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Packers receive rousing welcome in Merrill

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 19, 2014 – 5:08 pm

140419-merrill-party-300The Tailgate Tour’s final tailgate party took place Saturday afternoon at the MARC Ice Center in Merrill, with the Wisconsin RIverbend Trail receiving its benefit. A community resource, the 2.5-mile long trail will continue to be developed along the Wisconsin River by the River District Development Foundation.

More than 900 fans in attendance cheered their heroes as they took stage, and also got a kick when a local resident and Packers alumnus, Mike Hunt, was introduced and embraced his former teammates on the platform. Hunt, a linebacker, played in 22 games from 1978-80.

“It was good to see Mike. I haven’t seen him in a few years,” said Paul Coffman.

During questions, an inquiring fan wanted to know what opponents the alumni least liked to face. Paul Coffman first focused on the opponent he liked to face: Tampa Bay…in December…in Tampa.

“We’d go down there for the week and practice before the game,” he recalled. “That was nice, getting out of the cold Green Bay weather.”

As for the least-liked opponent players: “I really didn’t like facing Wilbur Marshall and Lawrence Taylor,” he said. “Lawrence would talk all game long to try and get into your head, saying bad things about your mother, your sister, your girlfriend.”

When discussing the challenges of playing in foul weather, James Lofton said he preferred snow vs. rain, especially a hard rain, but also lamented the improved equipment today’s players have in their arsenals.

“I didn’t have these miracle gloves that today’s players can use,” Lofton said, drawing a collective laugh from the crowd.

After signing autographs, the players posed for a few more pictures and then made their way to the motor coach to begin the final stretch of the journey back to Lambeau Field.


Posted in Packers.com Blog, Tailgate Tour
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