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  • Sat., Dec. 20, 2014 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM CST Packers Everywhere pep rally

    Packers fans 21 years and older are invited to bring the spirit of Green Bay to the Tampa Bay area a day early with two free Packers Everywhere Pep Rallies on Saturday, Dec. 20.

    The festivities will take place at two different locations in the Tampa Bay area Saturday. The main pep rally will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. EST at Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill, located at 1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, Fla. The second event will be held from 8:15 to 9 p.m. at The Varsity Club, located at 24091 US Hwy 19 N., Clearwater, Fla.

  • Sat., Dec. 20, 2014 8:15 PM - 9:00 PM CST Packers Everywhere pep rally

    Packers fans 21 years and older are invited to bring the spirit of Green Bay to the Tampa Bay area a day early with two free Packers Everywhere Pep Rallies on Saturday, Dec. 20.

    The festivities will take place at two different locations in the Tampa Bay area Saturday. The main pep rally will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. EST at Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill, located at 1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, Fla. The second event will be held from 8:15 to 9 p.m. at The Varsity Club, located at 24091 US Hwy 19 N., Clearwater, Fla.

  • Sun., Dec. 21, 2014 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Mon., Dec. 22, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Lacy, Clinton-Dix appearance Packers Eddie Lacy and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are scheduled to appear at the Big Red Kettle at Bay Park Square Mall on behalf of the Salvation Army bell-ringing campaign.
  • Sat., Dec. 27, 2014 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM CST Alumni Appearance (Flanagan, Rivera) Mike Flanagan and Marco Rivera are scheduled to appear at the Packers Pro Shop on Saturday, December 27th, from 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Sun., Dec. 28, 2014 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM CST Alumni Appearance (Flanagan, Rivera)

    TTZ: Mike Flanagan
    Club Level: Marco Rivera

May 30 OTA practice notes

Posted by Mike Spofford on May 30, 2012 – 5:31 pm

Despite a steady drizzle through the first half of practice, the Packers remained outside on Ray Nitschke Field for the entirety of Wednesday’s workout. Here are a few news & notes about what went on:

–Not practicing on Wednesday were RB Alex Green, CB Charles Woodson, S Charlie Peprah, FB John Kuhn, LB Frank Zombo, C Sampson Genus, DL Johnny Jones, G Jaymes Brooks, DE Phillip Merling, T Marshall Newhouse, DT Mike Daniels, T Derek Sherrod and TE Andrew Quarless.

–With Newhouse and Sherrod both out, Herb Taylor and rookie Andrew Datko shared snaps at left tackle with the No. 1 offensive line. On the No. 2 line, Datko played LT and Taylor was at RT, so both players got quite the workout.

–On defense, LB Clay Matthews did not take snaps in the team (11-on-11) drills, and he was replaced by LB Erik Walden on the right side. Rookie Nick Perry remained at LOLB with the first unit.

–P Tim Masthay was at his best in the pooch-punting portion of practice. Masthay dropped multiple punts perfectly inside the 5-yard line with his Aussie-style end-over-end boots.

–Like last week, the young DBs continued to make plays, as CB Davon House broke up a quick out to WR Diondre Borel and then moments later deflected a deep ball intended for WR Shaky Smithson. Later, House was outjumped by WR Curenski Gilleylen for a nice catch. Also, S Anthony Levine nearly had an INT on a sideline route for WR Tori Gurley, and CB Jarrett Bush almost had a pick-six on a quick out for WR James Jones. Bush also deflected a pass in the blitz period that was nearly picked off by CB Sam Shields.

–QB Graham Harrell did beat the blitz with a tightly threaded throw to TE Ryan Taylor down the seam, an impressive play that left S Jerron McMillian and Levine looking at one another in the defensive backfield.

–In the locker room after practice, LB A.J. Hawk spoke to reporters about his new haircut. Earlier this spring, Hawk had his long hair cut for charity, and he and his wife are partnering with Wigs for Kids in an effort called Hawk’s Locks for Kids, which will take donated hair to help make wigs for children who are cancer patients or burn victims. An event in Hawk’s home state of Ohio is planned for June.

“I think they said it takes six or eight people’s hair to make one wig for these kids, and with my ratty, terrible hair, they probably needed a bunch of extras in there,” Hawk said. “So I didn’t give them much, but I gave them what I had.”


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CB Whittenton from Lombardi’s first two title teams dies

Posted by Mike Spofford on May 24, 2012 – 3:45 pm

Former Packers cornerback Jesse Whittenton, who was a defensive starter on Vince Lombardi’s first two NFL title teams in 1961 and ’62, died earlier this week. He was 78.

Inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1976, Whittenton played seven seasons for the Packers (1958-64), joining the team as a free agent from the Los Angeles Rams, who drafted him in the fifth round in 1956. Whittenton led Green Bay with six interceptions in 1960 and then tied for the team lead with three other players with five in ’61. In all, he intercepted 20 passes for the Packers and recovered 10 fumbles.

According to the Packers Hall of Fame, one of Whittenton’s most memorable plays came in 1961 against the New York Giants when he stole the ball from running back Alex Webster to set up a Green Bay score. The Packers won that late-season game over the Giants, 20-17, at Milwaukee County Stadium and then pummeled the Giants in a rematch four weeks later for the NFL Championship, 37-0, at Green Bay’s City Stadium (later renamed Lambeau Field).

Whittenton appeared at Lambeau Field last season when the Packers played the Broncos on Oct. 2 and was introduced to the crowd (picture).


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Driver Cha-Cha’s his way to victory

Posted by packers.com on May 22, 2012 – 10:34 pm

Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd, Dancing With The Stars champions

There’s a new title for Titletown thanks to Green Bay Packers WR Donald Driver, Peta Murgatroyd and the fans that voted for the duo on “Dancing with the Stars.” Driver has won the Season 14 mirror ball trophy after 10 weeks of competition and over 12 styles of dances.

The Cha-Cha-Cha proved to be the final dance and his second perfect score of the season for Driver who last showcased the Latin American dance back in Week 1 of the series. Scoring a perfect 30 with this final dance, the judges did not throw any penalty flags. Or any penalty flags to any of the finalists for that matter. All remaining couples had perfect scores on their final dance. Which meant it was up to the fan votes. The votes that would send Driver home with the mirror ball trophy.

“The public will decide,” said Judge Bruno Tonioli in the opening segment of the final episode. Perhaps Tonioli had a revelation of how the show would end. Or, perhaps, he knew about Packers fans and how they support their team both on and off the field. Regardless, fans are the likely factor that held back the 2nd place duo of Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas.

A singer, actor and wide receiver were the last three standing just a night before with one point between all three pairs. Jenkins and partner Ballas came into tonight’s competition as the leaders with the perfect score of 60 points, while Driver and Murgatroyd tied with William Levy and Cheryl Burke with 59 of 60 points. Perfect scores for all three final dances kept Jenkins on top with 90 points while Driver and Levy remained tied for second place with 89. But that’s before the fan votes were tallied in the evening’s final total.

The first of the three couples to be relieved for the night was Cuban-born Levy (known jokingly by Tonioli as the “Latin-dancing James Bond”) and then the news came fast that Driver was the season’s champion.

Speaking to host Brooke Burke regarding the entire season, Driver said, “It has been more than I expected.”

In counting collective perfect scores during the season, Levy was the leader with four, followed by three from Jenkins, two of which were earned the night before, and Driver with two perfect scores in the past two days.

Keeping a steady pace for the entire season, Driver rarely was in first place, but always near the top third or within a fraction of points on the “DWTS” leader board. It was a slow and steady climb for the trophy, almost in a “Most Improved Player” style arrangement.

Taking criticism and learning from it, keen choreography upgrades and the absolute will to win was enough to have the judges in favor of a perfect score that Driver and Murgatroyd needed for their last score, coupled with the fan votes to take the trophy home.

Undoubtedly Driver landing first place for the season, out of an original 12 couples, was not shocking for the Packers fans that voted.

Tomorrow the mirror ball trophy will kick off the TV circuit tour with morning shows and hopefully find its way to Titletown.

Click here to see photos from Driver’s victory.


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May 22 practice notes

Posted by Mike Spofford on May 22, 2012 – 4:29 pm

63 Jeff Saturday

Tuesday’s first OTA practice, held at Ray Nitschke Field, lasted roughly 1 hour, 50 minutes. As with all OTA practices, players were in helmets and shorts, no pads.

–Depth chart: With CB Charles Woodson and S Charlie Peprah not practicing, CB Jarrett Bush and S M.D. Jennings were working with the No. 1 defense, with CB Sam Shields the nickel corner. Jennings and Shields had particularly strong practices. Jennings made a sliding interception of an Aaron Rodgers pass over the middle, while Shields ran stride for stride with Jordy Nelson on a deep ball and came up with the INT after just missing a couple of other picks earlier in practice.

Watch OTA Practice Review with Vic and Mike–More depth chart: First-round draft pick Nick Perry was with the No. 1 defense at left OLB, with starter Clay Matthews moving over to the right side. On the defensive line, the three-man base alignment featured B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and C.J. Wilson with the first unit, while the two-man nickel package had Raji and second-round pick Jerel Worthy as the inside rushers.

–Position change: LBs Brad Jones and Jamari Lattimore, who had been outside LBs in the past, were getting their reps in position drills and full team (11-on-11) at inside LB.

–Handling the past: Rodgers was asked about the January playoff loss to the Giants and whether it still burns. “Nah,” he said. “That’s long since forgotten. I left Green Bay that week and kind of moved on. It’s frustrating and you’re still frustrated by it, but it’s not something I carry with me.”

Not all his teammates could say the same, however.

“It’s still with me,” defensive lineman Ryan Pickett said. “I’m real sour about it still, but you just use it as motivation to work hard and get ready. We came up short, so we have to work to get this taste out of our mouth.”

Added TE Jermichael Finley: “If you lose to the team that won the Super Bowl, it eats at you.”

–New team: C Jeff Saturday (No. 63, pictured), signed as a free agent from Indianapolis in the offseason, was with the No. 1 offense as expected in his first full-squad workout with the Packers. Saturday, of course, was the center for all four of QB Peyton Manning’s MVP seasons with the Colts, and now he’ll be snapping to the reigning league MVP in Rodgers.

“I tell people all the time, I’ve already had a blessed career and now you’re just capping it off,” Saturday said. “I feel a little bit like a rookie. I’m in the (play)book a lot more than I’ve ever been, or at least since the ’90s. That’s quite a while. But it’s fun, too. It refreshes you.”

Saturday said there’s not much from Indy’s offensive system that carries over, but Rodgers noted that Saturday’s experience with no-huddle work is definitely a plus.

“As much up-tempo stuff that Indianapolis ran in his time there, it’s going to transition very well to some of the stuff we’re going to do,” Rodgers said. “Jeff’s really smart, knows the game really well, knows his strengths and limitations, and we’re excited to have him.”

–Nice grab: WR Diondre Borel, who spent last season on the practice squad as an undrafted rookie, made one of the nicer plays for the offense with a sliding grab over the middle, followed by a quick spin/pop-up move to keep running.

–In addition to Woodson and Peprah, those not practicing included DE Mike Daniels and LB Frank Zombo on defense, and RB Alex Green, FBs Jon Hoese and John Kuhn, TE Andrew Quarless, T Derek Sherrod, G Jaymes Brooks and WR Donald Driver on offense.

–The Packers have two more weeks of OTA workouts before the mandatory three-day mini-camp to conclude the offseason. The next two practices open to the media and public are on Wednesday, May 30, and Tuesday, June 5.

For a recap of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-practice press conference, click here.


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Triple 10’s for Double D’s dancing

Posted by packers.com on May 21, 2012 – 8:53 pm

WR Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd’s Week 10 “Freestyle” performance was invigorating and had a perfect score to match it. The duo received 59 out of 60 total combined points for the night and are tied for second place in this Season 14 contest of “Dancing with the Stars.”

Each couple showcased two dances for the evening, one being Freestyle (a dance of their choosing with creative latitude) and the other being a standard ballroom dance.

Driver’s country-inspired Freestyle combined his Texas roots (outfitted in a green and gold Western ensemble with a cowboy hat) with pure athleticism. His dance showcased his dexterity, coordination and stamina, particularly with the lifts required in this performance. After Driver’s last dance, also the last dance of the evening, it was tough to discontinue the enthused crowd from clapping.

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba rewarded Donald and Peta with a personal standing ovation. “It was my favorite dance tonight,” Inaba said.

Judge Len Goodman said, “Chances win dances. Fantastic.”

At that point, all knew Len would be giving Donald and Peta their first 10 of the series and their first perfect score.

Prior to the evening, each of the judges each visited one of the remaining couples: Driver, Cuban-born actor William Levy and Welsh opera star Katherine Jenkins during weekly practices. Driver handled it similarly to that of one of his on-field coaches when Inaba came for a visit to inspect his Argentine Tango. She expected bigger, dynamic movements from Donald. He took the criticism well, stayed professional and didn’t disagree. The WR allowed his competitive instinct take over and scored a 29 on his Argentine Tango, missing that final 10 from Len.

The previous Argentine Tango that Driver/Murgatroyd showcased was in Week 5 which left the couple with a total of 27 of 30 points. The same score as Week 4 and for what would be repeated during the three ensuing weeks. Donald’s final Argentine Tango of the season tonight showcased lifts and quick-paced steps similar to previous installments but with enhanced and more detailed choreography for the finals per Inaba, but it wasn’t enough for a perfect score.

“The finals are here, you have to peak at the right time,” said Driver.

It looks like the duo of Driver and Murgatroyd is continuing to peak the more they dance.

One more dance is slotted for tomorrow’s finale. Will Driver continue to peak?

It’s often the job of football officials to make the final call but this contest involves no instant replay or overtime. It will be left up to the millions of voting fans and the three judges.

Help be a judge. Viewers can vote via phone at 1-800-868-3403 until 10 a.m. CT. Log on to abc.com to learn all the ways fans are encouraged to vote.


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Driver’s dancing by the numbers

Posted by packers.com on May 21, 2012 – 3:13 pm

Completed Dances

  • Donald Driver will dance “Freestyle” and the Argentine Tango tonight at 7 p.m. CT on ABC in the finals. He and partner Peta Murgatroyd have already showcased these dances as a couple on “Dancing with the Stars”: Cha-Cha-Cha, Quickstep, Rumba, Paso Doble, Argentine Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Waltz and Samba. That’s 10 variations, not counting group dances, or dance elimination challenges.


Highest Scoring Couple (in finals) by Week

  • Week 1: Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas, Foxtrot
  • Week 2: Jenkins and Ballas, Jive
  • Week 3: Jenkins and Ballas, Waltz
  • Week 4: Driver and Murgatroyd, Paso Doble
  • Week 5: (Tie) Jenkins and Ballas, Argentine Tango; William Levy and Cheryl Burke, Argentine Tango
  • Week 6: Jenkins and Ballas, Samba
  • Week 7: (Winning couple not in finals)
  • Week 8: (Tie) Jenkins and Ballas, Cha-Cha-Cha; Levy and Burke, Foxtrot
  • Week 9: Levy and Burke, Samba


Highest Individual Scores

  • Levy and Burke, 30/30 for their Foxtrot and Samba
  • Jenkins and Ballas, 29/30 for their Waltz, Argentine Tango, Samba, Cha-Cha-Cha and Quickstep
  • Driver and Murgatroyd, 29/30 for their Samba


Couple Scoring Totals to Date

  • Of the twelve dances already completed, Driver and Murgatroyd’s weekly average individual score is the lowest of the three finalist couples at 26.4, a fraction behind second-place duo Levy and Burke at 26.9. Jenkins and Ballas, despite last week’s dip in score, are still the reigning individual point leaders with a 27.3 average of a possible 30 points.


Most Important Number

  • 1 (800) 868-3403

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A strong finish in Door County

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 20, 2012 – 8:24 am

The seventh Packers Tailgate Tour concluded on a high note Saturday night at a very successful tailgate party to benefit the Door County Habitat for Humanity. More than 600 people attended the event at beautiful Sunset Park on the shores of Sturgeon Bay.

The arrival was parade-style, complete with a police escort, as the players sat up on the rear seats of convertibles (a Tour first) and made their way through downtown Sturgeon Bay from the Maritime Museum.

Before they boarded the cars, Jordy Nelson demonstrated to the other players how to wave.

“Elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist,” he said as he deftly moved his arm.

A lively Q-and-A session covering a whole host of topics delighted the crowd.

Marco Rivera performed one more Samba dance in conjunction with a question about Donald Driver.

Larry McCarren’s pinkie finger again was a topic on at least one person’s mind. The questioner wanted to know who broke it.

“If I had a big scar on my face, would you make fun of that, too?” McCarren asked back to the laughter of the crowd.

Players also discussed the hardest hits they received; Nelson’s was from Chicago’s Lance Briggs.

One Rivera admirer told the former guard that he looked young enough to still be playing. Rivera answered that while he may look well, he’s all broken down inside. But, he was very thankful that he got 11 good years in. He also revealed a secret about how he maintains his youthful look.

“I use moisturizer,” he said.

Elsewhere in the park, young attendees took advantage of another Tailgate Tour first: a petting zoo.

All in all, it was good night for the Habitat.

Started in 1993, the Door County Habitat for Humanity was formed to give a “hand up,” not a hand out to their partner families. Homes are sold to families who must make a down payment, work 200 hours of “sweat equity” for each adult in the family, make mortgage payments and pay taxes as any homeowner would. A total of 33 new homes have been built in Door County since its start, with roughly 2.5 homes built each year. More information can be found online at www.doorhabitat.com.

On the bus ride back to Green Bay, the crew reflected on this year’s tour, an approximately 800-mile trek that traveled through Omro, Tomah, La Crosse, West Salem, Oconomowoc, Madison, West Allis, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Grafton, Cedarburg, Algoma and Sturgeon Bay.

Henderson: “It was a great time. Really fantastic and definitely memorable. I had a chance to hang with old compadres and form some new friendships. I liked interacting with recipient charities; it was good knowing the support they would be getting.”

McCarren: “It is such a unique event. I can’t imagine any other team doing it this way, getting the reception it gets, and raising the money it does. It is one of the many unique aspects of Packers. Try as you may, you can’t duplicate it.”

Charlie Peprah: “I enjoyed seeing parts of Wisconsin that I don’t normally get to see. The soldiers were a memorable visit for me. The players on the trip were a great group of guys. We got along really well and jelled well.”

Mason Crosby: “Being able to reach out and see kids is something we’re not able to do all the time, so that was fun for me.”

Rivera: “I liked touching the fans the way we did. And they touched us, too. On the other players on the trip…hey, we survived. Actually, I was glad to be a part of the trip.”

Nelson: “I enjoyed all the stops, but the soldiers – past and present – were a highlight for me. The relationships I was able to build on with my teammates was great. And the opportunity to bond with guys from the past was cool, too.”

Rivera and Henderson weren’t able to determine who had the larger belly circumference at the end of the week without a tape measure. Henderson pointed out that Rivera seemed to eat more food all week, but Rivera said that didn’t matter.

“I just process my food differently,” Rivera said in a matter-of-fact manner.

Everyone else laughed and shook their heads.

Click here to see photos from the final stop on the tour.


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Marco, hand me that hammer

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 19, 2012 – 4:06 pm

Football talent translated to homebuilding skills today, at least in a limited fashion, as the players participated in a Habitat for Humanity build outside Sturgeon Bay.

Players helped construction volunteers install subfloor sections for the home being built for the Krueger family.

Having a Habitat home is a blessing in and of itself for Jennifer Krueger, but to have Packers players contribute their craftsmanship will make it extra special.

“It means the world really,” she said. “I can’t even tell you what it means. Every time we go to the basement we’ll see their autographs on the stairs.

“It will be fun to watch the games and to have our own little tailgate parties here.”

A tailgate party at a house partially built with labor on loan from the Packers Tailgate Tour.

Click here for photos from the home build.


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Lunch in Algoma

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 19, 2012 – 1:34 pm

The Tour continues north toward Sturgeon Bay for a Habitat for Humanity build after stopping for lunch at Caffé Tlazo in Algoma.

As the crew ordered their food, Jordy Nelson took issue with a photo from the Kemps tour that was tweeted by @Packers with the description, ‘the face of intimidation.’

“Come on, what did I do to deserve that?” he said with a laugh. “I’m getting a bunch of Tweets about it.”

On the way out to the bus, the players stopped to chat and pose for pictures along the main street in Algoma.

“Franks Diner is an awesome place,” one of the fans remarked when seeing the t-shirt William Henderson was wearing. “The Garbage Plate is delicious.”

“Yes it was,” confirmed Henderson.

Click here to see photos from lunch in Algoma.


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Final day begins with Kemps tour

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 19, 2012 – 11:40 am

The final day of the Packers Tailgate Tour began with a tour of the Kemps facility in Cedarburg and a visit with the roughly 35 employees who were working the Saturday shift.

Operations manager Jeff Slaasted and his staff took the players through the factory where they learned what happens to the more than 45 million gallons of milk that is used at the facility each year to produce branded and private label fluid dairy products that are distributed throughout Southeastern and Central Wisconsin.

One of the products: Kemps Packers Ice Cream.

The players learned a variety of things about the production operations. Three main goals include maximizing butter fat, keeping the milk fresh and efficiently using raw materials.

“I’m a nerd. I love seeing those types of places,” said William Henderson. “I’m also involved in some manufacturing businesses, so it was great to see how they run their operations.”

The group is down a member for the final day as Mark Murphy departed early this morning for Colgate University. The 1977 graduate of the university and former athletics director is there this weekend to deliver the keynote address at the commencement ceremonies tomorrow.

On to Sturgeon Bay.

Click here for photos from the Kemps tour.


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