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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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Ricky Zeller

Ricky Zeller is a contributing writer for packers.com. He has covered the NFL for several publications.

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Anderson top LB in difficult times

Posted Jun 15, 2011

The Hall of Fame’s All-Decade team for the 1960s featured five defensive players from the Packers, and in the ’70s there were zero who took the majority of the snaps during their careers in Green Bay. In the ’80s, there was a single defender honored who played for the Packers during the decade: linebacker John Anderson.

Though not as heralded as the rest of the linebackers he joined on Canton’s all-star unit – Mike Singletary, Lawrence Taylor, Ted Hendricks, Jack Lambert, Andre Tippett and Carl Banks – Anderson is the all-time leading tackler for the Packers, tied with Ray Nitschke for the most interceptions at his position in team history with 25, and played for 12 seasons. Anderson was dependable and consistently good.

“It’s nice to be recognized, but I think it speaks more to longevity,” Anderson said in a recent conversation. “There was a guy in New York named Lawrence Taylor that I competed against for honors during my career, and I was far behind him, rightfully. He was the best I’ve ever seen. There were a number of linebackers who were perennially good players during that time, so it’s something I’m proud of.”

Anderson was drafted in the first round in 1978 out of Michigan. By the time he retired in ’89, only Bart Starr, Nitschke, Forrest Gregg, Charles Goldenburg and Dave Hanner had worn a Packers’ uniform longer. Since the Packers began compiling tackle statistics in 1975, no defender has reached Anderson's total of 1,020.

“I wasn’t aware of it at the time. Statistics weren’t played up. We got the tackle totals after the game and you looked at them to make sure you were contributing, but you didn’t put too much into them,” he said. “In retrospect, it’s fun to compare. What I’m most proud of is that I never came off the field. Nickel, goal-line, all three downs; we were specialized, but I was an every-down player.”

Anderson played in a 4-3 defensive alignment at the start of his career, but the club transitioned to the 3-4 two years later, and it better suited his talents, allowing him to cover tight ends and chase down ball-carriers. In ’81, he recovered four fumbles. Anderson led the team with three interceptions in ’82 – when the club went 5-3-1 and to the playoffs in the strike-shortened season – and he tied a career-high with five the next year. Each season Anderson was at or near the top of the club’s tackle charts.

Dependability became one of his trademarks. A broken arm 13 games into his rookie season forced him to miss the last contest, but he was named all-rookie after recording five interceptions and 102 tackles. The injury sidelined him for half of ’79. An injury also ended his ’86 season after four games, snapping a streak of 77 straight starts from ’81-’86.

Otherwise, trusty No. 59 – Anderson wore 60 as a rookie – could be counted on to buckle his chinstrap every Sunday.

“I remember as a rookie, I thought if I could just get to five years in the NFL, that would be awesome,” Anderson said. “It took me about five years to learn how to play the position so I knew exactly what everyone was going to do. At that point, there weren’t a lot of surprises, or a question of how they were going to block me. I would get beat, that’s football, but it wasn’t because I wasn’t sure what the other team was going to do. That’s when you have a lot of confidence.”

In ’89, after soldiering through 33 defeats over the previous three seasons, the Packers went 10-6. Though Green Bay failed to make the playoffs, it was the team’s best record since ’72, and the club had pulled out four victories by a single point, and it was the most wins of the 12-year veteran’s career. It also felt like a fitting end to the linebacker’s playing days after 146 games, though Anderson said it came as a surprise to head coach Lindy Infante when he stepped into his office.

“I knew my best days were in the past. I wasn’t going to get any faster. I had been battling some ankle injuries and, frankly, I felt like I wasn’t holding up to the way I had played earlier,” he said. “I wanted to be the one who would make the call on when my career ended, and I had managed to dodge the major injury bullet over all those years. I wanted to be active after my career. It sort of all came together.”

After a stint as a sportscaster in Milwaukee, Anderson has taught middle school environmental education and the classics since 1998 at Brookfield Academy, a private school about two hours southwest of Green Bay.

“I really enjoy it; there’s a great energy and you deal with something new every day,” he said. “I’m fortunate to teach middle school students, which aren’t always easy years to navigate. There’s a different level of education that is more meaningful than just learning about earthquakes and volcanoes. We’re trying to instill integrity, truth and character. So every day has its challenges, but it is rewarding.”

For a listing of more "Where are the now?" stories on packers.com, click here.

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