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Inbox: It should be quite the gathering

Packers Hall of Famers Bart Starr and Ezra Johnson
Packers Hall of Famers Bart Starr and Ezra Johnson

Amy from Bayport, MN

Welcome back, Mike. Well, you did it again. No breaking Packer news but you go on vacation and the next thing you know we have “robot umpires.” I just read the ESPN article: “The independent Atlantic League became the first American professional baseball league to let a computer call balls and strikes on Wednesday.” You’ve been saying it’s happening sooner rather than later. I guess the future is now!

And it’s just getting started.

Drake from Huntsville, AL

You don't need to “GPS up” the football. Put a RFID chip in like the microchips in your pet. Couple that with a buried cable, like the electronic leashes, at the yard markers that run to the sidelines. As the chip goes past the cable, the LED on the sideline lights up. When the chip goes past the down marker, the down marker lights up. The resolution of the buried cables (every inch? every 1/4 inch? every thickness of an index card?) can be used to accurately spot the ball.

This conversation, however, I don’t regret missing.

Jack from Downs, IL

The Packers had the white slashes in the end zones as a throwback for the 100th season, correct? Would it be fair to assume the “Green Bay” and “Packers” lettering will return this season?

That would be my expectation.

Jay from Woodstock, GA

Wes, loved your response to Curt from Locust Grove, CA, about not growing up too fast. It reminded me of a conversation I overheard when my kids were in competitive swimming years ago. A dad asked the coach what his son should be working on. The coach asked, "How old is your son?" The man answered, "8," to which the coach replied, "He needs to work on being 9." I thought that was a great lesson.

The lengthy ESPN piece I read yesterday about what the summer circuits are doing to young bodies, particularly in sports like basketball, was eye-opening as well as rather refreshing to read. Perspective is never a bad thing in my book.

The Green Bay Packers Foundation has awarded $250,000 impact grants to Freedom House, Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity and Give BIG Green Bay.

Mark from Denver, CO

“It sounds like he have could went far in that sport.” Ugh! This reminds me when people say, “I seen him down by the lake.” My English teacher would have given me detention if I chose to communicate in this fashion.

On the same day Wes commented on the grammar standards of our website, no less. I think he left that in there on purpose for me to catch upon my return. My wake-up call from vacation, perhaps.

Dan from Allen, TX

Another great article by Cliff Christl on Willie Davis. Willie retired after the 1969 season. This begs the question, how does a five-time first-team All-Pro not get inducted until 12 years later? I know about the five-year rule of course, but I would think he would have been inducted in his second or third year of eligibility worst case. Are my glasses too Green & Gold here?

Cliff would know better, but I suspect two things here. One, at that time the Hall was inducting the Lombardi Packers left and right – Taylor in ’76, Starr and Gregg in ’77, Nitschke in ’78, Adderley in ’80, then Davis and Ringo in ’81. Spreading them out in that fashion might have been intentional, or just the way it fell based on class-size limitations and other worthy inductees. Adderley and Ringo had a similar number of All-Pro selections and, like Davis, were also on the 1960s All-Decade Team but waited a while as well. With similar credentials, Willie Wood waited even longer. Two, sacks were not an official statistic in Davis’ era, or he probably gets in sooner.

Tyler from Pierre, SD

Could you please let everyone know what it actually means to beg the question?

As with several language elements, incorrect usage has become accepted over time. The definition in the classical sense refers to using circular logic, which many in the Inbox have mastered equally well.

Steven from Ladysmith, WI

All this talk about Bakhtiari scoring a touchdown got me to thinking. What do you think his touchdown celebration would be? I'm betting he would probably chug a couple of beers.

A popular suggestion. I’m sure plenty of fans in the “Lambeau Leap” seats would gladly offer theirs.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

Welcome back Spoff! The Milwaukee Bucks will have two sets of brothers on their roster next year. Do you know if the Packers ever had brothers playing together and how that turned out? I asked Wes but he couldn't think of any and said you would know.

According to a listing published by the Pro Football Hall of Fame two years ago, there have been a few pairs, but not for a long time. Earl and George Svendsen both played for the Packers in 1937, Carl and Lee Mulleneaux did so in ’38, and Bob and Royal Kahler in ’42. Both Svendsens are in the Packers Hall of Fame, as is Carl Mulleneaux. Marty and Carl Zoll were brothers who each played one game for the Packers in the early ’20s, but one was in ’21 and other in ’22. Also, the Michaels brothers played for the Packers at different times (Walt in ’51, Lou in ’71), and the twin McKenzie brothers came through Green Bay in different capacities (Raleigh as a player in ’99, Reggie as a personnel executive).

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, this is the time of year we hear of offseason training regimens and players returning in spectacular condition, reformed eating habits...Ever seen a player show up for training camp and think, "That guy looks way out of shape"? No names but certainly not everyone shows up in peak condition.

One or two players was pretty common a decade ago in my first couple of years here, but it’s extremely rare now.

Joe from Manitowoc, WI

About the "greatest play never seen," I was on my way back to Fort Campbell, Ky., on Sept. 17, 1973, and going through Milwaukee. I decided to stop at County Stadium. The N.Y. Jets were in town and I am a fan of Broadway Joe. The Jets were doing a walk-through and, being in uniform, the security guard let me see a bit of it. I saw Joe Namath flip the ball behind his back about 25 yards to a RB on a short out route and hit him right in the hands. No cameras around to see it.

The best catch I ever made, crashing into the centerfield fence in a Little League playoff game, wasn’t caught on film, either. It’s a better memory that way.

Sam from Antigo, WI

We all watch the draft and hope for great things from the people that we select. But we also seem to come up with some really good UDFAs also. What sort of team could you put together if you used only players at each position who were originally UDFAs at the start of their careers? (I'm hoping Sam Shields makes the list.)

If we limit the scope to players I’ve covered in this job since I’ve been with the Packers (2006), my all-undrafted team would be as follows – QB Scott Tolzien, RB DuJuan Harris, FB John Kuhn, TE Tom Crabtree, WR Jarrett Boykin and Geronimo Allison (with Ruvell Martin for three-wide); OL Lane Taylor, Justin McCray, Don Barclay, Evan Dietrich-Smith and Lucas Patrick; DL Cullen Jenkins, Tyler Lancaster and Colin Cole; LB Frank Zombo, Joe Thomas, Jamari Lattimore and Dezman Moses; DB Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Jarrett Bush and Chris Banjo (with Atari Bigby for the nickel).

David from Appleton, WI

As reporters, what are you most looking forward to seeing in the joint practices the Packers are scheduled to have with the Texans?

Quite simply how they’re run. I’ve never covered a joint practice before.

Ron from Riverview, FL

Hey Mike, two questions. What do you think of all the home runs in the MLB this season and also, what do you think about the Atlantic League wanting to test a new rule allowing batters to "steal" first base?

While I applaud the Atlantic League for testing out the automated strike zone as well as other new rules on pickoffs and two-strike bunts, “stealing first” is the dumbest idea I’ve heard in a long, long while. No thanks. As for all the homers in MLB, there’s no question the ball is different. I heard earlier this year they started having the Triple-A leagues use the same ball as MLB and homers at that level are up considerably. Yelich hit a homer earlier this year that Statcast measured with a 44-degree launch angle. That angle is a double black diamond on the ski slopes, not home-run trajectory.

Dale from Prescott, WI

With the Packers having two kickers in camp, it got me thinking. Have they ever carried two kickers on the 53-man roster or even a kicker on the practice squad?

I don’t recall two kickers on the 53 except maybe in an injury situation. The only kickers listed on the team’s all-time practice squad are Dirk Borgognone and Joe Wood, both from 1995.

Josh from Rochester, NY

Spoff, planning on taking my fiance to her first Packers game at Lambeau for the Vikings home opener. While I'm excited it’s a division rivalry game, I'm also really looking forward to the Bart Starr tribute ceremony at halftime (as well as copious amounts of brats, cheese, and beer). I know all the details have not been released yet but if you had to take a wild guess, who might be a few of the Hall of Famers or former players we could potentially expect to see in attendance? Appreciate it.

The home opener is also alumni weekend, so many former players were going to be around anyway, but I would think several guys who played with or for Starr would make an extra effort to get here. I’m not going to drop names without specific knowledge, but it should be quite the gathering.

Gary from Berwick, PA

Not a question, but a comment to Wes wishing he had experienced the old Yankee Stadium. NO, NEIN, NYET. It was a dump in the ’60s when I used to go as a kid and it stayed a dump until the day it was demo’d. Plus the neighborhood was nowhere you would want to be after dark.

Sounds like he missed an opportunity to improve his Professional Fighters League skills. I hope he makes it back. The season is almost here.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

I’m more interested in how many rushing attempts happen in the fourth quarter. I hope the number is high.

Indeed.

The Green Bay Packers, Essity and Green Bay Packaging Inc., planted 437 trees in local communities through the "First Down for Trees" initiative.

Ken from Fitchburg, WI

The razor thin margin has been there a long time. I think it was Bart Starr who, as a coach, published a video of the “Seven Plays that Held Us Back” or something like that. But that is often true. Lombardi said, “[t]he difference between the winning and the losing of a game hinges, on the average, on a minimum of two plays and a maximum of five; and of course, at any time, at any place on the field, it may hinge on one.” The key is winning those plays!

You never know when they’re going to be, so you have to prepare to win them all.

Michael from Pewaukee, WI

Where do you think the strengths of this team are, and how will those strengths impact the final decisions for the 53-man roster?

At this point, I think this team’s biggest strengths, depth-wise, are at cornerback and on the defensive line. It’s easier to keep an extra corner because of special teams. A really tough cut might be coming on the D-line.

Greg from Salt Lake City, UT

Mike, when Wes goes on vacation does he pay you forward with extra lunches before he leaves or when he gets back?

Neither, unfortunately, but I ate enough on my vacation to last me a good couple weeks. I’m going to be a little sluggish on the racquetball court for a while. Happy Friday.

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