I don't know how much stock to put into this, but it was too interesting to resist posting.
The Packers have apparently made a partnership with a prospective team in Australia's National Rugby League (NRL), according to a recent interview airing 612 ABC in Brisbane, Aus. with Geoff Murphy, chairman of the bid committee for a Central Queensland NRL club.
I use the word prospective because Central Queensland does not even have a team in the NRL yet. They are hoping to become an expansion team in the popular professional rugby league.
It would be a little bit like Los Angeles making a partnership for their non-existant NFL team team with a rugby team overseas.
As the story goes, Geoff Murphy traveled to Green Bay this past December to visit with Packers president Mark Murphy (no relation) to learn more about how the Packers have managed to become such a successful professional sports franchise in a rural area.
Central Queensland is faced with a similar situation, how to gain such a passionate following and attain success despite being a small-market team.
If Central Queensland is lucky enough to gain entry into the NRL, they will form a relationship with the Packers as Geoff Murphy explained in the interview.
"I asked (Mark Murphy) if they would become a sister club with us, and they've agreed to that," said Geoff Murphy. "Also, we're going to exchange players, and we're going to exchange training staff, etc. when we get up and going. And Mark Murphy has also agreed to come across for Kickoff. I've got him pinned down for Kickoff in 2015."
As someone who lived in Australia, albeit briefly, I can confidently say the popularity of the NRL in Australia rivals that of the NFL in the U.S.A. on a relative scale, and there are indeed elite athletes in their league.
That being said, I'm not sure how a "player exchange" would work. The punters that Australia are known for are those who play primarily Australian rules football, not rugby.
And I can't ever imagine the Packers ever loaning a player they pay hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) to a rugby team unless it's for nothing than the sake of publicity and a photo-op.
One more thing of note in the interview with Geoff Murphy, he said he thought the Packers would buy back any shares of stock in the team for $2. I did not know that.
In any case, I encourage listening to the interview.
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