Football rules on fans' minds

Posted Apr 12, 2018

The tour’s next stop was at historic Turner Hall in Monroe, Wis., where the players had a special lunch to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Green County. Members of the tour had the opportunity to dine with program donors and participants at individual tables.

The specialness of the tour often is experienced at events such as this, as participants get to see the players as regular guys, out of uniform and in a relaxed setting. The question-and-answer sessions allows the players to have some fun with each other and share opinions on a variety of topics. Today’s topics included discussion about recent rule changes dealing with making the game safer with use of the helmet, facemask penalties (or lack thereof) for offensive players, and the future of the kickoff.

“I don’t think the helmet rule will affect me too much, but we’ll have to see,” said Black Martinez.

One of the younger attendees asked how much each the players could bench press.

“I could do 375 back in the day,” said Bubba Franks, “but I have long arms so it was harder for me to get that weight up compared to the guys with the shorter arms.”

Ty Montgomery was asked if he was going to change his number from 88 to something more conventional for running backs.

Franks, standing next to Montgomery and also wearing No. 88, his number during his career, jumped in to answer.

“He should!” he exclaimed. “No. 88 does not belong in the backfield.”

Montgomery, who has been asked this question a few times during the tour, explained why he’s going to keep it.

“It is a testament to what I can do, my skill set,” he said. “I bring a unique value to the team and I’m going to keep this number…it’s who I am.”

“Our number,” said Franks, with his arm draped around Montgomery.

Upon arriving in Janesville, the tour had the fun opportunity to stop at Cedar Crest senior community for a change of pace after stopping at several schools so far on the journey. Senior residents reminisced about Packers history with the players.

The Q&A session had a unique twist as the residents displayed their passing skills by throwing footballs with questions written upon them to the players for answers.

Antonio Freeman had some fun with a question, actually a request, for him: show your touchdown dance. Rob Davis later told Freeman it was a weak display.

Cedar Crest Life Enrichment Director Tammy Fatla happily took the scene in as the visit went better than she expected.

“The camaraderie between the players and our residents was awesome,” she said. “The smiles on their faces are priceless. They’ll be talking about this for a long time.”

The tour members will soon be gearing up for the night’s party at the Pontiac Convention Center.

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