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  • 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
  • Sat., Jun. 07, 2014 8:30AM - 3:30PM CDT JPP Kids Clinic

    The 17th annual Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic is set for Saturday, June 7, 2014 in the Don Hutson Center with sessions ranging from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    The Junior Power Pack Clinic gives members ages 5-14 years old the opportunity to practice football skills and drills with other Packers backers and a few up-and-coming Packers players.  Parents/Guardians are welcome to come and watch their child/ren participate in the clinic. 

    Members may choose one of three sessions to attend:

    • Session 1 – 8:30 to 10 a.m.
    • Session 2 – 11 to 12:30 p.m.
    • Session 3 – 2 to 3:30 p.m.

    The event will be held inside the Don Hutson Center, the Packers indoor practice facility. Parking for the event is available in the lot on Lambeau Field’s east side near the Oneida Nation Gate.  

    The Junior Power Pack Clinic is a member’s only event and will have a registration fee of $5.

    Deadline to register:

    • New Members – May 11, 2014
    • Current Members – May 18, 2014

    To sign up to become a member of the Junior Power Pack and receive an invitation to the clinic fans can go to www.packers.com/jpp.

  • Sat., Jun. 14, 2014 2:30PM CDT Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer

    The eleventh annual Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer motorcycle ride will be held, rain or shine, on Saturday, June 14, 2014. The ride will start at Vandervest Harley-Davidson (1966 Velp Avenue, Green Bay) and will make a fun-filled stop at the Seymour Fireman's Picnic, held at the Outagamie County Fairgrounds in Seymour.

    Ride Day Schedule

    • 9-10:30 am: Registration at Vandervest Harley-Davidson, Geen Bay
    • 11 am: Depart Vandervest Harley-Davidson, Green Bay
    • 12 pm: Arrive in Seymour. Enjoy food, beverages, entertainment and a short program.
    • 2:30 pm: Party kicks off at the new South Endzone Festival Foods MVP Deck at Lambeau Field! Guests can access the space by way of the Shopko Gate. See the field and enjoy the atmosphere from this beautiful indoor/outdoor space newly opened and accessed by very few. The party will include silent and live auction, food, beverages, music and merchandise available for purchase.

    More information: http://cruiseforcancer.org/



Mike Spofford

Mike Spofford has worked as a sportswriter in Wisconsin since 1995 and has been a packers.com staff writer since 2006. He has covered the Packers' last two Super Bowl appearances, XXXII and XLV.


Grant full speed for first practice

Posted Jul 30, 2011

TE Finley, DE Neal also hungry to return to field

Jermichael Finley says he’ll be excited “just touching the grass.” Ryan Grant’s body feels the best it has “in a long time.” Mike Neal knows he’ll have to “pace” himself, “remain calm.”

Their own words Saturday afternoon reflected similar circumstances as the Packers prepared to take the practice field for the first time in 2011. Finley, Grant and Neal are three key players who spent Green Bay’s run to Super Bowl XLV on injured reserve, which means when they talk about their hunger for the new season, it isn’t lip service.

“There is no complacency,” Grant said. “If you’re playing this game and you haven’t been around the Super Bowl, you can’t be complacent.”

The three appear to be in different stages in their recovery.

Grant, whose 2010 season ended in the second quarter of the opener in Philadelphia last September, says his ankle is healed and he’s full-go.

Finley, who hurt his knee in Week 5 at Washington last October, says he’ll be doing some individual drills and running “routes on air” on Saturday night, but he’ll be held out of team drills.

Neal, who was limited to just two games as a rookie last year due to a shoulder injury, isn’t sure how much he’ll practice, but Head Coach Mike McCarthy indicated earlier Saturday Neal wasn’t medically cleared, meaning like Finley he’ll be held out of team drills at a minimum.

However their offseason routine changes, for all three it will be welcome.

“I did rehab every day, 24/8. I added an extra day to it,” Finley said with his usual hyperbole. “I just got to work and got right.”

If Finley is right, the Packers offense will be as well. The ultra-athletic tight end was on pace for a 1,200-yard receiving season one-quarter of the way through 2010 before the knee injury, and with all the rehab and conditioning work he says he’s slimmed down to 240 pounds, seven less than his roster-listed weight.

Finley feels healthy enough to go all-out from day one, but he isn’t going to argue with McCarthy, whose normal procedure is to ease players returning from knee injuries back into the fold.

“He’s the head man, so I’m listening to him,” Finley said. “We ain’t got a game in a week, we ain’t got one in two weeks. We play Sept. 8 against the Saints, and I guarantee I’ll be out there.”

Grant wasn’t guaranteeing anything other than an intense competition with second-year running back James Starks for the starting job.

Running backs take the biggest beating of any position on an NFL roster, so sharing carries in training camp is never a bad thing. In terms of the tread left on the tires, Grant is an interesting case because he’ll turn 29 this season – one step shy of the supposed cliff for running backs – but he’s played only 2½ seasons as a featured runner, from mid-2007 through 2009.

“I probably gained a year back on my career just because of the wear and tear,” Grant said of carrying the ball just eight times last season. “No soreness, nothing going on. I’m ready to get back after it.”

So is Neal, a workout warrior who used his frustrations over a lost rookie season as fuel during the rehab and conditioning process. Neal missed the first three games of last season with an abdominal strain, then the final 11 plus the playoffs with the shoulder trouble.

“You get hurt your rookie year with high expectations, and they give you all this money and then you can’t contribute to the team, you go through so many emotions, from depression to beating yourself up,” said Neal, a second-round draft pick from Purdue. “Everybody’s trying to tell you it’s not your fault and you feel like it is your fault.”

In the two games he did play in 2010, Neal was a factor on the defensive line, forcing a fumble and recording a sack. He’s expected to take on an even bigger role up front with the pending free-agent departure of Cullen Jenkins, but he doesn’t see his minimal contributions from last year as having proven anything.

“My whole last year is erased,” he said. “I tell everybody that I’m just like a rookie learning. I’m hungry. I feel like I’m an undrafted free agent. I worked like that the whole offseason. That’s pretty much where my mind is at.”

The minds of these three are all pretty much in the same place.

“You don’t know when you’re going to get hurt or when somebody’s going to come get your spot,” Finley said. “So you play every play like it’s your last.”

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