We’re just one day away from the Green Bay Packers’ playoff opener against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. So this afternoomn Vic Ketchman editor from Packers.com hosted Pack President and CEO Mark Murphy on an open conference call for Packer backers. As a stockholder, I had to listen in and hear what Murphy had to say.
Murphy seemed to like a lot of the questions, saying “that’s a good question,” in response to many of the queries.
Obviously, there were a couple questions about the playoff game tomorrow. Murphy said he expects Charles Woodson to play a big factor.
He was then asked if Fan Fest will ever return, and why it went away?
“it wasn’t becoming so much for Packer fans as it was for collectors, and he wanted to make it more for Packer fans than a chance for collectors to make money”
Next query was on whether or not this was still a cold weather team?
“I think it’s an advantage to be playing on the same practice field outside all week,” Murphy said.
There were questions and listener polls regarding NFL player safety, if the league is doing enough or not.
“the biggest issue is concussions and the long term effects they have on players,” Murphy stated before mentioning how he had two concussions during his college football career, none during his NFL career.
“I’m pleased with the legacy fund we set up during the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, we gave us a chance to do right by our players.”
Will there be another stock sale soon?
“I don’t expect another stock sale for another 10-15 years.”
He was asked if Jermichael Finley and Greg Jennings were coming back. And he gave no insight at all. Just talked around it by mentioning the NFL salary cap, how you can’t pay everyone and how there’s going to be a lot of contracts coming up soon, surrounding players who have all the same agent: Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji.
Back to more talk about concussions and injuries.
“The helmet, like all things in society is wrapped in litigation and liability. there’s no helmet that will prevent concussions. it’s just not possible. And too many people are using the helmet as a weapon. It’s more than just the helmet, it’s the fit. And concussions don’t come from the initial hit, but the whip.”
He also went on about the players’ hair, many of the players that have dreadlocks and the chin strap- how that has to fit right too.
Murphy and Ketchmanm both agree that NFL playoff expansion is inevitable. And that will lead to reduced preseason games! I’m all about the reduced preseason, but I don’t think the NFL really needs more playoff games. Murphy also took a question about why he left Northwestern after serving as athletic director there for five years. It was just standard boiler plate about career opportunities. There were also questions about the gameday experience at Lambeau, the recent expansion of the stadium and features- and this was of course answered with expected corporatespeak.
All in all, there some insights and highlights, but there was also some blatant promotion and product placement on this call. Overall, some nuggets and tidbits were interesting, but this was better suited for the ultimate Packer geek, the hardcore fan.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar, published author and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.