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MT5: A special weekend for Packers fans

Murphy Takes 5 is a monthly column written by President and CEO Mark Murphy

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Lambeau Field

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:

We will host our 20th annual Family Night this evening. It will be great to have the event back after taking a year off because of the pandemic. We anticipate that we will have more than 50,000 fans in attendance, less than usual, but still a good crowd given the circumstances. Family Night has become a staple of our training camp and showcases the special connection that the team has with our fans, especially the younger ones. Our players love Family Night because of the energy that the crowd brings. It is also a nice change of pace for them from the monotony of training camp practices. The spectacular fireworks display at the end of the practice is just as popular with our players, coaches and their families, as it is with our fans.

This weekend is also the Pro Football Hall of Fame's annual induction ceremony. The ceremony was canceled last year due to the pandemic and the Hall will induct two classes this weekend. Two former Packers will be inducted, Bobby Dillon as part of the Class of 2020 and Charles Woodson in the Class of 2021. They were both great defensive backs who specialized in taking the ball away. Charles had a remarkable 18-year career, 11 with the Raiders and seven with the Packers. During his time with us, we won a Super Bowl and he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He was not only a great player for us, but an outstanding leader. His speech in the locker room after the win over the Bears in the NFC Championship Game is part of Packers lore.

Now, on to your questions.

Mike from Cudahy, WI

I was a bit disappointed not to see the new alternate/throwback jersey unveiled during the shareholders meeting. Any news on a date it will be shown to the public?

Sorry to disappoint you, Mike. We will unveil this year's throwback jersey on Aug. 19. The throwback and alternate jerseys have become very popular with our fans (and our players love playing in them), and they help highlight our tremendous history.

Mike from Glendale, CA

Greetings from a Wisconsin-born, now California-based shareholder who, as of this season, is new season ticketholder! I am really looking forward to the upcoming season and attending games at Lambeau. Unfortunately, I can't make it to every game and that's why I have been a longtime DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket subscriber. Overall, as a true Packers superfan I feel paying $396 a year for the Sunday Ticket package is worth the investment. But I am disappointed that for that much money DirecTV doesn't provide live feeds of preseason games. I know this preseason we are fortunate to have NFL Network planning to provide live coverage of our games against the Jets and Bills, but it's disappointing that I won't be able to watch the opener against the Texans. Is there anything the owners and NFL office can do to get DirecTV to show all the preseason games live? And is there anything you can share about the future of the NFL Sunday Ticket package given the media reports that AT&T/DirecTV is losing money on the deal and might not continue to offer all the regular season games in the future? Thank you and Go Pack Go!

Thanks for the question, Mike, and congratulations on becoming a season ticketholder. DirecTV's Sunday Ticket has been great for the league and our fans over the years. It was really ahead of its time in terms of technology with the satellite dish. Broadcast technology has changed dramatically in recent years with the advent of digital and live streaming, though, and the league's contract with DirecTV expires after the 2022 season. The league will continue to broadcast out of market games because there is obviously a demand (there are many fans like you who no longer live in the market of their favorite team). Preseason games are not part of the Sunday Ticket package because they are controlled by the individual teams and not part of a league package.

From Josh

Congratulations on bring Aaron Rodgers back. All Packers fans breathed a sigh of relief.

Thanks so much, Josh. Needless to say, we are very pleased that Aaron is back with the team. We have a very talented team, and he gives us a legitimate chance to win a Super Bowl. He's looked great in training camp so far, and seems genuinely happy to be back.

From Terry

The previous annual meeting I attended allowed for questions. Monday there was no time for questions. As a member-owned team, please bring back the questions.

It must have been quite a while since you attended a shareholder meeting, Terry. We have not taken questions for any of the shareholder meetings during my 14 years here. I believe Bob Harlan made the decision not to take questions in order to better control the timing of the meeting. It is a business meeting and we want to ensure that we have time to cover all aspects of the organization. However, I usually speak to fans after the meeting ends and have answered many questions over the years. Finally, I always hold a press conference directly following the meeting and take questions from members of the media.

From Dennis

When it comes to having players, coaches, fans, etc., get on board with getting the vaccine I wonder why you feel "force" is better than science?

I don't care if it's a drug, vaccine or new supplement. Testing in the lab won't convince people to take it if it's not been tested on actual users of the item! The vaccines were tested in the lab and on a small sampling of patients. The people who haven't gotten the vaccine are waiting for the "science" to prove that those who've been vaccinated actually have the antibodies! So far, the government, CDC, and vaccine manufacturers REFUSE to test the blood of those who've been vaccinated. Why is that? Lack of trust is the reason roughly 50% of Americans aren't getting the vaccines.

People like me who've had and survived COVID get our blood tested every three months or so for COVID antibodies. Guess what? Roughly 98% of the millions of us can prove through blood tests that we have the COVID antibodies! What's more, we can prove through these blood tests our readings of antibodies are very strong! We can also prove our "natural" antibodies are lasting almost a year! Possibly longer, but it's only been over a year or so we recovered from COVID. 

Here's some "science" to back up what I'm saying: Op-Ed: Quit Ignoring Natural COVID Immunity

My question to you is why haven't you, other owners, Goodell, the NFL, the players union, the CDC, or vaccine manufacturers called for the testing of the blood on a percent of those vaccinated? You'll get 90%-plus compliance if you can PROVE that the vaccines do cause our bodies to produce antibodies, strong antibodies, antibodies that last a year or longer. By not backing up the claims that the vaccines work on everyday people/players you create doubt. Again, why the refusal to test to prove the vaccines work?

If/ when my natural antibodies wear out I'd like to get the vaccine. But I'll join the others refusing to do so without science backing up the claims. All it takes is a simple blood test. As you're witnessing pressure and fear does NOT work with the majority of people. Will you be the first to demand testing? Will the Green Bay Packers offer antibody testing for their players, coaches and staff? I believe you and the NFL can afford it.

Thanks for raising this issue, Dennis. There is a lot of misinformation in the public regarding the vaccine. The NFL, through chief medical officer Allen Sills, has been in constant contact with the CDC and has put together protocols based on science to combat the pandemic. The vaccines are safe and effective, and they are working. They give us our best chance to defeat the pandemic. The science also indicates that you should get the vaccine even if you've had COVID. The league protocols have been designed to provide incentives to our players and employees to get vaccinated. We all benefit as a society if a high percentage of our population gets vaccinated.

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