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Inbox: He's carried himself like a true professional

And the 2022-23 Insider Inbox MVP is…

QB Jordan Love
QB Jordan Love

1 (continued). What is the most meaningful/unique piece of Packers memorabilia you own?

Joel from Green Lake, WI

For about 40 years, I had possession of Jerry Kramer's square-toed kicking shoe. More than a dozen years ago, Kramer identified the shoe as the 9½ EEE shoe he settled on. Less than a year later, I donated it to the Packers Hall of Fame. It has been displayed in numerous different locations, including the special one honoring his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction. The last time I visited the Packers HOF, it was in JK's "locker" just before the trophy room. I never felt I 'owned' it; I was just the temporary custodian of history!

Kerry from Lakewood Ranch, FL

My favorite Packers memorabilia is a football I helped make at Super Bowl XLV. I was fortunate to be a guest of Wilson Sporting Goods, and at the NFL Experience prior to the game, they let me lend a hand in making a commemorative football for the game. When I received the football a few weeks after the game with all the official imprints, I was surprised to see my name imprinted on the ball right below "The Duke."

Eric from Columbus, OH

I grew up in Madison and my father traveled to Green Bay monthly for his job. One morning he was eating breakfast and Vince Lombardi walked in alone. Mr. Lombardi was clearly preoccupied but my father finally got the courage to ask for an autograph for his 9-year-old son. Mr. Lombardi reluctantly agreed, but my father did not bring paper or pen. He quickly pulled out his business card, and with a pen supplied by Mr. Lombardi, I still own my most prized piece of memorabilia 61 years later.

Patricia from Sturgeon Bay, WI

Just another Outsider with my cherished item of Packer memorabilia; a program from the Sept. 24, 1967, game between Packers and Bears, signed by every member of defense, plus Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr. My dad was in the National Guard. While on guard duty he grew to be friends with Tommy Joe Crutcher, a linebacker for the Pack. Dad asked if, as a special gift for my brother, Tommy Joe could get a "couple of autographs." Instead, he came up with this treasure.

Brian from Moncks Corner, SC

My late dad's stock. I have my own but it's seeing his that provides all the value. A reminder of my childhood growing up a Packers fan in a Cowboy and Steelers world: the tapping on the window for me to stop playing outside and watch the only Pack game we would get on TV that year; travelling to a rare away game in our region. Best of all, his passion, love, and stories that keeps the beat alive two generations later. It's not the thing, it's the memories.

Hal from Lanesboro, MN

A bit late, but my favorite piece of Packer memorabilia is the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation ball cap. It was December 2017, Tampa Bay was visiting as were my best buddy Scott Dixon (who subsequently died from colon cancer a year later) and I, on his bucket list first ever visit to Lambeau Field. The bonus was meeting Wes in the Atrium and AJ's first touch, touchdown run. The hat keeps Scottie alive for me.

John from McHenry, IL

My favorite memorabilia could be the photo of me meeting Mike and Wes at Lambeau Field. Although, this could be bumped to second place by a photo of me meeting Larry "The Rock" McCarren! Sorry guys, players over writers. (Editor's note: Understandable)

Dave from Lockport, IL

My most-prized Packers item is my autographed Ray Nitschke "business card." Ray was a guest at the Milwaukee sports bar where I tended bar. When I was wrapping up, I told him he was my favorite player growing up. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a two-sided card with his name, Packers logo, and HOF on the outside. On the inside was a picture of him standing over a Bears player he just tackled. He wrote "Keep hitting 'em hard" and signed it. Proudly display this in my office.

Steve from Flagstaff, AZ

I was living in Eau Claire at the time with my college roommates watching what I believe was the final game at County Stadium. Brett Favre scored the winning touchdown in the end zone on his headfirst dive into the end zone. It was a cold day, and we had some good snow that weekend. My friend Al and I looked at each other after Favre did that and ran outside and went headfirst into a snowbank. Thankfully, it was close to the doors of being back inside the warmth. But still a memory for us.

Michael from Morrison, IL

The piece of memorabilia that generates the most discussion at our house is the Mike Daniels game-used facemask I picked up at the Pro Shop in 2013. Holding it, you can see dents, scuffs, and a little bit of dirt on one of the top bars. It's even more special because my late father-in-law (he passed away this past March) made a special holder for it out of sugar maple (the state tree of Wisconsin).

Marty from Galena, IL

I believe it was early 1996. The Packers had just announced they were selling specially packaged pieces of sod from Lambeau. Two friends and I left Galena, IL at 11 p.m. in a blizzard. Drove the normal five hours in about six hours and were the fifth car in line outside the south entrance to the lower parking lot (at that time). The kicker, we were the second car from Galena in that five-car line! We got our 40 boxes of sod!

Brian from Louisville, KY

A friend's father took an aerial photograph of the newly renovated Lambeau Field and made posters. I called Green Bay and left a voicemail for Bob Harlan asking him to autograph it. He personally called me back in 20 minutes and graciously signed and sent it back. It proudly hangs framed in my office.

Keith from Madison, WI

Formerly Keith from Wallace. I have three items which I cherish deeply. A picture of myself with my grandfather, my father, and my younger brother in our brand-new Packers ski coats from Christmas '94. I am the only one still living, having lost my brother way too early. Also, a picture of a 4-year-old me on the knee of Ray Nitschke in a local furniture store in Madison. Three, a Packers stock certificate in my dad's name. Still not sure if I am going to have it reissued in my name.

Doug from Scottsdale, AZ

My son, Augie, and I attended the last game of 2010 against the Bears. The lone TD in that win was scored by tight end Donald Lee in the fourth quarter. His Lambeau Leap was right on top of us in the North end zone! The next day our photos of the Leap was in the USA Today. Then, it made a two-page spread in Sports Illustrated. Then, several years later, I find it in Canton at the HOF in a 12-by-7-foot display! This photo of us is my most special Packers piece FOR ALL TIME!

Dan from Herriman, UT

Wes, my most prized Packers memorabilia would have to be my 1964, year I was born, pigskin signed by the entire team. My grandmother sold season tickets and was pictured in the 100-year anniversary calendar. We had a trailer fire when I was seven and my family moved to Arizona from Green Bay. I thought I had lost the football in the fire and didn't think of it until years later when in my teens and visiting my grandparents my grandmother presented it to me. It's smoke-damaged but still precious.

Danny from Newburgh, IN

Dec. 31, 1967. I was in Vietnam. My two brothers were at the Ice Bowl. After the game, they stormed the field and helped tear down the goal post. They each got about an 18-inch section for a souvenir. They still have them. For my 50th wedding anniversary, my older brother cut a three-inch section off and gave it to me. I plan on passing it to my son. (Editor's note: What a bro)

Matthew from Las Vegas, NV

When it comes to Packers memorabilia, my family has something I find pretty interesting. My grandfather worked at a foundry as his day job and also as an usher at Lambeau Field on gamedays. After the Ice Bowl, he managed to get a chunk of the goalpost which he cut into rings and welded to metal plaques featuring the date, final score, and temperature. He made one for each of his children, and my mother's hangs on the wall at my parent's house to this day.

Doug from Prescott, AZ

In the summer 1996, we were staying at an RV park in Sheldon, WA. While there, my wife (a Packers babysitter in the 1960s) struck up a conversation with a park resident. This lady collected stuff for the local VFW auctions; she had an original Super Bowl I patch mounted on a 12x12 certificate with all the original packaging. We made a donation, and the certificate with its packaging is framed in green and gold and is hanging on the wall right under our Stock certificate.

Bob from Madison, WI

As a Cub Scout, I made a scrapbook of the 1962 Packers clipping photos from the Milwaukee Journal and programs. I moved and lost it. My brother found it. Willie Wood was at an event and my brother hoped he would autograph it. He showed Willie the book and opened it to a photo of him kicking off. Willie was surprised and spoke how players needed a few talents. He signed the book. My brother gave me the book and told me the story. I remember the story, that team and becoming a Packers fan.

Michael from Alameda, CA

I have a program from a basketball game between the 1965 Green Bay Packers and a group of local radio and print media called "The Madison All Stars." The game was played at Monona Grove High School. After the game, players stuck around and signed programs for the adoring fans. My program includes signatures from Ray Nitschke, Henry Jordan, Jerry Kramer, and others. I know my mother, a huge Bart Starr fan, took her five children to this game, so the program has special meaning for me...


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11. What are you looking forward to most about the 2023 Packers season?

Al from Green Bay, WI

Outside sports commentators speak about the Packers' weak receiving room, noting their lack of experience. While light on experience, this group seems to be both hungry and talented. I can't wait to watch them grow into their roles and provide their fans with lots to cheer about. This group could well be a force to be reckoned with for years to come!

Gregg from Arlington Heights, IL

Did you mean, besides II? As far as the Packers' roster, I'm looking forward to watching the offensive line depth chart. Where will Zach Tom play? Will Caleb Jones develop enough to become the future left tackle? Will the coaches not completely adhere to playing the best five linemen? Less we forget the playoff fiasco when they played Billy Turner at left tackle and weakened two positions when they could have strengthened one.

Steve from Middletown, KY

I'm most looking forward to the D stepping up to shut down opponents to allow our O to win games. I really hope we can do enough to make the playoffs. GPG!

Chris from Kennesaw, GA

The thing I'm looking forward to most in the 2023 season has nothing to do with wins and losses because, even after looking at the schedule several times, I still have no idea. For me, the players gelling and growing together as a team is what I'm most looking forward to. The O-line operating as one, the secondary reading each other's minds, noticeable connections between QB10 and his targets, a "teams" unit that continues to grow, and a D-line that figures out how to stop the run GPG!

Gary from Bear Valley, WI

What are you looking forward to most about the 2023 Packers season? Watching Jordan Love develop, those young speedy receivers and tight ends, and the speed on defense. It's going to like going from the Kentucky Derby to the Indy 500. Buckle up, baby.

TJ from Carney, MI

I am looking forward to a fresh start. With the BIG change at the QB position, I find myself pulling for Jordan Love. He seems to handle himself well with the media and his teammates appear to support and believe in him. Ups and downs are inevitable, but I look forward to a very competitive team each game. The evolution of both players and coaches will be most interesting as the weeks tick by.

Mark from Geneva, IL

I am excited about multiple things this year; to see how the Packers respond to the transition to Jordan Love, how the D steps up early in the year with a Year 2 jump from Devonte Wyatt and the addition of Lukas Van Ness, and maybe most excited to see how this young and talented receiving corps develops throughout the year. I am always excited for the season to get underway, but this year more than most because there are so many things that will be new this year.

Dale from Prescott, WI

What I'm looking forward to most for the 2023 season is the defense coming out in Week 1, playing with authority, setting the tone for the season, which will allow this young offense to gel as the season progresses.

Rick from Trempealeau, WI

This preseason feels so different from the last few years. This year we can relax and let things unfold. We have confidence that the Packers are headed in the right direction, but the expectation level, the feeling that, "If the Pack doesn't go deep into the playoffs, the season is a failure," isn't there. It feels more like the season is one of growth and maturity and, hopefully, winning. But progress is the key.

Donna from Darien, WI

What I'm looking forward to the most about the Packers 2023 season is this team proving everyone wrong. I'm so pulling for Jordan Love to do well. He's carried himself like a true professional since he's been in Green Bay. I hope it pays off for him. Go Pack Go!!!

Zak from Huntington Beach, CA

I'm looking forward to watching games without expectations, and just enjoying the ride. For years, I've watched with expectations to win most games, to win the division, and to at least get to the conference championship. I'm still hopeful for those things, of course, but I think this mindset will make failures less bitter and successes sweeter. GPG!

Matt from Hawthorne, NJ

Watching with little expectation for the first time in a long time, while also getting a glimpse into the next five or 10 years as an organization. Love's play and eye test will largely set up the team for some time or they will need a redo at the position shortly. Defensively, this is supposed to be a top 10 or even top five group. If not, major defensive coaching changes are likely coming, giving a new look to that side. Lot of things to watch for and I can't wait to see these young guys.

Patrick from Oronoco, MN

I am most looking forward for the 2023 season: Bringing my 11-year-old son to his first Packers game. It was a birthday present, and we picked the home opener for the Packers and Jordan Love. I asked if he wanted to sit in the bowl or indoor club and of course, he chose the indoor club seats.

Aaron from Brooklyn, NY

The thing I'm most looking forward to about the 2023 Packers is getting to watch a new QB with an open mind. Brett Favre made his Packers debut about a month before I was born. Let me tell you, teenage Aaron wasn't particularly happy to watch his favorite player get replaced and I didn't get to fully appreciate the first year of Rodgers. Now I'm in my 30s and I've gained some perspective, so I'm just excited to watch the next chapter of the greatest story in sports.

Andy from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

I'm most excited to have lower expectations. They have been so high that every loss, injury, or even close win seemed to have a larger anxiety impact than they should have. We (as fans) should be able to take a breath and ride the wave a little easier without those lofty expectations from the start of training camp.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

The development of the offense and renewed hope. My hope is that regardless of the record when the dust settles, I can feel that the right pieces are in place and the road to No. 14 lies straight ahead.

Monica from Blue Mounds, WI

Looking forward to a revitalized team, new leaders, veteran players, youth etc. Everything I read makes it an exciting time for fans, team, city of GB and Wisconsin

Craig from Mendota Height, MN

Seeing a young team have fun and grow together, as they prove the "experts" wrong while those said "experts" start saying that they told us all along the Pack would surprise people. (Editor's note: I chortled)

12. Who is your pick for 2022-23 Inbox MVP?

Jim from Franklin, WI

TK from Grafton is my Inbox MVP. I read the Inbox daily (two years). This offseason got really intense at times after a tough season. Then, came the AR12 trade being dragged out right up to the draft among many other things. The comical relief for me was the "Grafton Funnies" from all of the II folks which gave us a break from things nobody could control. It was things that had nothing to do with football or the Packers-just Grafton information nobody knew or needed to know. Forever here.

Shilo from Murrieta, CA

Derek from Eau Claire! Great questions, consistent posting, and seeing he's from Eau Claire always brings a smile to my face! And don't forget the haikus-that takes some serious thought to make it work every week. Here's one:

Derek from Eau Claire

It's time for II glory

Twenty twenty-three!

Matt from Bloomington, IN

I only very occasionally send in questions, but I'm quite proud of having been allowed to announce the last several Inbox MVPs. This year is the toughest I can remember by far, with all candidates having had terrific and deserving seasons. We'll see if the voters agree with me or not, but I vote that the wait is finally over for Derek from Eau Claire.

Chase from Citrus Heights, CA

I used a Google search to pull some highlights of the candidates. I found one post for Derek that laid the ground for Vic to announce his final II submission while Dean's poems, while too artsy for Vic, really established a new era of Insider Inbox. Both setting up nice HoF candidacies. Meanwhile, TK had the most entries on the first page, but this is the 2022-2023 II MVP, and no one triggered the Google algorithm in the time frame with more quality submissions than Al. MVP Vote: Al from GB!

Mitch from Eagle River, WI

Al from Green Bay has my vote for Inbox MVP, and my sword, and my bow, and my axe. And I'll show myself out.

Laurie from Green Bay, WI

Mrs. "Al from Green Bay" here. If it doesn't violate any protocols, may I vote for my hubby for Insider MVP? Thanks!

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

I've had my fair share of disappointment the last 4 years. Life hasn't always been easy or fun. II was a great distraction, lifted my spirits, gave me something to look forward to. Life has been quite a bit better for me this year. Because of that, I have spent less energy on submitting. After being on the daily submission grind for three years, I scaled back and engaged when I felt like it. I'm honored to be nominated and have enjoyed a three-peat of silver medals. I vote for Al from GB.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Inbox MVP - Derek from Eau Claire (I know, I'm voting against myself, but hey - my wife will vote for me, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.)

Dar from Mansfield, TX

When I enter Lambeau's equivalent of the Butler Cabin to put the green jacket on this year's MVP (I can dream), Derek deserves it most. Recall what happened when that Mansfield doofus (me) won instead of him last year? The Queen died before seeing the Pack's London game, the team missed the playoffs, and Aaron Rodgers got traded. If I had a DeLorean, Derek would already be MVP, we'd be savoring a 14th title, and Elizabeth II (yes, II) still reigns. And what of AR12? A Jet. Some events are fate.

Well, the time is here. TK from Grafton gets a heavy round of applause. TK asks incredible, thought-provoking questions and is deserving of this (peculiar) honor. That said, Derek from Eau Claire and Al from Green Bay did the unthinkable in 2023. There were a record number of submissions and yet Derek and Al were tied at midnight Monday. Instead of doing a run-off, we made the executive decision to name our first co-MVPs for Insider Inbox: Al from Green Bay and Derek from Eau Claire. Congratulations, fellas (Dar will have to make an extra green jacket). Thank you both for being part of our community and contributing on a daily basis. I'm writing Monday's column and then will be out for 1½ weeks. Have a great weekend, everyone.

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