field level view of Packer games
It can be cold, snowy and sometimes there is the danger of being run over by armor-clad warriors, but for Rhinelander native Matt Becker there is no place else he would rather be.
That is because Becker roams the sidelines at Green Bay Packers games as the assistant team photographer, capturing photos for the team.
“It is pretty much a dream come true,” Becker said. “I have access to Lambeau Field, I have a desk in the stadium, it is pretty unreal.”
Becker’s road to rubbing elbows with Packer players started in college when he was a marketing intern with the ball club.
“When I as at UW-Green Bay, I was a marketing intern for the team,” Becker said.
“I would shoot the game, and pretty much do anything to do with marketing.”
After he graduated, the Packers were looking for someone to take photos full time and Becker jumped at the chance.
Now his Sunday’s consist of long days capturing the experience of game day at Lambeau Field.
“I usually get there three to four hours before kickoff and get photos of fans tailgating and the warm ups,” Becker said.
Those pregame shots led to one of his most memorable photos he has taken.
“It was before a Viking game and I happened to snap a photo of Aaron Rodgers grabbing [referee] Ed Hochuli’s bicep,” Becker said. “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
While Becker has snapped shots of famous body parts, he said one question always comes up in conversation when people ask him about his job.
“Everyone wants to know what it is like to walk through the tunnel,” Becker said.
“At it is an amazing experience when you think of all the history and the players that have walked through that tunnel.”
The second most asked question: Have you ever been run over by a player?
“I get that one a lot too,” he said. “I have not been run over yet. I have come close. At the Browns game this year, Brandon Weeden was coming right at me.
He took out the security guard right next to me but I was fine.”
When Becker is not taking photos on game days, he is scouring through the files of photos that he took and archived prints.
“Monday’s I pretty much just go through the game day photos,” Becker said. “The rest of the week, we are going through the old photos that we have and trying to get everything archived digitally.”
As for the favorite part of his job, Becker said that is a tough question.
“It is really hard to say,” he said. “I like shooting the fans before the game and then once the game starts, it is all game action. There are just so many different things to this job.”