Packers Daily Links: Green Bay Celebrates Return Of Lombardi Trophy

Fans celebrated the team's 13th world championship at yesterday's "Return to Titletown" event at Lambeau Field.

Fans turned out in droves for yesterday's "Return To Titletown" event at Lambeau Field. When head coach Mike McCarthy was announced, he emerged with the Lombardi Trophy in hand. "Taking the Lombardi trophy for a partial victory lap, McCarthy paused to let fans closest to the railing touch the coveted prize with gloves, mittens and very cold fingers," reports Karen Herzog and Meg Jones of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It was a fitting conclusion to the season that the head coach allowed the fans––the owners of the team––touch the trophy as he circled the field.

The event itself was a celebration of the team's 13th world championship. "The fans who braved single-digit temperatures loved every minute of the one-hour 'Return To Titletown' celebration," writes Mike Spofford of the team's official website. "They cheered every proclamation, from Green Bay mayor Jim Schmitt’s authorization to re-name a yet-to-be-determined city street 'McCarthy’s Way,' to General Manager Ted Thompson’s question, 'It’s a great day to be a Packer, isn’t it?', to Rodgers’ thoughts of going back-to-back." While it was the players who took center stage on Sunday, Tuesday was an opportunity for the top of the organization guys like McCarthy, Thompson, and Mark Murphy to be the stars of the show.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers gave perhaps the most quote-worthy moment of the day when he said the Packers would be doing the same thing next season. "It was a bold proclamation that rocked the sold-out stadium to its frozen core — all 56,000 of the available tickets quickly gobbled up by rabid fans," writes Bill Huber of Packer Report. "Fans came in the typical colors -- green and gold, camouflage and blaze orange – and generally were too happy to notice that it was 8 degrees with a wind chill of minus-15." Talk of repeat championships begins now.

Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette discusses the challenges of winning another Super Bowl title. "If age isn’t an issue with the Packers, they’ll still face the same psychological hurdles that have defeated others," writes Dougherty. "The Packers didn’t have one player who had won a Super Bowl coming into this season, so they were the epitome of a hungry team. It might have give them an edge in their offseason work last year, and in the Super Bowl itself, where their opponent had a roster full of players who had won two championships in the previous five years." If that's the biggest obstacle the Packers have to overcome, they're in pretty good shape.

Going a step beyond the back-to-back talk, Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin broaches the topic of "dynasty." "Thompson’s cautious optimism aside, there are plenty of reasons to think that the Packers will either be in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, 2012, or at least be in the conversation," writes Wilde. "Ditto for New Orleans after the 2012 season and New York/New Jersey after the 2013 season." It will be immensely difficult, no doubt about it, but the Packers at least look like they have a chance to be dominant for years to come.

Jason Wilde (among others) captured a special moment after yesterday's "Return to Titletown" celebration when running back Brandon Jackson received his game-worn Super Bowl jersey from the team. “That’s four hard years of dedication, blood, sweat, tears, adversity that goes into that 32,” said Jackson. “The history of the organization goes into that 32. My family, the love, the support goes into that 32. My faith in Christ goes into that 32. There’s a lot of history, there’s a lot of accolades, there’s a lot of things that go into that 32 that’s on that jersey. That jersey will not be washed. It will be hung up, framed, with the rest of my jerseys that I have from college, high school.

“That 32 is very special to me. It’s been … I don’t know. It’s emotional, you know, when I talk about it because I’ve been through a lot here. The road is tough. And to bring home the Lombardi Trophy, to have that patch on the side of my shoulder, it’s amazing.” A similar article is written by Lori Nickel of the  Journal Sentinel. Listen to Jackson here.

Brandon Jackson is one of several Packers who will be free agents after this season. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tackles the topic of the offseason. "If the previous collectively bargained rules are reinstated, [Daryn] Colledge will be one of 10 Packers who will become unrestricted free agents due to the expiration of their contracts," writes Silverstein. "Others include defensive end Cullen Jenkins, receiver James Jones, kicker Mason Crosby, safeties Atari Bigby and Charlie Peprah and running backs John Kuhn and Brandon Jackson." All those players should receive at least some interest on the open market, which will make it difficult to re-sign even a majority of them.

Cullen Jenkins, in particular, didn't sound optimistic that he'll be back next season. “If something’s not done, I won’t be surprised,” Jenkins told Kareem Copeland of the Press-Gazette. “By this point I’ll be more surprised if something is done.” The Packers would probably be happy to have Jenkins back at the right price, but they're not going to over-pay for his services. That's not their M.O.

Two guys that are expected to get contract extensions are Thompson and McCarthy, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.  "Murphy will work on Thompson’s extension, then Thompson will deal with McCarthy’s," writes Jensen. "Despite having 15 players on injured reserve, the Packers plugged in young replacements and continued to win." This only makes sense and shouldn't be a big deal. Coaches and general managers that have success don't typically look to bounce around from franchise to franchise looking for the best offer.

The Arizona Cardinals have reportedly requested to interview assistant head coach Winston Moss. "According to the Arizona Republic, the Cardinals have asked for permission to talk to Moss and two Pittsburgh Steelers assistants, linebackers coach Keith Butler and secondary coach Ray Horton," writes Pete Dougherty.

Daryn Colledge is headed for the Persian Gulf. "If he has played his last game for the Packers, he does have at least one more team function," writes Kareem Copeland. "Colledge is part of a group from the Packers that will take a Navy MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) trip to spend about 10 days with troops in the Persian Gulf. Others on the trip include Jarrett Bush, Derrick Martin, Nick McDonald, Frank Zombo and former player William Henderson plus assistant equipment manager Tom Bakken and head trainer Pepper Burruss." In other notes from Copeland, Nick Barnett is scheduled to get a pin removed from his surgically-repaired wrist on Thursday.

Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson are on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Nick Collins' Super Bowl interception is broken down by former Packer Matt Bowen at the National Football Post.

Jordy Nelson's breakout performance in the Super Bowl is broken down by the guys at the NFL Network.

The bottom of the roster performed well this season says Ross Tucker of ESPN.com.

Mitch Albom says Rodgers stands alone in Packers lore.

Matt Wilhelm's hometown newspaper reacts to the linebacker's Super Bowl season.

Dave D'Allesandro of the New Jersey Star-Ledger calls the Packers the real "America's team."

Mike McCarthy's confidence is touched upon by Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star.

Mike Vandermause writes about the bond between the team and the community.

The Packer Ranter tells the story of a displaced fan during the Super Bowl.

Packer Update hands out some postseason awards.

Andy Tisdel of AllGreenBayPackers.com talks about what happens next.

Briana Shimada of BKS Sports Talk takes a big-picture look at the Packers.

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