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  • Wed., Apr. 16, 2014 6:00PM - 8:30PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Ironwood party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Ironwood: Big Powderhorn Mountain Resort. To benefit Ironwood Volunteer Fire Department. Tickets on sale at Super One Foods, 1480 E. Cloverland Dr., Ironwood, Mich.

  • Thu., Apr. 17, 2014 6:00PM - 8:30PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Superior party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Superior: Superior High School. To benefit the National Bank Commerce Spartan Sports Complex. Tickets on sale at Screen Graphics, 1327 Banks Ave., Superior.

  • Fri., Apr. 18, 2014 6:00PM - 8:30PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Rice Lake party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Rice Lake: Barron County Fairgrounds. To benefit Benjamin’s House. Tickets on sale at Marketplace Foods, 330 S. Main St., Rice Lake; and Rainbow Home Center, 1124 Hammond Ave., Rice Lake.

  • Sat., Apr. 19, 2014 12:30PM - 3:00PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Merrill party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Merrill: MARC. To benefit Riverbend Trail. Tickets on sale at Merrill Chamber of Commerce, 705 N. Center Ave., Merrill; Dave’s County Market, 300 E. 1st St., Merrill; and Drew’s Piggly Wiggly, 3404 E. Main St., Merrill. Tickets also available online at www.merrillchamber.org.

  • Sat., Apr. 26, 2014 8:00AM - 6:00PM CDT Packers Pro Shop Tent Sale

    The sale is taking place earlier than in previous years, due to the construction at Lambeau Field and the work that the Pro Shop team must complete in preparation for the new store, which will open this summer. Visitors to Lambeau Field should enter the Atrium through the Oneida Nation Gate. Parking is available in the lot on Lambeau Field’s east side near the Oneida Nation Gate, which can be accessed off Oneida Street and Lombardi Avenue.

    The sale will feature the traditional mix of Pro Shop items greatly reduced in price and other special purchases.

    The team’s football operations staff also has provided Packers team apparel no longer in use, including a large assortment of t-shirts, shorts, jackets, jerseys and pants. Some items are practice-worn gear not normally available in the Pro Shop.

    The tent sale began in 1994 in the parking lot outside the former Pro Shop on the north end of Lambeau Field and grew into a popular event. Now in its 11th year in the Atrium, the tent sale also was held in the west side stadium concourse in previous years.

     
  • Sat., May. 10, 2014 7:00PM CDT Eddie Lacy appearance 22nd Annual Doug Jirschele Memorial Sports Award Banquet

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Do analytics really tell the whole story?

Posted Mar 30, 2013

Draftmetrics is for fans that love stats


GREEN BAY—The movie “Moneyball” brought analytics in sports to prominence, but Tony Villiotti has been crunching the numbers for years.

What is analytics? It’s the accumulation of meaningful patterns in data, for the purpose of using that data to predict future results.

Villiotti is the creator of draftmetrics.com, a football website dedicated to information on all things NFL, especially those things pertaining to the draft and free agency. At this time of the year, Villiotti is as busy as an NFL scout. The following is a snapshot of some of the information Villiotti is providing on the draft, free agency and the impact of both on success or failure in the NFL.

Bigger, stronger, faster?

Well, at least not faster.

Average times at the scouting combine for the 40 since 1999 have been flat. Running backs averaged 4.55 in ’99; 4.60 this year. Wide receivers averaged 4.57 in ’99; 4.50 this year. Cornerbacks and safeties were slightly slower this year.

How important is free agency?

Players acquired as veteran free agents accounted for nearly 27 percent of all games started in the 2012 NFL season, as opposed to 59 percent for teams’ own draft choices. The 2,992 games started by veteran free agents marks the second consecutive year of increased starts, following a steady decline in preceding years.

The real seven rounds of the draft

They’re different than the NFL’s version. Villiotti maintains that in terms of levels of prospect quality, the real seven rounds of the draft are as follows: selections 1-13, 14-40, 41-66, 67-86, 87-149, 150-189, 190 and later.

Villiotti’s data suggests that each level results in a drop in the quality of the talent available in the draft. Players selected in the 1-13 range, for example, have a 99.5 percent rate of having played three-plus years, and 95.1 percent rate of having played five-plus years. Players selected 14-40 are 92.8 and 82.5 percent. In the final group, the averages are 43.0 and 26.8 percent. For all of the groups, the averages are 67.6 and 51.6 percent.

Where do the Packers rank?

The Packers were ninth in the league last year in starts by retained players, 280. The Seahawks led the league with 319, followed by the 49ers with 309 and Redskins with 296.

Money and the draft

Villiotti estimates that the first pick in this year’s draft will receive a signing bonus of about $14.5 million and his cap number will be about $4.035 million. By comparison, the player selected with the 26th overall pick, which the Packers own, will receive a bonus of about $4 million and his cap number will be about $1.4 million. The difference in bonus money between the first pick of the draft and the final pick of the first round will be about $11.2 million.

The question is this: Is the owner of the first pick receiving good value for the $11.2 million difference. If not, it amounts to the equivalent of a regressive tax on the worst teams.

Ouch!

How soon should they become starters?

Thirty-seven percent of all first-time starters achieved that status as rookies, 30 percent in their second season, 15 percent in their third, etc. Thirty-five percent of all three-year starters achieved that milestone in their third season. Thirty-four percent of all five-year starters achieved that status in their third season.

Sooner would seem to be better.

Predicting success

Using all of the information, including teams’ drafting success percentage which, of course, has been affected by their place in the order, this is how Villiotti forecasts the 77 projected five-year starters from this year’s draft class to be divvied up: 2.25 or more—49ers, Dolphins, Vikings, Bengals; 2.0-2.24—Lions, Titans, Rams, Jaguars, Bucs, Eagles, Cards, Jets; 1.75-1.99—Ravens, Falcons, Chargers, Chiefs, Bills; 1.50-1.74—Texans, Giants, Steelers, Raiders, Packers, Cowboys; 1.25-1.49—Browns, Broncos, Seahawks, Panthers, Bears, Patriots; Less than 1.25—Saints, Colts, Redskins.

Making sense out of all of that is the tough part.

The first round is the money round

Apparently, it really is what’s up front that counts.

Even though the best teams draft at the bottom of the order, the best teams have a higher percentage of success with their first-round picks. Last year’s playoff teams had a 37.1 percent rate of starts by first-round picks, as compared to 35.5 percent by teams with losing records.

Losing teams were overall better in rounds 1-3, and playoff teams were better in rounds 4-7.

How do you like those analytics?

 
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