A Green Bay Packers contingent spent Super Bowl weekend off the coast of Key West, Fla., on the USS George H.W. Bush, a Navy aircraft carrier, and watched the big game with upwards of a couple thousand sailors.
The trip, arranged by Navy Entertainment, included a tour of the ship, extensive autograph sessions and some relaxing social time with the enlisted personnel on board.
DB Jarrett Bush, TE Ryan Taylor and OL Greg Van Roten were the current Packers players who went. They were joined by alumni William Henderson and Ahman Green, and by assistant equipment manager Tom Bakken and head athletic trainer Pepper Burruss. Also with the group was Houston Texans backup QB T.J. Yates, Taylor’s college teammate and roommate at North Carolina.
The group reached the carrier via an “arrested landing” on a C2 Greyhound. In addition to experiencing a “trap” or landing, the group also got to observe launching and trapping exercises on deck. At departure time on Monday, the group was “catapulted” on an aircraft back to Key West.
Bush, Henderson, Bakken and Burruss had been on similar excursions in prior years. Bakken, a military aviation enthusiast, said on a trapped landing, the airplane goes from roughly 130 miles per hour to zero in 1.5 seconds, while on a catapult launch, it goes from zero to 115 mph in about 2 seconds.
The USS George H.W. Bush houses roughly 3,000 sailors, and its Commanding Officer is Capt. Brian “Lex” Luther, a Marquette University graduate. The Super Bowl was viewed on a large, 18-feet-by-30-feet projection screen, and Bakken estimated that anywhere from half to two-thirds of the sailors were able to take a break from their regular work duties on Sunday to drop by the hangar bay for an autograph and to watch some of the game.
To view a photo gallery of the trip, courtesy of Navy Entertainment, click here.
Tags: navy, super bowl
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The NFL Network’s 8 1/2 hours of pregame coverage begins at 8 a.m. CT from the Superdome in New Orleans. According to an NFL Network release, Favre will go on the air to discuss his thoughts on the 2012 NFL season, the San Francisco-Baltimore matchup and his life away from the field.
Favre’s lone Super Bowl triumph came at the Superdome in New Orleans on Jan. 26, 1997, a 35-21 Packers victory over the New England Patriots.
Tags: brett favre, nfl network, super bowl
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Matthews will join the CBS team of James Brown, Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, Shannon Sharpe, Boomer Esiason and Greg Gumbel on the set of “The Super Bowl Today” from the Superdome in New Orleans, La., on Sunday, Feb. 3.
Matthews was voted to the Pro Bowl this season for the fourth consecutive year but did not travel to Hawaii to participate. He has been named to the NFC’s Pro Bowl squad each of the four years of his career.
Tags: cbs, clay matthews, super bowl
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The annual Sports Illustrated NFL Preview issue has picked the Packers to defeat the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVII.
SI senior writer Peter King made the prediction for the magazine. King correctly predicted two years ago that the Packers and Steelers would meet in the Super Bowl, but he had the Steelers winning.
King has the Packers taking a similar path to the title this year. He has Green Bay finishing 11-5 and earning an NFC wild-card playoff berth and No. 5 seed, with the Bears winning the NFC North title on a tiebreaker. Then he has the Packers defeating the Cowboys and Bears on the road in the first two rounds of the playoffs before hosting the No. 6 seed Saints in the NFC title game, with Green Bay prevailing.
The predictions also include Packers QB Aaron Rodgers winning Offensive Player of the Year, and Broncos QB Peyton Manning winning league MVP.
SI’s NFL Preview issue hits newsstands this week.
Tags: prediction, sports illustrated, super bowl
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In what came as no surprise, ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski concluded his countdown of the top 30 quarterbacks in the NFL on Tuesday by unveiling Packers QB Aaron Rodgers as his No. 1 choice.
New Orleans’ Drew Brees, New England’s Tom Brady, Denver’s Peyton Manning and the N.Y. Giants’ Eli Manning rounded out Jaworski’s top five. In the NFC North, the next highest-rated QB was Chicago’s Jay Cutler at No. 8. Detroit’s Matthew Stafford came in at No. 14, and Minnesota’s Christian Ponder was No. 28.
“Aaron Rodgers is my No. 1 quarterback,” Jaworski said. “He has all the attributes that I love: accuracy, velocity, movement, toughness. Those attributes lead to elite play and wins. He’s won two out of every three starts and a Super Bowl championship.”
Jaworski noted Rodgers’ third-and-10 throw to Greg Jennings in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLV as the perfect example of Rodgers’ “exceptional combination of velocity and accuracy, elite arm strength and pin-point ball location.”
“You know what I love most about that throw? Rodgers’ instinctive willingness to pull the trigger. He made it because he knew he could make it. One critical measure of high-level play is the ability to execute versus the blitz. Rodgers’ rating in 2011 was 136, easily the best in the NFL. He was outstanding beating the man coverage that you primarily see with blitz. Again, a function of his accuracy, or as I’ve said many times, ball location.”
Tags: aaron rodgers, no. 1, quarterbacks, ron jaworski, super bowl
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