Friday, August 5, 2016

The Girdiron Man, Finally in Canton

Scott Heckel, The Canton Repository via AP
Brett Favre waves after receiving his gold jacket at the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees' dinner on Thursday in Canton, Ohio.
This feels like the final end to a storied career. I know that there's a ceremony to be held on October 16th, but this is the big one. We all knew that we'd get to this moment, although we couldn't have seen the bumps and twists in the road to get here.

The Kid looks pretty good in that gold jacket.

Jim Matthews/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Following the recent controversy over who really owns his legacy, I couldn't agree more with this sentiment:


You can check out his full Hall of Fame speech here. A speech, incidentally, that set one more record while honoring a career full of them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

In Which the Hall of Fame Trolls Us All

This Saturday, Brett Favre will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but we've already been given a peek at his locker display in the museum. And it's pretty outrageous.


Yep, somebody thought that his last two years in Minnesota deserved "equal time".


I know that Brett had some hard feelings about his departure from the team, but this seems incredibly petty.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Infographic: 2016 Training Camp

The 2016 season is approaching, and Packers.com is coming through with the infographics.
This training camp infographic takes a closer look at the Green Bay Packers going into the 2016 season and points out some statistical tidbits.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Packers Announce "Game Features" for 2016

Last night, the Packers released a schedule of special game events for the upcoming season, including some information on special uniforms.

Packers to honor Favre with halftime ceremony

Additional game features for 2016 also announced


The Packers today announced several game features for the upcoming season, including a halftime ceremony on Oct. 16 to honor Brett Favre for his Aug. 6 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction.

Favre, whose name will be unveiled on the Lambeau Field stadium façade next to fellow Pro Football Hall of Famers, will be recognized on the field at halftime of the Packers-Cowboys game.

At the same contest, the Packers will wear their historic third jersey, a re-creation of the team’s 1937-48 uniform that debuted as the third jersey during the 2015 season. The jersey, navy blue and gold with a gold yoke across the shoulders, pays tribute to a special time in Packers history in which the club won two of their record 13 NFL championships.

The NFL’s third jersey program permits teams to have a third jersey that they can wear for up to three games per season (no more than two home games) over a five-year period.

The Oct. 16 game will also feature the annual Coats for Kids collection prior to kickoff. Fans attending the game will have the opportunity to donate new and gently used winter coats for distribution to needy children through area Salvation Army units.

As was previously announced, the Packers will debut their color rush jerseys during the Oct. 20, Thursday night game against the Chicago Bears. That game will also feature the annual Verizon HopeLine collection, which collects no-longer-used wireless devices from fans to support domestic violence prevention efforts and assist domestic violence survivors.

Additional game features planned for the upcoming season include welcoming many Packers alumni back to Lambeau Field during the alumni homecoming game, set for the Sunday, Sept. 25, home opener. That Packers-Lions matchup also will feature the 30th Annual Packers Women’s Association Food Drive, which will collect non-perishable food items and cash donations prior to the game to benefit Paul’s Pantry.

The annual breast cancer awareness game will take place Oct. 9, when the Packers take on the New York Giants, and the Nov. 6 game will honor the military in the annual Salute to Service game, when the Packers face the Indianapolis Colts. The Sunday, Dec. 4, game, when the Packers host the Houston Texans, will feature the annual Toys for Tots collection, giving fans the opportunity to donate new, unwrapped toys to needy children in the area through the U.S. Marine Corps.

The final home game of the regular season, the Christmas Eve noon Packers-Vikings matchup, will thank Packers fans for their support as the team celebrates the annual Fan Appreciation game.

More information about each game’s theme and features will be announced as the games approach.
So not only do we know the Packers will wear their throwbacks on October 16th against the Cowboys, but they have confirmed the details of the NFL's third jersey program: up to three times a year (twice at home), each design remains their sole standard alternate for five seasons.

Also new is the date for their Color Rush uniforms. Thursday night, October 30, against Chicago. No timeline yet for unveiling the design.

Thanks to reader Tory Swanson for the heads-up!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Custom "World Champions" Plaques

This weekend, I received an amazing email from reader Trevor Whitlock, who created a project you'll have to see to believe.
Long time reader of your blog and figured I'd share one of my homemade packer creations during this packers down time.

I've got a small section of my basement dedicated to Packers stuff. Among the pieces, i have plaques for the 1996 team, the 2010 team and a team of the 60s plaque. For years I've been hoping the packers or the NFL would honor/acknowledge the first 6 championships so all of them could be represented on my wall. Earlier this year, i stopped waiting and took it upon myself.

I searched the internet to find the highest resolution photo I could of each team, identified the players and created a design for two plaques (3 teams on each). I tried to be as historically accurate as possible (ex. reconstructing the graphic of the 1945 media guide cover for the second plaque). I then had the images printed on metallic paper and adhered them to some basic black plaques that I had re-purposed. The result, I feel, is a great tribute to those teams and really blends in with the style of the Healey plaques of the 90s.
Here's the photos he sent me:


Absolutely stunning. Here they are in context, hung with the commercially-available plaques honoring the 1960s teams:


Nailed it. The effect is perfect.

A real labor of love; you can see how much work he put into them.


This is an amazing project. I share Trevor's frustration with the NFL's ongoing pre-Super Bowl myopia, and admire his determination to make these himself. They are indeed a fitting tribute to those teams. Bravo, sir.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Infographic: Packers 2016 Draft Class

Packers.com introduces us to the 2016 draft class with this infographic:
An illustrated look at the Packers' 2016 draft class.

This post-draft infographic takes a closer look at some of the trends in GM Ted Thompson’s recent drafts with the Packers and points out some statistical tidbits about the 2016 class.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Now THAT's Love.

Love of a good woman, or love of the team. Or both.

This has been making the Packers rounds lately. It seems to have started with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Green and gold nuptials: Fan to marry into Packer name

Jim Stingl
In My Opinion
April 30, 2016



As a fervent and lifelong fan of the green and gold, Ryan Holtan-Murphy finally found a way to become a Packer himself.

He's marrying into the name.

Ryan met this woman at his UW Law School 10-year reunion in 2014. Her name, she said, is Marie Packer.

"I thought she was messing with me," he said.

"This beautiful girl. We completely hit it off. She's fun, she's interesting, she's smart, she's hilarious. All of this. And her last name — it was like a thunderbolt for me," he said. "Her last name was just the flashing neon sign saying, 'This is the one!'"

Long story short, they're getting married next year, and Ryan is taking Marie's last name.

"He was like gimme, gimme, gimme, I want it," Marie said. "I didn't know the extent of the Packer fandom. I just knew he was really excited about my last name."

The powerful Packer sweep knocked her guy right off his feet.

  
As a fervent and lifelong fan of the green and gold, Ryan Holtan-Murphy finally has found a way to become a Packer himself. He is marrying Marie Packer and taking her last name. Michael Sears
 
Ryan, 40, is a 1994 graduate of Wauwatosa East High School who went on to college and law school in Madison. He left Wisconsin to practice financial law in New York for five years, then London for five, then back to New York where he lives now. He still has family in Wauwatosa.

Marie, 37, grew up in Ann Arbor and went to medical school at Michigan State. Her residency took her to Chicago, where she now lives and commutes to St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, Ind. She is an emergency room doctor.

Ryan is a Packer super fan, and let me clarify that in this instance I'm talking about the NFL team. His collection of memorabilia includes a check to St. Norbert College signed by Vince Lombardi in 1959, which he thinks was to pay for training camp lodging in Lombardi's first season with the team. I might add here that Marie was Lombardi's wife's name, adding to his Marie's perfection in Ryan's eyes.

"For me, the Packers have always been more than a team. They're almost an embodiment of Wisconsin, a symbol of home. I proudly take my Packer flag everywhere I travel, from Antarctica to Moscow," he said.

Marie grew up in a family of three girls and was indifferent to sports, though Ryan is working to change that and got her to tag along to an NFL draft event in Chicago on Thursday. The Lions and Bears have not earned her love over the years, and the Packer name has brought her a lot of groans and wisecracks in Bear country.

She happened to be at Ryan's law school reunion in Madison because she tagged along with her cousin and law school grad, Sarah Lawson, who introduced her to Ryan. The two talked and laughed a lot that weekend. They were falling fast.

Ryan went back to London, where he lived then, and in October 2014 Marie invited him to Chicago. He flew there to visit that very weekend, and 47 times since then.

One of their first dates was at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and that's where Ryan decided to propose in March of this year, with help from aquarium staff. As the two frolicked with small beluga whales in a tank of chest-deep water, a box containing the diamond engagement ring was fetched by one of the whales and brought to Marie to be opened. She cried with surprise and happiness. And she said yes.

Ryan now is trying to find a job in Chicago. He and Marie were in Milwaukee this weekend looking at possible venues for their wedding next summer. Some Packers touches are expected, at the very least a photo of the couple with the well-traveled flag.

"I'm not going to wear a jersey wedding dress. I draw the line there," Marie laughed.

Reaction to the name idea has been generally positive, though it took a bit for Ryan's dad to warm to the idea.

"I remember saying, 'Dad, what do you love the most out of anything?' And he said basketball. I said, 'OK, well if your wife's name was Cindy Basketball, don't you think that's a sign?'" Ryan said.

Marie was married once before, but took back the Packer birth name after divorcing. She loves that Ryan will share that name.

"I can still be Dr. Packer and not confuse my staff. And I think there's something unifying about having the same last name," she said.

"She has balked at naming future children Nitschke and Fuzzy," Ryan said, "but I'm working on her."
Since then, it's been picked up. The New York Daily News:

Green and gold nuptials: Fan to marry into Packer name

Kate Feldman
Monday, May 2, 2016, 10:33 AM


COURTESY OF RYAN HOLTAN-MURPHY

Packers fan Ryan Holtan-Murphy is marrying Marie Packer and taking her last name.

If you’re not born with it, marry into it.

Die-hard Green Bay fan Ryan Holtan-Murphy has found a way to join the green and gold family, but it doesn’t involve buying more Packers merchandise.

Instead, he’s taking his wife’s last name.

  
COURTESY OF RYAN HOLTAN-MURPHY

The couple got engaged in March and are planning for a 2017 wedding.
“I thought she was messing with me,” Holtan-Murphy told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

“This beautiful girl. We completely hit it off. She's fun, she's interesting, she's smart, she's hilarious. All of this. And her last name — it was like a thunderbolt for me.

“Her last name was just the flashing neon sign saying, ‘This is the one!’”

Holtan-Murphy met Marie Packer at his University of Wisconsin Law School 10-year reunion in 2014.

Packer, who was described as "indifferent to sports," has picked up on some of her fiancé's fandom, but she leaves most of it to him.

He proposed in March at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago — Packer works as an emergency room doctor at St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago — where the two had one of their first dates.

“For me, the Packers have always been more than a team. They're almost an embodiment of Wisconsin, a symbol of home. I proudly take my Packer flag everywhere I travel, from Antarctica to Moscow,” he said.

The couple is currently living apart while Holtan-Murphy works at a law firm in New York, but he’s looking for jobs in Chicago.

COURTESY OF RYAN HOLTAN-MURPHY

Packers fan Ryan Holtan-Murphy is marrying Marie Packer and taking her last name.

They’ve also started scouting wedding venues in Milwaukee.

“She has balked at naming future children Nitschke and Fuzzy,” Holtan-Murphy told the Journal Sentinel, “but I'm working on her.”
And Vice:

GREEN BAY PACKERS FAN IS TAKING HIS SOON-TO-BE WIFE'S NAME...BECAUSE IT'S "PACKER"

May 2, 2016 | Sean Newell

Ryan Holtan-Murphy, a Green Bay Packers superfan, is going to marry Marie Packer, and he's taking her name so he can finally call himself an actual Packer. Ryan met Marie—who is not a Packers fan, or sports fan in general—at law school reunion event in Wisconsin when she tagged along with her cousin, who was Ryan's classmate. The two hit it off that night, and Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that everything about her was sending him signals, but the name "was like a thunderbolt for me. Her last name was just the flashing neon sign saying, 'this is the one!'"

I called Ryan up earlier today to talk a little bit more about the name change and while he's not making a political/feminist stand out of the decision, he had "absolutely no issue" taking his soon-to-be wife's name, though he did joke that things might be different if her last name were "Minnesota Vikings."

"I never thought of it in terms of gender," he said, but "I don't see why it has to be the woman who is always changing her name." From speaking to him, you get the sense that his is legitimately a huge fan and changing his name just makes sense, like he'd be stupid not to, and social convention is irrelevant. The Sentinel report mentioned that his father had a few questions about it, but Ryan said that was more so because his dad isn't a Packers fan and he doesn't really understand the extent of his son's fandom, which he admits has led him to do other "goofy things" in support of the team. Like the time he made his dad sit through a beating at the hands of the New York Jets in Lambeau, as visiting Jets fans threw beer and hot chocolate at them. Or when he made them stop a hike along the coastline of Ireland on a beautiful day to find a pub to watch the Packers game.

But what about friends and coworkers? What do they make of this? It all depends on the nature of their relationship.

"People that know me well are absolutely unsurprised, " he said. Others might look at him a little funny, but the Packers have been the number one love of his life so it only makes sense to combine it with his new love. And he said Marie's willingness to indulge him, "that she gets it and is going along with it," are strong points in her already loaded "pro" column.

I asked him if he was concerned having the name Packer might put him at a disadvantage in the relationship. Would he let her win arguments or not speak up for himself for fear of angering her and possibly losing the name? "I think once I change it," he said, "I'm going to keep it no matter what."

Finally, I asked him if there was anything else in his life on the same level as the Packers that he would consider changing his name to?

He thought about it for a bit and then said, "maybe Miller beer?"
The legal blog Above the Law:

Law School, Football And Love

By KATHRYN RUBINO
May 4, 2016 at 3:46 PM


This beautiful girl. We completely hit it off. She’s fun, she’s interesting, she’s smart, she’s hilarious. All of this. And her last name — it was like a thunderbolt for me. Her last name was just the flashing neon sign saying, ‘This is the one!’

–Ryan Holtan-Murphy, a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan, explaining how he knew he’d met the one at his University of Wisconsin Law School 10 year reunion. His fiancée, Marie Packer, is an emergency room doctor not a lawyer, but was at the reunion accompanying her cousin, also an alum, when sparks began to fly between the two. They plan to get married next summer and he will be taking her last name. Marie reportedly still refuses to name her future children Nitschke or Fuzzy.
It also made USA Today's sports section:

Packers Fan to Marry Woman Whose Last Name Is Packer, Take Her Last Name

By: Ryan Glasspiegel
May 1, 2016 9:55 am ET


When devout Packers fan Ryan Holtan-Murphy went to his 10-year law school reunion a couple years ago, he didn’t know he’d meet the love of his life, Marie, let alone strike (green and) gold in the last name department. Jim Stingl from the Journal-Sentinel relays the story:

“This beautiful girl. We completely hit it off. She’s fun, she’s interesting, she’s smart, she’s hilarious. All of this. And her last name — it was like a thunderbolt for me,” he said. “Her last name was just the flashing neon sign saying, ‘This is the one!'”

Long story short, they’re getting married next year, and Ryan is taking Marie’s last name. “He was like gimme, gimme, gimme, I want it,” Marie said.

The two are a long distance couple; Ryan lives in New York and Marie, an ER doctor who tagged along to the law school reunion with a cousin, lives in Chicago. Ryan takes his Packers flag on all of his international travels, and plans to spend the foreseeable future trying to convince his fiancee that it’s kosher to name their kids after Lombardi Packers like Fuzzy Thurston and Ray Nitschke. From the sounds of it, he’s going to have to give up lots of concessions at the proverbial relationship bargaining table to make that one happen.

[H/T Fred]
Funny note: the "Fred" of the hat tip is Fred Thurston, grandson of Packer Legend Fred "Fuzzy" Thurston, who re-tweeted this: Hope Fred appreciated the reference to his grandpa.

Sports Illustrated was quick to jump on this story, as well as its global significance:


Local network affiliates as far away as Baltimore, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Lubbock, Texas and Manchester, New Hampshire all ran the syndicated story:

Extreme football fan marries into Packer name
Wisconsinite strikes (green and) gold


10:43 AM EDT May 04, 2016

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that a Green Bay Packer fan will soon reach official super fan status: He gets to become an actual Packer.

Ryan Holtan-Murphy knew when he met his fiancee that she was "the one." Not only did Holtan-Murphy fall in love with the woman, but when she told him her last name, he said it was "like a thunderbolt" for him.

"He was like gimme, gimme, gimme, I want it," said Ryan's fiancee, Marie Packer. Ryan will be taking Marie's last name after their nuptials next year.

"I didn't know the extent of the Packer fandom," said Packer. "I just knew he was really excited about my last name."

Holtan-Murphy says the Packers are much more to him than just a football team. As a native Wisconsinite who lives and travels internationally for work, he says the team is an embodiment of Wisconsin and a symbol of home. He says he carries his Packer flag everywhere he travels.

"She has balked at naming future children Nitschke and Fuzzy, but I'm working with her," Ryan said.
Of course, the local Wisconsin press has been having a field day with this story. This from Madison's 1070AM:

Packers Fan Takes Wife Last Name

Jon Arias
Posted May 4th, 2016 @ 12:45pm

A Packers fan from Wisconsin had the easiest decision of his life after he and his girlfriend got engaged last month. Her last name? Packer. So now Ryan Holtan-Murphy will become Ryan Packer.
This only got second billing in the Waukesha Patch's "Only in Wisconsin" news, behind a pair of fishermen who hooked a 60-year-old six-pack of beer from the bottom of the Wolf River:


To add insult to injury, the old beer they found was Budweiser. Bad enough when fresh.

Not that you'd expect the international press to ignore such a compelling story. Here we have the coverage from France's Mouv' radio station:

Les supporters sont parfois un peu dingues et prêts à faire des choses un peu débile quand cela concerne leur équipe. L’histoire de Ryan Holtan-Murphy, en est une nouvelle preuve.

Cet américain est un superfan des Green Bay Packers, la franchise de NFL basée dans le Wisconcin.

La presse sportive s'est intéréssée à son histoire cette semaine, car Ryan va bientôt épouser sa compagne Marie Packer, mais plus insolite, celui-ci a choisi de prendre son nom de famille de sa future épouse pour enfin avoir le droit d'être appelé un vrai "Packer". Evidemment son père était loin d'être d'accord avec le choix de son fils...
I'm willing to forgive our Gallic friends for using a photo of a Pittsburgh Steelers crowd, but not for missing their opportunity to run a photo of a Cheesehead.

And, of course, you'd expect the Green Bay Press-Gazette to pick it up as well. And they didn't disappoint:

Green and gold nuptials: Fan to marry into Packer name

Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
7:50 p.m. CDT April 30, 2016


  
(Photo: Michael Sears)
 
As a fervent and lifelong fan of the green and gold, Ryan Holtan-Murphy finally found a way to become a Packer himself.

He's marrying into the name.

Ryan met this woman at his UW Law School 10-year reunion in 2014. Her name, she said, is Marie Packer.

"I thought she was messing with me," he said.

"This beautiful girl. We completely hit it off. She's fun, she's interesting, she's smart, she's hilarious. All of this. And her last name — it was like a thunderbolt for me," he said. "Her last name was just the flashing neon sign saying, 'This is the one!'"

Long story short, they're getting married next year, and Ryan is taking Marie's last name.

"He was like gimme, gimme, gimme, I want it," Marie said. "I didn't know the extent of the Packer fandom. I just knew he was really excited about my last name."

The powerful Packer sweep knocked her guy right off his feet.

Ryan, 40, is a 1994 graduate of Wauwatosa East High School who went on to college and law school in Madison. He left Wisconsin to practice financial law in New York for a five years, then London for five, then back to New York where he lives now. He still has family in Wauwatosa.

Marie, 37, grew up in Ann Arbor and went to medical school at Michigan State. Her residency took her to Chicago, where she now lives and commutes to St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, Ind. She is an emergency room doctor.

Ryan is a Packers super fan, and let me clarify that in this instance I'm talking about the NFL team. His collection of memorabilia includes a check to St. Norbert College signed by Vince Lombardi in 1959, which he thinks was to pay for training camp lodging in Lombardi's first season with the team. I might add here that Marie was Lombardi's wife's name, adding to his Marie's perfection in Ryan's eyes.

"For me, the Packers have always been more than a team. They're almost an embodiment of Wisconsin, a symbol of home. I proudly take my Packer flag everywhere I travel, from Antarctica to Moscow," he said.

Marie grew up in a family of three girls and was indifferent to sports, though Ryan is working to change that and got her to tag along to an NFL draft event in Chicago on Thursday. The Lions and Bears have not earned her love over the years, and the Packer name has brought her a lot of groans and wisecracks in Bear country.

She happened to be at Ryan's law school reunion in Madison because she tagged along with her cousin and law school grad, Sarah Lawson, who introduced her to Ryan. The two talked and laughed a lot that weekend. They were falling fast.

Ryan went back to London, where he lived then, and in October 2014 Marie invited him to Chicago. He flew there to visit that very weekend, and 47 times since then.

One of their first dates was at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and that's where Ryan decided to propose in March of this year, with help from aquarium staff. As the two frolicked with small beluga whales in a tank of chest-deep water, a box containing the diamond engagement ring was fetched by one of the whales and brought to Marie to be opened. She cried with surprise and happiness. And she said yes.

Ryan now is trying to find a job in Chicago. He and Marie were in Milwaukee this weekend looking at possible venues for their wedding next summer. Some Packers touches are expected, at the very least a photo of the couple with the well-traveled flag.

"I'm not going to wear a jersey wedding dress. I draw the line there," Marie laughed.

Reaction to the name idea has been generally positive, though it took a bit for Ryan's dad to warm to the idea.

"I remember saying, 'Dad, what do you love the most out of anything?' And he said basketball. I said, 'OK, well if your wife's name was Cindy Basketball, don't you think that's a sign?'" Ryan said.

Marie was married once before, but took back the Packer birth name after divorcing. She loves that Ryan will share that name.

"I can still be Dr. Packer and not confuse my staff. And I think there's something unifying about having the same last name," she said.

"She has balked at naming future children Nitschke and Fuzzy," Ryan said, "but I'm working on her."
You can hear the happy couple being interviewed on WMIL FM106.1, "Milwaukee's Best Country":



With all the national (and even international) attention, I really hope the Packers noticed. Somebody needs to offer them the Lambeau Field atrium for the reception.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

2016 Schedule Released

The Packers' 2016 season has been released:


Time to begin planning the pilgrimage. Looking at that December 24th date....

As for the graphic design itself, looks like they're moving away from the cursive 1960s "Packers" mark they used so often last season. There's also a lot more focus on gold; can we read anything into that, possibly about the upcoming Color Rush uniforms?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Infographic - 2015 Season Review

One more infographic for 2015: the year-end Season Review.
This 2015 season-ending infographic takes a closer look at the Packers’ postseason history, K Mason Crosby’s latest records, Mike McCarthy’s coaching career after 10 years, P Tim Masthay’s net punting average record, and more. Check it out:

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Badge of Honor

The Denver Broncos are your Super Bowl 50 Champions, having defeated the Carolina Panthers in a defensive slugfest. One thing you may have noticed, if you watched the game, is that the traditional Super Bowl logo patch on every jersey was a bit shinier than in past years.
A detail of the Super Bowl 50 logo before the game between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (Ric Tapia/NFL)
The patches are made by a process called ChromaFlex by FiberLok, a manufacturer in Colorado. They were actually used last year as well, although they seemed more noticible to me this year with the gold.


These patches were also featured on the World Series jerseys and caps last year.


Sigh. That would have looked so good on us.