Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Alaska's Gold Rush

I don't know how I missed this before, but I just saw the Packers' television network affiliate map.

Television affiliates in Iowa and Nebraska make perfect sense. But I'm rather tickled by having affiliates in Alaska and Hawaii. Maybe now we know why Facebook has identified so many Packer fans in the Last Frontier.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Great-Looking Game

Last night's matchup between the Packers and Kansas City Chiefs was a great-looking affair. And I don't just mean the 38-28 final score, or the fact that it doesn't at all reflect the game action. It was a beautiful night for football, with two classic uniforms playing in a heavy Wisconsin rain.

Clouds encroach Lambeau Field Prior to the NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers on Monday, September 28, 2015 in Green Bay, Wis. (Todd Rosenberg/NFL)
Check out what they're playing on the scoreboard: an historical look at the club, going all the way back to 1919.

Nice to see they remember.

The Chiefs have one of the nicer uniforms in the NFL. I'm not a huge fan of red pants themselves, but the overall effect is a good one.

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers runs for a first down past Kansas City Chiefs' Marcus Cooper (31) during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Excellent. A great look, all around.

Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) heads down field during the first quarter of a NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers Monday, September 28, 2015 in Green Bay, Wi. (Todd Rosenberg/NFL)
Green Bay Packers' Randall Cobb runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
These are two teams that have managed to keep their classic looks more or less unchanged since the 1960s, when they met in the first Super Bowl.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Andrew Rice (58) takes on Green Bay Packers’ tackle Forrest Gregg (75) and fullback Jim Taylor (31) during Super Bowl I. (Photo: WireImage)
The Chiefs have made one significant change to their uniform since then, although it's traditional in its own way.

Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce gets past Green Bay Packers' Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21) after a catch during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Check out the patch on Kelce's chest; that's a memorial for Lamar Hunt, founder of the Chiefs. It was added to their jerseys following his death in 2006 and made permanent before the 2008 season. I'm not a fan of permanent uniform tributes in general—the Packers would run out of room—but I do like the design of this patch. It's based on the logo of the American Football Legaue, which Hunt co-founded when he was denied an NFL expansion franchise.

It's a nice tribute to the defunct league. Always good when teams honor their history.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Photo Gallery: Packers Locker Room has a great photo gallery of the Packers' locker room at Lambeau Field, ready for tonight's Monday Night Football matchup against the Chiefs.

The lockers are all laid out neatly; shoulder pads in the cubby above, jersey front and center, pants to the side. Everybody gets a copy of the game program.

The lockers aren't entirely uniform, though; there are minor differences between them. Some of the players also have their socks laid out on the shelf, white sanitary and green uniform sock.

Others have gloves hanging up, apparently still in their Nike packaging.

And of course, at the end of the row, we find the locker belonging to Aaron Rodgers.

You can see the "Holstein Heisman" logo on the jock tag of what looks like his laundry bag. They've been using it more and more since re-introducing it five seasons ago.

The locker room just doesn't look right when empty. It's an eerily calm scene in a room that will become bursting with activity in a few short hours.

Check out the whole gallery at the link.

(Photo credit: Ryan Hartwig,

Friday, September 25, 2015

Infographic: Packers/Chiefs on Monday Night

Here's the infographic for the upcoming Monday Night Football game against Kansas City.
This week's infographic takes a closer look at the all-time series between the Packers and Chiefs, Green Bay's record on Monday Night Football and in the month of September under Mike McCarthy, and a current Packers' sack streak on defense, which has featured at least a dozen sacks from three different players.

Look at that all-time record against the Chiefs: 3-1-7. That might be their worst all-time record against any team. Of course, one of those three wins came in the first Super Bowl, so it does tend to balance out.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Packers/Chiefs Game Program

The Packers have released the game program for this weekend's matchup with the Chiefs, and it's a busy one.

Really playing up the Super Bowl I rematch.

Lots of great photos, including some I don't think I've ever seen before (like the publicity still of Bart Starr in the Coliseum). From a design perspective, the few color photos really bug me. Better to make the layer of photos all black and white so as not to distract from the color game ticket laid over them.

If you're not going to the game, you can buy the program from the Pro Shop.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

All That Glitters, Part III (UPDATED)

This past weekend, we saw how the 50-yard line markers Lambeau Field have been painted gold as part of the NFL's ongoing celebration of the 50th Super Bowl. This season, every NFL stadium will feature gold "50"s at half.

Every stadium, that is, except for the Oakland Coliseum.

Don Muret, a writer for Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily, was the first to report that Oakland's numbers are plain old white.

And sure enough, they were white for the Raiders' Week One game against the Bengals:

Here's how Muret broke the story:

Raiders Refusing To Put On-Field Gold Marks At 50-Yard Line

By Don Muret, SportsBusiness Daily Staff Writer
Published September 22, 2015

The Raiders have gone rogue again, refusing to place special gold marks on the 50-yard line at Coliseum for '15 home games. "The Raiders have asked us not to do that," said Chris Wright, AEG Facilities VP and the Coliseum's GM. AEG runs the stadium shared by the Raiders and the A's. Raiders officials did not provide AEG officials with further explanation and the Raiders did not return emails and phone calls for comment. The gold 50 marks are a key visual piece of the NFL's season-long celebration of Super Bowl 50, to be held Feb. 7 at Levi's Stadium, home of the 49ers. The NFL in March announced every game this season would carry the gold number 50 on the field as part of its "On the Fifty" celebration. The league's 30 other stadiums have complied with the initiative.

NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said the lack of gold marks for the Raiders' first two home games are the result of the Athletics still playing baseball at the Coliseum. McCarthy said gold marks would be put down after their season ended. But Wright said, "It has nothing to do with baseball. The last six home baseball games are through this weekend, and there will be no gold marks for the rest of the Raiders' regular season."
Gotta love the Raiders.

Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk has some possible explanations for the move:
While no reason has been provided the refusal to comply, Occam’s Razer (sic) suggests that the Raiders don’t want to acknowledge a Super Bowl that will be played down the road in Santa Clara, home of the 49ers. At one level, that’s because the two teams don’t get along. At another level, it’s because the 49ers had no interest in sharing their swanky new stadium with the Raiders.

At yet another level, it’s possibly a great big eff you to a league that arguably isn’t doing all that much to help the Raiders find a solution to its longstanding stadium woes.
A wag might also suggest that the Raiders have no need to commemorate a Super Bowl they'll never see except on television.

We'll see if the NFL eventually makes Oakland comply. Until then, the contrarian spirit of Al Davis is alive and well in the East Bay.


Never mind.

Mark Davis says Super Bowl tribute will appear at Raiders' next home game

Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
Published September 23, 2015

Getty Images
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis made a rare appearance in the media room at the team's facility Wednesday in an effort to end rumors of a report that the team is somehow not participating in a league-wide celebration of the upcoming 50th Super Bowl.

Super Bowl 50 will be played at nearby Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, the home of the Raiders' Bay Area rival San Francisco 49ers, in February. To commemorate the landmark game, the NFL is having every NFL team paint the 50-yard line markers gold. However, in the first two games at Coliseum, the markers were painted white, not gold.

There was a report Tuesday that said the Raiders were refusing to comply by the rules. However, Davis said that is not the case.

Davis said once the Oakland Athletics' season is over -- the Coliseum is the only football-and-baseball stadium used in the country -- the Raiders will paint the 50-yard line markers gold, which should fall in line for the Raiders' next home game on Oct. 11 against Denver.

"It's baseball-related," Davis said. "Nobody respects the Super Bowl more than the Raiders. We had a little to do with the [AFL-NFL] merger and those types of things. We've played in 10 percent of the Super Bowls, and we hope to play in it next year."

Davis said he spoke with 49ers' owner Jed York to make sure there were no misunderstandings.

"It's just beyond me," Davis said. "I don't normally talk about non-stories, but I wanted to clear this up."

Monday, September 21, 2015

All That Glitters, Part II

Last year, we learned that the NFL would be commemorating Super Bowl 50 throughout the entire 2015 season with special logos and graphics. Last night, at the Packers' home opener, we got to see two of those on the Lambeau Field turf.

The 50 yard line numbers will be painted gold all season.

In addition, the small NFL logos on the 25 yard lines have been painted in the league's temporarily-preferred scheme of gold and black.

I like the idea of a season-long buildup to the Super Bowl, but can't stand the constant focus on the modern era over the league's glorious early history.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Here's tomorrow's Press-Gazette front page:

Says it all, really.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Infographic: Seahawks at Packers Preview

This week, welcomes the Seattle Seahawks to Lambeau Field with another fantastic infographic:
This week's infographic takes a look at the all-time series between Green Bay and Seattle and the best home records in the NFL over the last several years. Also, there's a rundown of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers' longest career TD passes, and the career interception totals for Green Bay's starting CBs, Casey Hayward and Sam Shields.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Packers/Seahawks Game Program

This is the game program for the weekend's home opener against the Seattle Seahawks.

Very appropriate for Alumni Weekend.

I grew up watching Lynn Dickey take the snaps, but Rodgers has become so identified with the number 12 that it's strange to see anyone else wearing it.

You can order this program from the Packers Pro Shop.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Cover Boy (Again!)

Aaron Rodgers has made the cover of Sports Illustrated once again, on the heels of his dominant performance in Chicago.

Gotta love seeing all that gold on the newsstand. I do wish that the Packers would go back to Lombardi's classic road uniform; what they have now is close but not great.

Monday, September 14, 2015

In-Game Infographics

The Packers' social media team has been working overtime on their in-game infographics. All throughout the game, these updates were uploaded to Twitter, moments after the events they commemorate.

Really outstanding stuff.

They also have this fantastic old-timey-film animation for scores and turnovers: Fantastic job by the Packers.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Beautiful Day for Football

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) hands off the ball to running back Eddie Lacy (27) during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015 in Chicago, Il. (Todd Rosenberg/NFL)

What a beautiful day for football in Chicago. Of course, a win is almost always prettier than a loss, but still. Bright sunshine, the Bears in navy and the Packers' gold bright in the sun.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Infographic: Packers/Bears Preview

It's time for football, and that means it's also time for another fantastic infographic.
This week's infographic features the numbers on the all-time Packers-Bears series, plus a look at where both teams ranked in several NFL categories last season and statistical streaks several Packers stars are riding coming into Sunday's game. Check it out:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Good as Gold

This beautiful photo, originally published in the photo section of the Milwaukee Journal on October 12, 1930, now hangs in a mens' room in the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee.

The caption gives us a little context:

The Green Bay Packers
Champions of the National Professional Football League
FOR 1929

PRO FOOTBALL IN GREEN BAY dates from the time when the Acme Packing Co. put a team in the field just after the World War. For several years the team has been supported by the Green Bay Football corporation but the name Packers has remained—a name which all Wisconsin honors, a name which means top notch football in the National Professional Football League.

Front row, left to right; Woodin, Radick, Fitzgibbon, Zuidmulder, Bloodgood, Perry and Zuver. Middle row, left to right: Lambeau, Herber, Michalske, McCrary, O'Donnell, Lewellyn, Blood, Molenda, Dunn and Lidvig. Standing, left to right: Hanny, Sleight, Nash, Hubbard, Dilweg, Engelmann, Bowdoin, Darling, Earpe and Kresge. (Journal Color Photo)
Although the caption mentions the 1929 Championship, this is a photo of the 1930 club. Elbert Bloodgood, Merle Zuver, and Frank Hanny played only one season in Green Bay.

"Lidvig" is actually running back Carl Lidberg. I don't know who "Kresge" is; nobody by that name appears on the Packers' all-time roster.

The Packers would, of course, go on to win a second consecutive World Championship in 1930 and then a third after that; a feat which has only been equaled once since, by the Packers of 1965, 1966, and 1967.

I love the little pennant graphic filling out the space below the caption.

"The GBP". Very collegiate.

This is a beautiful ph

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

What the Heck is This Supposed to Be?!

This just appeared on the Packers Pro Shop site.

Green Bay Packers Classic Pump Fake Top

Item Number: 5102-298-019


Heavy-weight ringspun jersey top is 100% cotton. Has rib trim at collar, self-fabric shoulder yoke, quilted elbow patches, and side vents. Vintage garment-washed with embroidered jersey appliqued logo and embroidered felt patch. Mitchell & Ness woven jock tag at lower left hem.
What the hell is that supposed to be? Forget about "Pump", because "Fake" is the perfect description for this Frankenstein's Monster of a jersey.

It's more or less the template for the Packers' 1937-49 jerseys. But they've slapped the new "GREEN BAY PACKERS" wordmark across the front where the numbers should be.

This is especially disappointing considering the source. The last time Mitchell and Ness manufactured throwback Packers jerseys, in the early 2000s, they did a marvelous job recreating the classic construction.

In particular, note how the gold yoke sits high on the front of the jersey, revealing the gold collar ring. That's the way it was back in the 1940s.

That detail is one of the things the NFL got right with the reproductions for their "Evolution" commercial back in 2012.

Unfortunately, the Packers' 1994 and 2015 throwbacks drop the ball, lowering the yoke to the very bottom of the collar.

If they got the yoke right on this new "Classic Pump Fake Top", we could at least adapt it into a serviceable throwback jersey by replacing the wordmark with numbers. As it stands, it's neither terribly attractive nor useful.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

ESPN The Magazine: "Inside Bart Starr's Drive..."

Bart Starr, 81, continues to recover from multiple strokes and a heart attack he suffered last fall. Here, he is joined by his wife, Cherry, who continues to be the backbone of his recovery. The couple has been married for over 60 years. (Photograph by Gerry Melendez for ESPN)

ESPN has an incredibly emotional story about Bart Starr's declining health and his desire to be at Lambeau Field this Thanksgiving to see Brett Favre's number retired.

It's a touching story of a couple who have been together for 61 years, their challenges and their strength. I don't think I'll ever be able to hear "Unchained Melody" again without thinking of Bart.