Packers Notebook - A Visit From The Champ - August 14, 2002


A Visit From The Champ

There's no guessing who might show up at the Packers' hotel in Arizona this weekend, but chances are good that the players won't be thrilled by a visitor quite like they were in Philadelphia last Friday.

That's when, among routine team meetings, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman surprised the team not only with a video about one of the greatest boxers of all time, but with an appearance by the man himself: Smokin' Joe Frazier.

Frazier, 58, took the player's questions, posed for pictures and signed countless autographs, much to delight of an audience that for the most part wasn't old enough to have really remembered even his 1981 farewell bout with Jumbo Cummings, never mind his illustrious years as heavyweight champion from 1970-73.

Of course, when you hold the distinction of having been the first man to defeat Muhammad Ali, which he did in 1971 in what has been called "The Fight of the Century," people needn't have seen you, to know you.

"If you know anything about boxing, then you know about Joe Frazier," rookie Javon Walker said. "He was involved in some of the greatest fights of all time. You don't have to live through his career to know what a great champion he was."

Among The Greatest

The staff at's Page 2 named its top-10 football teams of all time this week, with a pair of Packers teams making the list.

No. 3 on the list was the 1962 Packers, with the 1996 Packers coming in at No. 9.

Of the '62 Packers, proclaims, "What a team: Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor, Max McGee and Boyd Dowler, a great offensive line, the power sweep, and a defense that held opponents to less than 11 points per game."

Of the '96 Packers it is written, "Green Bay had it all in 1996 - the best offense and the best defense in the NFL. Brett Favre, who was named NFL MVP in 1996, completed almost 60 percent of his passes for 3,899 yards and 39 TDs."

The top-10 looked like this: 1. 1985 Bears; 2. 1972 Dolphins; 3. 1962 Packers; 4. 1991 Redskins; 5. 1999 Rams; 6. 1989 49ers; 7. 1979 Steelers; 8. 1994 49ers; 9. 1996 Packers; 10. 1971 Cowboys.

On The Cover

Packers GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman is among a select group of coaches who will grace August covers of the NFL Shop catalog, which offers one-stop shopping for anything ranging from jerseys to coaches' attire to collectables.

To see the cover, click here.

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