On the first Saturday of every month, Mark will write about a topic of interest to Packers fans and the organization, and then answer five fan questions. Fans are encouraged to email Mark with their name and hometown at: **MurphyTakes5@packers.com*.*
Although the game against the Bears on Thanksgiving night was very disappointing, the halftime ceremony was one for the ages. The unveiling of Brett Favre's retired No. 4 jersey was truly a special moment in Packers, and NFL, history. It was very impressive to see, and feel, the emotion of the fans from the field. For me, the highlight of the ceremony was when Bart Starr joined Brett at midfield. Bart has struggled with health issues in recent months, and we were not sure if he would be able to make it up to Green Bay for the event. It is a real tribute to Bart that he worked so hard on his rehabilitation and made tremendous progress in the last few weeks.
Having Brett and Bart together on the field also highlights the great history and tradition of the Packers. It is not often that you see two of the greatest players in NFL history together, and it was really touching to see the genuine affection that they have for each other.
Special thanks to both Brett and Bart for all they've done for the Packers over the years, and for a memorable evening. I know that our fans will not soon forget the ceremony.
Now, on to your questions:
Ben from Chicago, IL
Hi Mark, What do you do during game day? When you are watching the game from the box, do you cheer or clap?
I usually get to the stadium three or four hours before the game, Ben. At away games, I like to walk around the stadium to see what kind of events and features the teams have around their stadiums. In Minneapolis, I was able to take a tour of the construction site for their new stadium. It is very impressive. For home games, I also like to walk through a number of areas to make sure that our fans are having a good experience. It is also a good chance to talk with a lot of our employees. I usually get down to the field about an hour before kickoff. This is a good time to talk with the owner and executives from the other team. At home, I watch the game in a box with Ted Thompson, General Manager, and Russ Ball, VP of Football Administration. We do cheer and clap, hopefully more often than we moan and groan. For away games, I watch the game in the press box, where cheering is prohibited. It is very hard to not cheer when we make a big play, and I have received some sneers from reporters for cheering. Needless to say, we did a lot of celebrating at the end of the Lions game on Thursday. Finally, after every game, I go to the locker room to talk with the players and coaches.
Steve from Chicago, IL
Can you please give us an idea what happens to an injured player as he recuperates, what his work day is like while sidelined, and how the Packers support his recovery?
Good question, Steve. It really depends on the injury. If it is a season-ending injury, the player will likely have surgery and then will start the rehabilitation process. For instance, Jordy Nelson puts in many full days receiving treatments and doing rehabilitation exercises for his surgically repaired knee. Our athletic trainers oversee his rehabilitation. He also attends many of the team meetings and has just recently started traveling with the team. If a player has a less serious injury, he will spend most of his time receiving treatment and trying to get back on the field as soon as possible. He will attend all meetings and practices. Dealing with injuries is one of the most difficult parts of playing in the NFL. I know when I was on injured reserve with the Redskins (which was a minimum of six weeks back then), it was very frustrating. I didn't feel like I was part of the team, and the sprained knee seemed to take forever to heal. It goes against the nature of players to be patient, but injuries do take time to heal.
Alexander from Munich, Germany
I'm the greatest Packers fan in Germany and I think on the whole European continent. My question is, can you do something more for your German fans, please? I would be grateful if you could do this!
Danke, Alexander. Es ist toll, Fans wie Sie in Deutschland zu haben. Wir hatten hier schon öfter erörtert, dass der internationale Wachstum eine hohe Priorität für die Liga ist . Ich wäre nicht überrascht, wenn es bald ein reguläres Saison-Spiel in Deutschland gibt . Wie Sie sich sicherlich erinnern, war die NFL Europa sehr beliebt in Green Bay. Vielen Dank für Ihre Fern-Unterstützung der Packers.
(Thanks, Alexander. It's great to have fans like you in Germany. As we've discussed here in past questions, international growth is a big priority for the league. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a regular-season game soon in Germany. As you may remember, NFL Europe was very popular in Green Bay. Thanks so much for your long distance support of the Packers.)
Mike from De Pere, WI
I was surprised to see St. Louis QB Case Keenum remain in the game last week after struggling to stand up after hitting his head on the ground. Isn't the medical timeout designed to take players off the field in these situations?
Great question, Mike. Yes, the medical timeout was absolutely meant to help players like Case Keenum. The certified athletic trainer in the press box should have seen the situation and called down to the field. The medical timeout is new this year, so we haven't had a lot of experience with it, but this was a miss. There have been three medical timeouts called so far this year. We now have many people charged with looking out for possible concussed players. There is an unaffiliated neurotrama consultant (UNC) on each sideline of every game, and every team has a neurologist on their sideline. Also, our officials have been instructed to look for players who may have been concussed, and ask for the medical staff to check on them. Concussions are a huge issue for the League, and we've put in place a number of procedures designed to protect players. We now must ensure that the procedures work efficiently.
Nate from New York, NY
Mr. Murphy, as a longtime Packers fan, I recently made the move from Ohio to New York City. I'll admit, some of the city luxuries are nice but sometimes I want to sit back with a bowl of cheese curds and a Miller Lite while taking in some Wisconsin air. Even the best Packers bar in the city lacks those aspects.
So my question to you is: I am currently around 100,000 on the wait list for season tickets. When do you project that I will be selected off this list? (So I can start preparing my retirement strategy...even though I'm only 23.)
Thanks for the question, Nate, and thanks for being on the waiting list. It's actually grown in recent years. We're up to 129,000 now. I don't think you want to know how long I think it will be before you are selected off the list. In the meantime, I would suggest you enjoy your kinship with others on the list, save the postcard you receive every year marking your place on the list and look for emails from us for special offers for people on the waitlist. Thanks so much, Nate, for your support and patience.