The Tailgate Tour’s eighth year came to a close as the bus pulled into Lambeau Field after a 691-mile trek through Denmark, Little Chute, Neenah, Oshkosh, Waupun, Watertown, Delevan, Beloit, Monroe, Dubuque, Fennimore, Sparta, Tomah, Port Edwards and Wisconsin Rapids.
Five communities hosted tailgate parties, with more than $300,000 raised collectively for the benefitting charities. This year’s effort pushed the eight-year total to more than $1 million raised.
During the bus ride, the members of the tour had the opportunity to reflect on the fun-filled five days.
Jarrett Bush: “There were a lot of great moments this week. Many that I’ll take home with me. It was great to spend time with the fans, and the guys here on the bus.”
Randall Cobb: “It’s a trip all the players should do; it really tells you what it means to be a Packer and see how much the Packers mean to everyone.”
Alex Green: “The people were great. I really enjoyed meeting so many fans. They are so appreciative.”
“I had a lot of fun seeing Jarrett do all those push-ups, too.”
Mark Murphy: “I enjoyed going to Iowa for the first time. We really had a great reception there.”
“The Wisconsin School for the Deaf was special. It seemed to be very meaningful for the kids.”
Santana Dotson: “The spirit of the fans and the organization is about giving back. It always was that way; they supported each other. It’s been great to be a part of that.”
Aaron Taylor: “It was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. It was a great way for the players to mutually express appreciation for the fans.”
Frank Winters: “It was really fun to raise money for the local charities and support the communities. The playground build was a good example. Maybe that doesn’t get done without this support.”
The guys enjoyed some laughs as they remembered the lighter moments of the tour as well.
The ongoing push-ups amongst the current players was a topic, with Bush being on the losing end of on-bus cards games most often. It seemed as though he was constantly doing push-ups, whether it be on the bus, on stage at the parties, or even on the autograph tables.
“It’s a good thing I wasn’t playing games,” said Winters. “I would have to do them from my knees.”
Winters’ East-coast accent was the subject of some ribbing on the bus amongst the crew. He didn’t deny he had one.
“I don’t really think I do, but then I hear myself on a voicemail and I think, ‘Geez, I do,’” he said.
The players also spoke of how they learned to be careful during the times when they toss footballs and t-shirts into the crowd.
I remember throwing a shirt once and the guy wasn’t looking and it hit him right in the face and his glasses went flying,” Winters recalled. “After that I was handing them out.”
The other players laughed and nodded, remembering their own similar experiences.
Overall, the participants enjoyed the interaction with fans, spending time with each other and supporting worthy causes in the community.
Tags: packers tailgate tour, tailgate tour
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Tailgate Tour