Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: London calling … finally

The NFL gave plenty of deference

Tottenham Hotspur stadium
Tottenham Hotspur stadium

Ryan from Bloomer, WI

Let's see what Monday brings. Good one, Wes! How do you expect us to believe that you don't know more than you lead us to believe when you say things like this? Cheerio!

Wes is the king of the tease. That was quite the news drop I returned to Monday morning. London calling … finally.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

Very exciting news about the Packers playing in the UK next season. FYI, the "h" is silent in Tottenham. Listen to some Brits pronounce it to learn how to say it as the locals do.

It sounds like the "h" is silent in Hotspur, too, frankly. That's how I tried to pronounce it during "Three Things" anyway.

Paul from Whitby, UK

Fancy a beer in London?

Who, me?

John from Oxford, UK

See you at the London Packers Everywhere pep rally! Looking forward to getting that selfie.

I'm going to have to pace myself, and I'm not talking about the selfies.

Craig from Lakeville, MN

Hi Mike and Wes, I'm a Gold package season-ticket holder. I'm curious how the London game will affect what games we get in 2022 since the Gold package was supposed to get the extra home game. Do you have any insight into how that'll be handled?

Green gets six games, Gold gets two in '22, so it's like a normal regular season. The lone home preseason game is going to the Green package.

Ross from Fairhope, AL

Hello guys. I'd like to get your take on the Packers having to sacrifice a home game to play in London when they are the smallest market team in the league that arguably depends more on its home team to boost its economy than any other, and it's possible next year we could have traded a ninth U.S. road game for a trip internationally and not impacted the small businesses of Green Bay, Appleton, etc.? Thank you for your consideration and please keep keeping us well-informed!

This was part of the deal when the league added the 17th game. I think the NFL gave plenty of deference to the Packers' market and the local economy by never forcing the team to move a home game during all the 16-game seasons. I think the Packers will get a road game moved overseas soon enough, too, but losing a home game at some point was inevitable when the league announced this plan last year.

Benji from Lake Linden, MI

Will the Packers organization have a say in who they would like to play in London? It would be a shame not have true home Lambeau Field advantage against the Cowboys, Titans, Rams or Patriots.

I believe any team losing a home game for the international series gets to block some matchups from being moved. I'm sticking to my earlier prediction the opponent will most likely be the Jets or Giants.

Tom from Burlington, WI

So excited for an international game. Already starting to look at plane tickets! Looking at the past seasons, I'm trying to anticipate which week they would slot this. What are your thoughts on a potential date?

Well, assuming the Packers will get their bye week right after the London game, the trip overseas won't be in the first or last month of the season. But outside of narrowing it down to probably October or November, I really don't know.

Daniel from Horsholm, Denmark

As a European Packers fan for decades I will say: dream come true. When and how will I be able to purchase my ticket? I really don't wanna miss out.

All those details are still to come, but I suspect this Packers game in London will be the hottest ticket ever for an NFL game across the pond. It won't come easy.

Shilo from Murietta, CA

Welcome back Spoff! I hope you had a great week off. Since you last left us with a traumatizing pic of Walter Payton running roughshod over the Packers and Willie Gault blocking, you might be able to restore sanity to II (or at least my sanity!) with Brian Noble stuffing Refrigerator Perry at the goal line!

Sorry about that, but I'm more sorry about the factual/statistical error I made – which creeped into the headline – in that last column before I left. Very disappointed in myself. But I guess it goes to show how badly I needed a vacation, and how I should never forget the preface, "according to my research (which could be wrong) …"

Jayson from Fayetteville, NC

Wes, your answer to Scott from Sheboygan, WI, is spot on for me also. Its impact on us pales in comparison. Both of Aaron Rodgers' collarbones, David Bakhtiari's knee, Finley's neck, Jordy's knee, C-Wood's collarbones. Were able to overcome them and so many more. Bakh's knee might be my second with its potential impact the past two postseasons, but with Nick, we were chasing and chasing his impact, play, and production. We still are.

Wes nailed it on the Collins injury, no doubt. There's also no discounting Bakhtiari's absence the past two postseasons when Rodgers was sacked 10 times in the two elimination games.

Linwood from Travelers Rest, SC

Wes, you said one of the most important variables at the combine was the interview. I agree as a properly constructed interview can elicit a wealth of information about a person. Do you know or think the GB brass leave any sort of hint on the table for the player to suspect they could get a call from Packers HQ during draft weekend? Thanks for all you do for the Packer Nation!

There are some exceptions, but most of the players the Packers draft end up telling the media they didn't really know how interested Green Bay was. The team generally avoids tipping its hand at all. But this is also the annual reminder as I'm writing this on the ride to Indy that the two most important things happening at the combine as far as the prospects are concerned get the least amount of media coverage – the medical checks and the interviews. Please remember that amidst the upcoming wonders about workout warriors.

Brandon from Kronenwetter, WI

Speaking of ties, I was at the Packers-Vikings game a few years ago that ended in a tie. Walking out of the stadium after the game was probably the strangest experience I have ever experienced as a sports fan. There was no trash talking or friendly banter between fans, no cheering or chants, almost no talking at all. There was almost no energy at all; nobody was too happy or too sad, and everybody just quietly walked out and went home. Definitely bizarre. No more ties in the NFL, please!

It's strange from a media perspective, too, with the players and coaches not really sure how to feel after the game and reporters not sure what to ask. I don't think a tie is the worst outcome in the world, but I understand from a ticket-buying perspective with the prices paid these days how immensely unsatisfying it is.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

My two cents worth on OT. One possession decides the game. Winner of the coin toss chooses offense or defense. The team on offense starts at their (25-40)? No punts or FGs allowed. Simple, a TD ends the game, or if the defense gets the stop they are awarded one point and they win. Comes down to who do you trust more, your offense or defense, and it limits the number of snaps and time to finish the game. What do you think Weston?

I'm back now, and while I've grown tired of the OT debate, it is in the news again so I'll indulge. I don't like any solution that doesn't involve an actual score of some kind to decide things, and I'm not interested in the popular kicker shootout many have suggested. I do think the spot-and-choose idea is worth exploring, with everything else staying as is. Winner of the coin toss gets to pick the yard line, the loser chooses offense or defense. Want the ball bad enough? Make the other team want to play defense by picking the 12 or the 10 or the 8. Hedge too far, like the 18, and they'll take the ball instead. Then the rest of the current rules apply, so a relatively quick ending is still viable. Add actual strategy to the choice so each team has to own the role it plays in how OT begins, and hence has to live with the result.

Team photographer Evan Siegle shares his favorite photos from the 2021 Green Bay Packers season.

Rod from Chugiak, AK

Hi Mike and Wes, I dunno, but I seem to have lost whatever small II submissions mojo I ever had. However, I so enjoy never missing my daily fix of posts better than what I have submitted. What a talented, enjoyable, educational family of analysts, questioners, and writers we are.

Modest, too. Usually.

Dave from Bentonville, AR

What do the wise Insiders think about converting Allen Lazard from WR to TE? While he may have to add some weight to his frame, he's such a superior blocker and I can imagine he'd be a tough matchup down the field. Thoughts?

Saying I've never seen this suggestion in the Inbox before would be like saying I've never heard of the No. 88. I don't get why folks are so obsessed with this. Lazard's body type and blocking skills are an advantage at wide receiver. He loses those advantages if he changes his body and plays somewhere else, in my opinion.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

Welcome back, Spoff. If you ever conducted a combine for Insider Inbox, what would be the events?

I suppose it would include a grammar and punctuation test, salary cap quiz, movie reference creation, and, well, lunch preparation of course. But no poetry required.

Dan from St. Charles, MO

II readers must know if Spoff was able to procure the coveted Steak 'n Shake en route to the combine. I find it kind of funny, because there's one a mile from my home that I haven't visited in over ten years. If not Steak 'n Shake, what was the road trip treat?

I did hit it on the way down, and will have to stop again before leaving town.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Thelma, how was the trip without Louise?

Well, I wrote most of this column in the back seat of the company suburban on the way to Indy, so that part didn't change. But it's a very different combine trip this year – shorter in duration, and sans Wes. I was reminded how easy it was to sit comfortably behind his driver's seat and work on my laptop en route. Not so with the new driver, Adam, who's got about 8-9 inches on Wes.

Matt from Kolesin, Poland

Just beat the salary cap!

A legitimate offseason opponent this year once again.

Vic from Edisto Beach, SC

I hear a train whistle in the distance.

Sure, but with the caps in '23 and '24 slated to make possibly the two biggest annual jumps in the history of the cap to date, the whistle isn't as loud as it's traditionally been.

Randy from Superior, WI

I can't even make the Mendoza line in II questions! Against the starting pitchers of Vic, Spoff, and Hods … I'm 0-fer!

You still are, as far as questions go. But you get credit for a baseball reference when nothing else about baseball is making me smile right now. Happy Tuesday.