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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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Freeman to work with rookies at symposium

Posted Jun 22, 2012

When Antonio Freeman visits with the league’s newest players at the annual NFL Rookie Symposium, he gets a kick out of the questions he receives about playing with Brett Favre or making that miracle catch on “Monday Night Football.”

“Their eyes light up,” Freeman said. “My eyes light up that they were sitting up at 1 o’clock in the morning watching that catch.”

But Freeman doesn’t go to the symposium just to re-live his playing days. He goes to provide a resource for young players, a sounding board for all their questions about life on and off the field, and he’ll do so again next week.

The 15th annual symposium, resuming after a one-year hiatus due to last year’s lockout, will be held in Aurora, Ohio, beginning Sunday. Freeman said this will be his fourth time as a group facilitator. He’ll sit with the rookies from a few different teams and conduct a meaningful conversation about finances, social life, and a host of other topics.

“As a former player, I didn’t have anybody to give me the blueprint for how to be successful,” said Freeman, who played eight of his nine NFL seasons with Green Bay and was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame three years ago. “I had to figure it out as I went a long. I took my bumps and bruises like a lot of people do trying to figure it out.”

This is the kind of giving back that Freeman has made a big part of his post-playing life. His B’MoreFree86 Foundation, serving underprivileged youth and families both domestically and internationally, is an ongoing and growing effort that works to change the circumstances of those in need.

With NFL rookies, their circumstances are changing in a vastly different way, and it’s easy to lose control. Freeman is being joined by a handful of other current and retired players who will either speak to the large groups (the NFC rookies’ program runs from June 24-27; the AFC rookies’ from June 27-30) or in smaller sessions.

“It’s not so much about what I did or what the next guy has done, but now that we’ve finished the race, we know the format to be successful in the race,” Freeman said. “I just want to give the kids information about life and protecting their namesake and their family image and who they are, and how to be professional. It’s not about who made mistakes, it’s about how to get the most out of this game.”

Freeman, who said there was only an “abbreviated” rookie program when he entered the league in 1995, said he gets more questions about finances than anything else. That’s understandable considering so many of these players just out of college will become instant millionaires once they sign their first contract.

His advice to the players is to take responsibility for their own financial education, because family and friends aren’t going to know how to manage a seven-figure bank account either.

That circle of family and friends can often grow unintentionally, too, and that’s another aspect of their lives that players need to monitor closely.

“Something is going to come up,” Freeman said. “I hope it doesn’t. I hope this is the first rookie class ever that doesn’t have an incident. But things come up.

“You’re at the top of the line now. You’re someone super, super special. People would give their right arm to be in your position. So the people that you hang around with have to have that same thing in common.”

The NFL has increased the number of current and former players speaking at this year’s symposium, and the new Ohio location was chosen to allow for a history session at the nearby Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

Freeman expects that to be an eye-opener for a lot of the young players.

“They’ll learn about the pay that Johnny Unitas got, and the pay that the 1980s guys got, and how much they still loved the game,” he said. “If you learn the history of the game, maybe you respect the game a little bit more, and you respect what’s expected of you to be a professional.”

Freeman is certainly carrying that on in retirement, and he appreciates the opportunity to stay connected to the league’s up-and-coming players. He’s also a member of the NFL player safety committee, which has taken on a higher profile lately as well.

“It’s about opportunities and being involved,” he said. “I miss the game. I wish my body could hold up and I could be out there running post routes again, but I can’t. So this is an extension for me to be involved in the game.”

 
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