Badger Days, a tour celebrating University of Wisconsin athletics, will be coming to Lambeau Field in Green Bay on June 7. "Each Badger Day event allows Wisconsin fans to enjoy a casual tailgate setting and interact one-on-one with Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez, Bret Bielema, Bo Ryan, Mike Eaves, Mark Johnson, Bobbie Kelsey, other Badger coaches," according to the University's official athletic website. "Plus, Badger football legend Ron Dayne, the "Voice of the Badgers," Matt Lepay, Bucky Badger and the UW Spirit Squad and the UW Band will also take part in the festivities." The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Atrium.
A column appears in the Green Bay Press-Gazette about a 58-year old retired policeman from New Jersey that goes out of his way to the unofficial caretaker of the Vince Lombardi grave site. "If not for the devotion of New York Jets fan Gary Martin, Lombardi’s New Jersey burial plot would be over-run with bushes and barely recognizable," writes Mike Vandermause. It's a touching story. Martin travels three hours round trip once a month to keep up the Lombardi site out of respect for the NFL legend.
While we're on the topic of Vince Lombardi, The 41st Lombardi Golf Classic, in memory of iconic Packers coach, has been scheduled at North Falls Country Club in Menomonee Falls, Wis. "The 41st edition of this popular, fan-friendly event will take place June 10 to 11 and, once again, co-chairs Bart and Cherry Starr will lead the way," writes Tom Andrews of MenomoneeFallsPatch. The event has reportedly raised $14 million to fund cancer research since its inception.
Another Packers-themed charity golf event has been set as well. "Charles Woodson Foundation Golf Outing is July 22 at Thornberry Creek in Oneida," writes Michelle Tuckner of WBAY-TV in Green Bay via Twitter. Presumably other Packers players will also participate as part of the event's "Play With a Packer" auction.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed concerns that preseason football games may soon be lost if a labor agreement is not reached soon. Among the most concerned was Colts owner Jim Irsay. "Irsay told the AP on Tuesday that he thinks a labor deal must by reached by July 4 to avoid putting the regular season in jeopardy," writes Sean Leahy of USA Today. "He also warned that even lost preseason games would have dire consequences in terms of lost revenue to the league." I personally don't understand why games would be cancelled as long as they come to an agreement by the start of training camp.
The roster size of the Packers and every other team in the NFL could increase, according to some concepts referred to by Roger Goodell. "One of those concepts would be expanding rosters to help teams keep rookies who might not have a chance to prove their value in training camp or the preseason," writes Barry Wilner of the Associated Press. This report and the previous one came out of the NFL's Spring Meeting, which is now concluded, where Packers president Mark Murphy was in attendance.
Hall of Famer Dave Robinson is interviewed for a feature article at the Packers official website. "Today, Robinson lives in Akron, Ohio, and is retired after working for two decades with a distributorship for Schlitz Beer," writes Ricky Zeller of Packers.com. "Robinson reflects on his career fondly, including being part of a Packers linebacker corps that is considered among the best in NFL history. He, middle linebacker Ray Nitschke and outside linebacker Lee Roy Caffey patrolled the second level of the defense with authority."
Linebacker Clay Matthews was asked at a charity event held in New York last night about missing workouts. Matthews didn't seem to concerned. "I honestly think we have a good enough team that we will pick up where we left off. We have a great defense with everybody coming back; the pieces are in place on offense and we have some guys coming back. I don't think there is anything that one or two weeks of practice won't fix," Matthews is quoted as saying by WBAY-TV in Green Bay.
A recap of the charity event is located at the Democrat and Chronicle's website.
Sam Shields and James Starks are poised to have breakout 2011 seasons, according to Bucky Brooks of NFL.com. "The Packers have found their eventual successor for Charles Woodson in an undrafted free agent with remarkable speed and athleticism," writes Brooks of the cornerback. "Shields rose from the bottom of the depth chart to become a key contributor in the team's sub packages. With few cornerbacks capable of matching his speed and natural ball skills (four interceptions in 2010), he is poised to have a big second season."
The future of free agent Matt Wilhelm is discussed by Bill Huber of Packer Report (subscription required). "At some point, there will be offseason football and decisions to be made, including with inside linebacker Matt Wilhelm, who made his mark on special teams as a midseason addition," writes Huber.
Packer Report also touches upon Matt Flynn's future with the franchise (sub required).
On the topic of Jerry Kramer's exclusion from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Colleen Brenton of PocketDoppler chimes in. "The Ice Bowl alone does not a player make, but it certainly was a capstone to a great career (though he did play after that)," writes Brenton. "Not only did Kramer play guard at a high level, but he was the placekicker for the Packers too for a time, and did pretty well at that as well."
A few quotes regarding the Packers are shared by Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Whether the Packers' draft picks can stay healthy is examined by Adam Czech of AllGreenBayPackers.com.
Howard Green's weight is explored by Michael Rodney of Packer Update.
Video: Former Packer Brett Favre throws out the first pitch at his alma mater, Southern Miss's baseball game yesterday...
Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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