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  • Mon., Jul. 28, 2014 8:20 AM - 10:20 AM CDT *Public practice *Any practices moved inside to the Don Hutson Center due to inclement weather, poor field conditions or for any other reason will be closed to the public due to space limitations. All other practices listed are expected to be open unless listed otherwise. All outdoor practices are expected to be held on Ray Nitschke Field (across from the Resch Center). All times indicated are Central.
  • Mon., Jul. 28, 2014 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT Live McCarthy press conference Head Coach Mike McCarthy will be available to media in the Lambeau Field Media Auditorium.
  • Wed., Jul. 30, 2014 8:20 AM - 10:20 AM CDT *Public practice *Any practices moved inside to the Don Hutson Center due to inclement weather, poor field conditions or for any other reason will be closed to the public due to space limitations. All other practices listed are expected to be open unless listed otherwise. All outdoor practices are expected to be held on Ray Nitschke Field (across from the Resch Center). All times indicated are Central.
  • Wed., Jul. 30, 2014 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT Live McCarthy press conference Head Coach Mike McCarthy will be available to media in the Lambeau Field Media Auditorium.
  • Wed., Jul. 30, 2014 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM CDT Live Thompson press conference General Manager Ted Thompson will be available to media in the Lambeau Field Media Auditorium.
  • Thu., Jul. 31, 2014 8:20 AM - 10:20 AM CDT *Public practice *Any practices moved inside to the Don Hutson Center due to inclement weather, poor field conditions or for any other reason will be closed to the public due to space limitations. All other practices listed are expected to be open unless listed otherwise. All outdoor practices are expected to be held on Ray Nitschke Field (across from the Resch Center). All times indicated are Central.

Tailgate Tour starts day 4

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 19, 2014 – 10:04 am

After a night in Chippewa Falls, the motor coach is on its way east this morning and the group is preparing for the final day of the Tailgate Tour which will culminate with a party in Merrill, Wis., to benefit the River Bend Trail.

For breakfast, Jarrett Bush enjoyed another meal of oatmeal.

“It’s the breakfast of champions,” he said. “Lots of fiber, not too heavy. When you’re training it’s a great thing to have in the morning.”


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Packers, fans support Benjamin’s House

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 18, 2014 – 8:57 pm

140418-rice-lake-party-300An electric atmosphere existed at the Barron County Fairgrounds – dubbed Lambeau Field Northwest – as a marching band and more than 1,000 fans welcomed the Packers Tailgate Tour to the party.

The evening’s event benefitted Benjamin’s House Emergency Shelter Inc., an organization whose purpose is to work together as a nonprofit agency with community organizations and individuals to provide housing opportunities for the homeless population. Clients are assisted in resolving their homeless situations and the House represents a place of hope and new beginnings.

The party had a bit of a carnival feel as attendees had the opportunity to buy Packers-related crafts and play games, including a dunk tank with victims dressed as Bears and Vikings players.

During fan questions, Lynn Dickey was asked about how it felt to be the original No. 12. Dickey answered the question with his story about how he came to wear No. 12.

“When I first joined the Packers, I was given No. 10,” he began. “But after injuring my shoulder and then breaking my leg, I decided that No. 10 sucked. So I went to coach Zeke Bratkowski, who had worn No. 12, and asked if he’d be OK if I did. He said, ‘Go ahead.’ And that was when I changed.”

During a break in the autograph signing, James Lofton handed out cupcakes to fans who were standing in line.

“They had set those out for us, but we weren’t going to eat them all,” Lofton said. “There were a bunch of kids at the front of the line, so that worked out.”

Earlier in the afternoon, the members of the tour had the opportunity to tour Benjamin’s House and see firsthand what the shelter does for those it helps.

“It hit home for me. My brother was homeless,” Lofton said of the tour. “He had addiction problems and ended up being killed on the street. When people have nowhere to turn, to have something like Benjamin’s House is a fantastic resource. A lot end up there different ways, but to have a way out is important.”

VIEW PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT


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Packers enjoy a slice of pie

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 18, 2014 – 4:51 pm

140418-PIE-300The Tailgate Tour enjoyed some award-winning pie at the Norske Nook in Rice Lake, Wis., where the players had a hard time deciding which of the more than 40 pies they should order.

Brad Jones took the easy path and simply ordered two slices.

“Options,” Jones said when asked why. “I had orange creamsicle and lingonberry apple because they seemed good. They said it’s the best pie in the world and I couldn’t stand that my taste buds needed more.”

It was the second time a Tailgate Tour enjoyed the freshly made treats, as the 2008 trip also made a delicious stop.

SEE PHOTOS


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Paging Dr. Crosby

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 18, 2014 – 3:13 pm

140418-spooner-health-300No, he’s not a doctor, but he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Mason Crosby and the other tour members paid a visit to patients at the hospital in Spooner, Wis.

The group posed for pictures, signed a few autographs and also visited with staff.

While in the physical therapy area, Paul Coffman made use of a therapy ball to work on his back.
“It’s been a long time on the bus,” he said. “This feels good.”

The motor coach continues toward Rice Lake.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS


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A Packers playground in Hayward

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 18, 2014 – 1:57 pm

140418-hayward-300While it’s not quite playground-building weather today with the snow cover, the Tailgate Tour members had swings on their minds as they stopped at Shue Pond Park in Hayward, Wis., to announce the donation of new playground equipment.

Hayward Mayor Bill Swintkowski was on hand to introduce the players and say thanks for the equipment, a much-needed addition to the park.

“I remember putting the current equipment in place about 25 years ago,” Swintkowski said. “It’s held up well and served its purpose, but now is a good time for some new equipment.”

The new playground, from Minnesota-Wisconsin Playground Equipment, will be installed this summer. The Packers have teamed up with the company on several other playground builds around Wisconsin.

After the announcement, the Tailgate Tour members enjoyed lunch at Angler’s Bar and Grill on Main Street in Hayward. Winter sports aficionados will know that street as the finishing line for the famous American Birkebeiner Nordic ski race.

“Looks like a challenging race,” Jarrett Bush said of the 50K event. “Maybe when I’m done with football I can learn the technique and give it a try.”


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Packers play some Hokey Pokey

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 18, 2014 – 11:46 am

140418-coffman-dance-300Day two of the Packers Tailgate Tour is underway and the group enjoyed its first stop, a surprise drop-in at the Golden Living Center in Superior.

The members of the tour participated in a morning exercise session with the seniors who live at the facility, including a game with a parachute. They also helped wish a resident a happy 105th birthday.

Paul Coffman then added another exercise routine with an impromptu rendition of the “Hokey Pokey,”

The group also had the pleasure of another visit with Alex Wizbicki, a Packers alumnus who lives at the facility. He was at Thursday night’s event at Superior High School. The 93-year-old former two-way back played in 11 games for the Packers in 1950 and made two interceptions.

“It’s unbelievable these guys stopped in today,” he remarked. “What a nice visit for everyone here.”

Wizbicki cherishes his experience with the Packers and continues to appreciate the unique story of the franchise’s success and popularity.

“I used to travel for business and the notoriety the Packers brought to Wisconsin was amazing,” he said. “The team has always represented Green Bay with class. I have great memories of my time with the team and the respect fans have for the players.”

The motor coach is headed south to Hayward.


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Packers support Spartans with party

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 17, 2014 – 8:41 pm

140417-superior-party-600

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

The Packers Tailgate Tour surpassed the halfway point with a tailgate party at Superior High School to support the National Bank of Commerce Spartan Sports Complex.

Prior to the party, the members of the Tailgate Tour had the opportunity to participate in the groundbreaking of the complex.

Mark Murphy saluted the community for their backing of the new facility.

“This will be a wonderful addition to the community,” Murphy said. “Sports events are a great way to bring a community together and these fields will be used for many different sports by both boys and girls teams.”

After the ceremony concluded, Paul Coffman kept digging and implored the rest of the participants to continue their work.

“Hey, we’ve got work to do,” he said. “Let’s stay out here and get these fields built.”

Inside the gymnasium, more than 400 fans were on hand to hear from the tour members and receive autographs.

Mason Crosby was asked about the kicking changes that will be tried out this preseason.

“It will be interesting to see what happens,” Crosby said. “If they end up implementing the longer extra points, it will definitely give kickers more value.”

Lynn Dickey enjoyed reminiscing for the crowd about his memories of the famous Snowbowl game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1985. The game took place during a snowstorm and saw nearly 10 inches of snow fall during the game.

“It was incredible,” he said. “I’ve never experienced anything like it. I couldn’t see the far end of the field at times.”

During the autograph session, Crosby, as he had done all day long, gave high fives to many fans.

“Hey, it’s national high five day,” he said. “Let’s go. Spread it around!”


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Packers surprise Northwestern High

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 17, 2014 – 3:59 pm

140417-northwestern-600

After mastering the art of the drive-through, the members of the Tailgate Tour performed their next surprise stop, an assembly at Northwestern High School in Maple, Wis.

More than 430 students were on hand to listen to the players and alumni discuss the importance of never giving up and utilizing the talents that you have.

James Lofton, in addition to discussing one’s talent, urged students to find something about which they are passionate.

“I hope you find something you can do with passion,” he said. “Find something that keeps you up at night, something you’re eager to do each day.”

Brad Jones echoed Lofton’s sentiments, but also added that the students needed to work hard to fully utilize their gifts.

During the Q-and-A session, players were asked about the difficulties of seeing teammates go to other teams, as well as having new players become teammates. Mason Crosby acknowledged it was difficult to see a player go, but said it’s part of the game. Regarding new teammates, Crosby said sometimes it’s simply great to have a nemesis no longer be an opponent.

“I am happy to have Julius Peppers on our team now. He blocked four of my kicks with the Chicago Bears,” he explained.

Social media has become a part of the tour as well, with one student requesting a “selfie.” The tour members obliged, but made sure he was to label it #tailgate tour.

On the road again, the Tailgate Tour is heading to Superior. Tonight’s party will start off with a groundbreaking at the National Bank of Commerce Spartan Sports Complex, the facility that will benefit from the party.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM NORTHWESTERN HIGH


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Packers serve lunch

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 17, 2014 – 1:30 pm

140417-mcdonalds-subway-600

After having to forgo a surprise stop at a school due to the overnight snowfall, the guys were feeling a little hungry, but instead of taking the Tailgate Tour motor coach through the drive through, they decided that they wanted to become short-term employees at McDonald’s and Subway in Ashland, Wis.

What seemed like a normal lunch order for Ashland residents quickly became a memorable experience when they pulled up and saw the players taking their orders at the window at McDonald’s and behind the counter at Subway.

Paul Coffman and Jarrett Bush made sandwiches at Subway, with Coffman performing his work in a very detailed fashion.

“When I’m at Subway ordering, I’m very particular about spreading out the toppings, almost coaching them,” he said. “So I made sure to do a good job today behind the counter. I didn’t want anyone yelling at me.”

At McDonald’s, Mason Crosby and Brad Jones took turns handing food out the drive through window to unsuspecting customers. They also pitched in making coffee, flipping burgers and taking orders at the counter.

“My work was sufficient, but I don’t think I was the most impressive worker to ever grace the golden arches,” Jones said. “At one point I was doing everyone’s jobs, but when they asked if I wanted to handle the money, I said no, that was too much.”

And after serving lunch to fans, the Packers enjoyed their own meal at the Deep Water Grille, located in the historic downtown area of Ashland.

The Tailgate Tour is continuing to Superior.


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Pro Football has a history in Ironwood

Posted by Aaron Popkey on April 17, 2014 – 1:14 pm

As the Tailgate Tour says goodbye to Ironwood, Mich., it’d be proper to note the city’s football ties to the early Packers and pro football.

According to research by Packers team historian Cliff Christl, news reports near the end of the 1922 season stated that Ironwood showed interest in obtaining a pro football franchise; many small Midwest cities had football teams during that era. With respect to the Packers, the Ironwood Legionnaires played in Green Bay in 1924 and lost to the Packers, 15-0. Later, on Sept. 5, 1938, the Packers played in Ironwood, their one preseason tune-up, and beat the Cedar Rapids, Ia., Crush, 75-0.


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