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MT5: Packers in good shape at (nearly) halfway point of season

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

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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:

With the 17-game season now, the halfway point of the season is technically at halftime of our game against the Chiefs on Sunday. Through eight games, though, we've played well and have put ourselves in good position to accomplish all of our goals. We couldn't have started the season more poorly, with a humbling loss to the Saints in Jacksonville. We put that loss behind us quickly, though, and have won seven games in a row. The win at Arizona against the previously undefeated Cardinals without our top three receivers and defensive coordinator was particularly impressive and should give us confidence going forward. We've suffered a number of injuries and have had players miss games for COVID reasons in the first eight games, but we've proven to be very resourceful and resilient. I'm very proud of the way Matt LaFleur, Brian Gutekunst and our team have handled this adversity.

Looking ahead, Aaron Rodgers being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list obviously presents a great challenge. We're confident, though, that Jordan Love is ready and that he'll play well. We have a tough schedule ahead of us (but we do have five of our last eight games at Lambeau Field), and it should be an exciting end to the regular season.

Now, on to your questions.

Carolyn from Augusta, WI

I am proud of the Packers' team effort to defeat the AZ Cardinals on Thursday night, especially the defense and running backs, as well as Randall Cobb. Jerry Gray did a masterful job of preparing the defense for the game and coaching the defense during the game. My other concern has to do with the offensive play-calling on the goal line. When the Packers recovered the muffed punt on the 3-yard line, why did Aaron Rodgers throw three passes in a row without even trying to give one of our running backs a chance to punch it into the end zone? As you know, all three passes were incomplete, which was reminiscent of last year's NFC Championship Game. Many of us were frustrated by this because the Packers had to settle for a field goal, missing a golden opportunity to score a touchdown. I have been a Packer fan since the 1960s. Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinions.

Thanks, Carolyn. As I mentioned above, I was also very impressed with the win over the Cardinals. I think we showed a lot of character and grit. With regard to your question, we were very disappointed that we were not able to punch the ball in for a touchdown in that series to put the game away. With our top three receivers out, the Cardinals put eight or nine men in the box, almost forcing us to pass the ball. Unfortunately, we couldn't take advantage of the one-on-one opportunities. Also, we may have called running plays initially, but audibled to passes when we saw that they had stacked the box. It was great to see our defense make a game-winning play, though.

Michael from Germany

Appreciate all the work you do for the Packers. I was wondering if the potential share sale (whenever it comes) will be open for international supporters as well?

Danke, Michael. As you may have seen, we received the support of Commissioner Goodell and the NFL for a potential stock sale. Should we proceed with an offering, we would also have to take regulatory steps and other actions. We are exploring such steps and intend to keep you and all our fans informed of further developments when we are able. If undertaken, this will be our sixth stock sale. Our last sale was 10 years ago, and I often hear from fans asking when they will be able to buy shares. We would like every generation of fans to have the opportunity to purchase stock in the Packers. The proceeds from a sale would all go into Lambeau Field – for new videoboards and the concourse renovation. We are hopeful that any sale would include international opportunities, but that is far from certain.

A question from Mai

It was nice to see the new throwback uniforms the team wore versus the WFT. I as a fan really love the design. Any chance these unis could become the new home jerseys?

I'm glad you like our new throwback uniforms, Mai. I really like them as well, and think they are the best uniforms of all the throwbacks and color-rush uniforms we've worn. I know that our players like them too. We will wear these throwbacks for the next four years (one game a season). I do not see us making these our new home jerseys, though. I think our current home jersey is the best in the league and is well liked by our players and fans.

Bob from Orland Park, IL

Why did you leave WTMJ as your Milwaukee radio partner? I live in the Chicago area, and those FM stations don't come in down here like the "Biggest Stick in the State" does. I won't be able to listen to the games next year on my radio. Can you get a Chicago area station to carry the games? I've been listening to WTMJ for almost 60 years since Ted Moore was calling the games. I'll admit there are not a lot of Packer backers down here (most people support some other team, I forget the name), but I am definitely not the only one either. How about a little help for us "southern" fans?

P.S. I am a shareholder. You shouldn't do that to us owners.

Thanks for raising this issue, Bob. The move away from WTMJ was not one we took lightly after 93 seasons. Five years ago, however, we took our radio broadcasts in house, so the move away from WTMJ was not as significant as it would have been otherwise. For the last five years, WTMJ has been one of our affiliates. We're very excited about iHeartMedia and think they will do an excellent job for us. We have 50 affiliates in our network and are working on ways to make sure our games can be heard in your market and elsewhere. Under league rules, we cannot have a Chicago station in our network, since it would be within the Bears' market.

From Kenneth

Travelling to Lambeau for Seahawks-GB bucket list trip. Which seats are better? End zone or a seat where I can see the whole stadium?

That's great, Kenneth. You will love Lambeau Field – there is no better stadium in the league from a fan experience standpoint. The beauty of Lambeau is that there truly isn't a bad seat in the stadium. That said, though, I think the best seats in any football stadium are high end zone seats. They give you a great opportunity to see plays develop. After my career with the Washington Football Team ended, I was fortunate enough to get season tickets in the upper deck of the end zone at RFK Stadium. At first I thought the seats were too far from the field, but over time I came to appreciate how great it was to watch the game from that perspective.

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