8:27 a.m., May 10, 2011
The sixth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ is underway with the departure of the motor coach from the Lambeau Field parking lot. The event raises money for charities in five cities over five days.
For the second year in a row, overcast skies saw the tour off, but enthusiasm flowed from the bus as Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, linebacker Desmond Bishop, quarterback Matt Flynn and guard Josh Sitton are on the tour, along with Packers Hall of Famers Gilbert Brown, Antonio Freeman and Dorsey Levens. Pro Football Hall of Famers Forrest Gregg and Jim Taylor also are included at the evening tailgate parties.
Parties are set for Marquette, Mich., (May 10), Ashland (May 11), Eau Claire (May 12), Wausau (May 13) and Green Bay (May 14).
Both $30 ‘Tailgate Tour’ tickets and $5 general admission tickets remain available for Green Bay and Wausau. Only $5 general admission tickets remain available for Eau Claire and Marquette, Mich. The Ashland evening tailgate party is sold out.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Murphy. “I’m excited to have our players be able to get out and see our fans in this type of setting. I think the Super Bowl flavor with alums from all our Super Bowl teams should be fun, too. I’m anxious to see the fans’ response.”
Bishop, Flynn and Sitton were eagerly anticipating the trip.
“I’m excited to see some familiar faces with my teammates and see some parts of Wisconsin and Michigan,” said Sitton.
The alums were excited, too.
“Good to step back into it,” said Brown. “Great to see everyone. Nice to see Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy. Looking forward to it.”
10:07 a.m., May 10, 2011
More than 400 students at the Peshtigo Middle-High School gave a rousing greeting to the group as they entered the gymnasium. The students were expecting a motivational speaker, but were surprised to see who would be addressing them. Motivation ended up coming from champions of Super Bowls XXXI and XLV.
The players talked about teamwork and gave some examples of their own experiences, with Matt Flynn discussing what it was like to be part of both a college and NFL championship.
“I can tell you it’s great to be part of something bigger than yourself,” Flynn said.
For Brown, it was a fun experience, similar to what he does with his Gilbert Brown Foundation (www.gilbertbrownfoundation.org).
“I enjoy talking to the kids,” he explained. “I get such joy out of being out here and acting a little crazy.”
The kids enjoyed hearing Brown give some students a hard time about wearing purple and said that he would have retired rather than choosing between a trade to the Bears or Vikings.
After a question-and-answer session, the players threw out some footballs, caps and t-shirts to the students, and made their way back to the bus for the trip to Escanaba, on the way to Marquette.
Steve Motkowski, principal at the school, was very excited about the impact of the visit.
“Without a doubt this was the most meaningful and beneficial program I have been involved with during my 35 years in education,” he said. ” The message of teamwork and the face-to-face contact with professional athletes giving of their time and sharing their stories is priceless.”
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Tailgate Tour