Tuesday, January 16, 2018

What's Mark Murphy's Deal?

By Guest Contributor @bgilbertson10 
Mark Murphy has just been that guy hanging out in the background for most of his time since he's been at Lambeau Field. I've never really given Murphy much thought. Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy were already in place by the time Murphy arrived near the end of 2007. He's never had to fire anyone. He's never had to hire anyone. He's never had to make any sort of substantial decision that affected the team. He's just kind of been there. He's at the shareholders meeting. He's out there at halftime on Thanksgiving 2015 to introduce Bart Starr during the Favre number retirement ceremony.
The strongest memory of Murphy that’s etched into my brain is him, standing with the team in the 2010 playoff run, just after the Packers beat the Bears and punched their ticket to the Superb Owl (I'll be damned if I’m gonna pay the NFL just to use the correct phrase). FOX is showing the presentation of the George Halas Trophy. A tradition unlike any other. The Trophy makes its way to Murphy and for some reason they decide to put a microphone in his face and he gave the line:

"Ok but we have to win one more, we need to win the Lombardi Trophy."

When I saw it initially it was meaningless to me. He's just a guy excited that his team has earned a chance to win a championship. It’s a great moment for anyone involved in any major sports franchise, but over the passing of time that quote has stewed inside me.
Does he really think the team was content just winning the NFC and getting the Halas trophy? Did he think the team thought the season was over? Did he think they had no idea what the Superb Owl (TM) was? Did he truly believe he was bringing to light some brand new information?
Something about the way he emphasized the second syllable in LomBARdi just bothered me. Like, I hear him say it, and it makes me think that he thinks he invented football and the idea of the trophy all by himself.
But that moment has formed my entire opinion of Murphy. Is he a little socially awkward? Was he trying to be funny? Does he think he's funny? I bet he tells that story at all the neighborhood cookouts: "so then I said, OK guys but now we have to win the LumBARRRRRRDEEEE Trophy." while some guys named Jerry and Doug hang on his every word.
I also get great comfort from that moment. Murphy is the perfect face to put on the Packers ownership group. He's harmless. Acts a little dorky. It’s almost endearing. For some reason I cannot explain, I feel confident Murphy will never have any sort of scandal. He's neutral. He'll smile for photos, cut the ribbon, shake the hands, wave to the fans.
I can’t tell you where he falls on the spectrum between ceremonial puppet and loose cannon, but it’s almost certainly in the middle.
Why does any of this matter? Because for some reason this past week Murphy decided to make a change. A change to the people and a change to the structure. A change to how Green Bay is gonna handle its business from now on. We've watched other teams from afar as they have drama and chaos unfold every offseason. Green Bay has managed to stay pretty quiet.
On paper i can see how the relationship between Thompson and McCarthy may have worn down. When You make the decision to stick with Dom Capers as your DC, then explain to Ted that you would like a defense consisting of veteran players that can handle the complexity of Dom's scheme, only to have Ted not really deliver for you. Then you're the one who has to go in front of the media 5 times a week and answer questions that you really tried to avoid while Ted hides away never speaking to anyone.

"Hey, Ted. some of our DBs got hurt yesterday. we'd like you to bring in some veteran players that we can trust in time for the game on Sunday."

"Sure, Mike. how about Lenzy Pipkins and Jermaine Whitehead?


I don’t doubt that someone from McCarthy's camp had McGinn put the story out that Mike would quit if Russ Ball was made the new GM. Maybe Mike knew that Murphy didn’t want his first real decision as President to be one that the fan base was so against.
But did Murphy also think that Mike was responsible for that story getting out? Is that Why Murphy changed the organizational structure to have Ball-McCarthy-Gutekunst all reporting to him directly? Or is that move also McCarthy kind of pulling the strings behind the scenes. Knowing that because the story about his not wanting Ball to be GM was reported , did Mike think he needed to protect himself with an ally in Murphy to keep from getting fired by Ball.?
I guess my point is this. I used to think Murphy was just a placeholder. Like Bobby Newport running for Mayor of Pawnee. Just smile and say shucks and things like that. Throw out some Sweetums bars and the townsfolk will eat that stuff up.
But Murphy was an AD at two different Universities before coming to Green Bay. He spent 8 years in the NFL and earned a Master’s Degree in 1983 while he was still playing AND MAKING THE PRO BOWL. Dude played arguably the best ball of his career in '82 & '83 while simultaneously earning a Master’s degree.
As someone who took 3-1/2 years to earn what is typically a 2-year Associate's Degree, I view that as being quite impressive.
And oh by the way, Murphy earned a law degree from Georgetown in ‘88 after he was done playing. Also served as his team’s Player’s Union rep and was part of the Collective Bargaining Committee that lead to the player’s strike in 1982, which many suspect is why the Redskins released him after 1983 and why other teams didn’t want to touch him.
So over the last 4 days I've convinced myself that Murphy is an evil (very stable) genius. He plays a character to the public and the rest of the Packers Board members, but the dude has his act together. 
I feel safe with evil Murphy. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Packers Nix Mausoleum. Maybe They’ll Consider These Ideas.

Mark Murphy was recently asked if the Packers would consider building a mausoleum at Lambeau for fans to leave their ashes. On top of a new revenue stream for the “plots,” this would encourage even more traffic inside the stadium and Pro Shop.

While Murphy seems to have rejected the idea for the moment, we couldn’t help but be inspired to come up with some other potential business ideas for the Packers organization (you’re welcome in advance). Of course, if you’re only interested in the big game, check out these up-to-date odds for Super Bowl 52As of Jan 8th, the Vikings (+375) are the favorites to face the Patriots (+200).


The Shareholder Action Figure

If Barbie can come out with a doll that has cellulite, stretch marks, acne and tattoos (seriously!), why can’t the Packers come out with a fan action figure? The next time I go to the Packers Pro Shop, I want to see a dang action figure in the mold of Geoff Largefan or the Bikini Girls. Just imagine little Johnny watching the game with his Geoff Largefan action figure, yelling at the TV, “Oh come on, McCarthy. What are you DOING?!” Nothing is more representative of an authentic NFL fan. I could easily image an array of tiny plastic accessories: the tailgate package, orange camo winter game gear, the mini beers, the cheesehead, etc. The profitable possibilities are endless.

Packers Tattoo Parlor

Go ahead, tell me how this won’t work. You have diehard fans experiencing their Packers nirvana at Lambeau Field and pumped to the gills with Miller Lite. The line would be out the door with Packer fans waiting to get a template of Bart Starr on their shoulder blades or “PACKERS 4 EVA” on their chests. The shop’s Instagram account alone would have millions of followers. The only problem will be having enough tattoo artists on hand. I know what you’re saying: STOP MAKING SENSE, RANTER!

Do not fear good ideas, Packers.

Packers Salon (or Beauty Parlor as Grandma Hillside would say)

Stop by 1265 for a quick trim or a massive makeover. Dreaming of updating that played out man-bun to a hip new bowl cut? Seen JLaw’s hot new bob hairstyle? Want to copy it sitting in the shadow of the giant Lombardi Trophy statue? Of course you do. A salon full of talented stylists are ready and waiting to provide you with a perfectly coiffed head of hair. What do all the Lambeau Field Luxury boxes do in the offseason? Well, now they could be filled with dryers blowing, scissors snipping and stylists chatting about the latest free agents who just stopped by a visit. Imagine getting “The Kramer” flat top looking out over historic Lambeau Field. Getting married at Lambeau, the bride and bridesmaids can get their hair done right on site. You love to really get into game day the jersey, the facepaint, the whole nine yards? What about a picking up a green and gold wig from the Pro Shop? You guessed it, made out of hair from fellow Packers fans and maybe even a player or coach (costs extra). When you sit down, who knows, you may even sit in a chair right next to Mike Pettine getting a straight razor head shave and a goatee trim. This is a cash cow, a hairy cash cow, Mr. Murphy.

Packers Meat Packing Plant (not just a clever name) or the Acme Meat Zone

This one is right #onbrand for the Green Bay PACKERS. Come to Lambeau Field and buy some meat! Fill your freezers, your fridges and your faces! The Packers have the perfect location, and it’s already conveniently named for meat! The Packers can repurpose the new Johnsonville Tailgate Zone building into a meat processing plant. Let’s be 100% honest with ourselves, no one wants to “tailgate” in a climate controlled building where you have to pay ten bucks for a beer instead of pulling an ice gold PBR tallboy out of your cooler. Tailgating inside is a damn oxymoron. You want a package of FRESH official Green Bay Packers bratwurst? Stop by the meat counter at the Pro Shop. Bill the Butcher will help you pick some out for your specific palate. After you’ve grilled up and devoured your meatfeast, you can stop by the Acme Meat Zone and take the tour to see how it was made. If you’re squeamish of stomach, I wouldn’t go before you have eaten.  

There’s a reason the saying goes: “see how the sausage is made”.
Bon appetite.

We eagerly await feedback from Mark Murphy and the Packers on these #innovative
proposals. (Our standard 80% finder’s fee and 55% royalties apply, but
we're very open to negotiations.)

Also, to Kurt with the mausoleum idea, you are welcome to write for the Ranter at any time. Any. Time.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

So You Think You Can Blog

You’ve read the sites and blogs and maybe even comment occasionally on how bad they are. There’s something missing, you say. There’s nothing that speaks to YOU, or communicates the way you’d like to see. Maybe you’ve even said to yourself, “Phhrt…I could do that.” Hell, that’s why we started this website ten years ago.

Why don’t you write something then? Seriously. If the only thing holding you back from expressing yourself if an opportunity, here’s your opportunity.

That’s right. We’re giving you a chance to write your very own post and use our website to showcase it. See, that’s the best part about having your own blog – you can do whatever you want.

Come on, this is your chance to go viral. Or get the published work out to show off to your friends. Or add that missing portfolio piece that’s going to land you a job at the Green Bay Press Gazette. Give us that unique perspective Packer Nation is missing out on. Think you can do it?

I don’t care how old or young you are, or if you have any experience. Write about what you want, as long as it relates to the Packers and PG-13 at max. We’ll even proofread it for you and tweet it out to our 7k followers.

You’re not getting paid. But exposure, they say, is everything.

"Before I ran into PackerRanter I was just a guy on the internet with opinions. Now I'm a guy on the internet with opinions that people actually read!

In all honesty, these guys had absolutely no reason to let me write for them. I was a complete nobody who live nowhere near Green Bay with a couple of snippets from his college newspaper. 

Once it was understood that I wasn't funny enough (seriously, I'm not) to stay at the Ranter, they passed my name on.

A few podcasts, a few writing gigs, a few radio hosting jobs and credentialed access to more big sporting events than I deserve later... I owe a ton to Franklin and Robert. Thanks, guys!"

-Ross Uglem, @Cheeseheadtv, @BisonReport, @Bison1660

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I Will Find the Truth

It took me a few days to make sure this post couldn't be traced, so I apologize for the delay. I am being watched, most likely by some combination of NFL Security, the Ecuadorian Deep State and The Olive Garden Corporation. But my message will not be stopped. I have reason to believe the fix was in on Sunday night. For dots I have been unable to connect as of yet, I believe that a loose coalition of Cathy Lanier, Quito spooks and the purveyor of bottomless breadsticks wanted the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Sunday night, or more likely, they wanted the Packers to lose.

I don't have the specifics as to time remaining, down and distance, etc., as the end of the game was hazy for me. Do I believe that someone slipped something into my Laphroaig to discredit me? I cannot confirm that, but my neighbor did find me tangled in her Christmas lights muttering, "Braveleg can make that kick." I'll let you be the judge about the contents of my Super Bowl XXXI lowball and whether I was drugged. I digress.

Game tied. Packers ball. Brett Hundley ready to replicate the Packers' previous possession and go the length of the field to take the lead and the W. What happens? Brett Hundley gets his bell rung on a blatant, cheap, dirty helmet-to-helmet hit. Fifteen yard penalty? Wrong. No call. Packers have to give up the ball. A couple plays later, the Steelers have a flag thrown on them on what was an obvious holding call. I had the perfect angle from my Reggie White bean bag to see it. Obviously a ref did too. Ten yard penalty? Wrong. The flag is mysteriously picked up, after what is most certainly someone in the earpiece of the head official telling him that that is the wrong call to make. A play or two later is the so-called catch by Antonio Brown. You know who didn't know it was a catch? The two refs whose job it is to know if it is a catch. Both stood and stared at each other, neither willing to make the call until one tentatively lifts up his arms, signaling catch. After a long review, using ultra slow motion and still photos, they do, in fact, call it a catch. BUT, if the refs had called incomplete initially, would the review have been sufficient to overturn it? NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW.

And now, the final indicator that the Packers were playing against more than just the Pittsburgh Steelers, that they were playing against a nefarious group of shadowy and powerful individuals. Somehow, after the review of Antonio Brown's catch, the refs determined that time needed to be added to clock. You know what really helps when you are getting lined up for a last second field goal? A FEW MORE SECONDS.

...oh, man, I just noticed that an Olive Garden catering truck has been parked across the street for the last three hours, but nothing has been loaded or unloaded. I most likely will need to disappear for awhile. Remember, constant vigilance! We cannot, and will not, be silenced. The answers must be found as to why this game was stolen from the Packers. I will not stop until I find the truth, friends.

Franklin out.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Zombies Versus Packers: The Movie

The movie opens with the Packers about to play their last game of the season. A win here at Lambeau would only be a consolation prize but may provide a glimmer of hope in an otherwise turbulent season filled with injuries, chaos and infighting. They appear ready to play but just get destroyed. Fans boo and exit the stadium in the middle of the 3rd quarter and by the time the game ends, Lambeau is already almost empty.

As the final whistle blows, tempers come to a boil and there’s a fight on the field – amongst the Packers players themselves. Heads are definitely gonna roll for this one. It’s a low point in the history of the organization and the NFL.

In the locker room, the players dress and collect their things for the last time. Their season is over. It’s depressing as hell and they just want to get home to their families now, but unfortunately not just yet. The head of security comes in and tells players to stay in the locker room for the moment. There are apparently a few angry or drunken fans roaming around and possibly violent.

As the players wait it out scrolling through criticism and memes on Twitter and Instagram, a SCREAM followed by GUN SHOTS is heard from somewhere outside in the corridor. With the players confused and on edge, a STAFFER barges into the locker room. He’s covered in blood and seriously hurt. The kind-hearted Mason Crosby approaches him and asks if the staffer is OK, but there’s no response. He falls silent before ERUPTING in rage and attacking Crosby. The staffer is no longer human – he has turned into a freaking zombie.

Justin McCray and David Bakhtiari rip the attacker off Mason and throw him against the wall. The grotesque creature surveys them and gets ready to strike. The linemen warn him but he attacks anyway, biting at anything it can sink its teeth into. This is now life or death.

Randall Cobb grabs a pair of ¾-inch-spiked wet weather cleats and wails on the zombie’s head, ending him for good. It’s a terrifying ordeal and it’s about to get a lot worse. The main power goes out and the backup generators kick in. Through social media, the players learn the inside of Lambeau is swarming with these bloodthirsty, infectious creatures. The stadium is on complete lockdown with no one going in or out. The still-unknown outbreak must be contained at all costs. This is really happening.

SWAT and local police surround Lambeau with the National Guard on its way. The media is going bananas and the world begins to pray for the Green Bay Packers.

But this team is not going down without a fight. They don their helmets and pads more like suits of armor than uniforms. Crates filled with various weapons the Packers can use are airdropped right there on the 50 yard line.

The field lights snap on, and so do the cameras. The Lambeau Zombie Apocalypse is going to be a commercial-free, televised event. 

The zombies stand at the opposing end zone while the Packers wait on their own. Tune in as the Packers do battle for real survival in:


Thoughts? Additional ideas? I was thinking the outbreak was caused by poisoned stadium nacho cheese created by evil scientists within the Minnesota Vikings’ organization to literally kill off our fan base.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Packers Film Study Session – Billy Elliot

One of the most pondered questions in life is what makes someone do what they do? Why is it that certain people continue to flourish while others just can’t seem to catch a break? Is it luck? Is it hard work and perseverance?

Whether true or just perceived, the Packers organization and front office comes off at times as a bit… corporate. Of course, a legacy of championships, history and millions upon millions of revenue dollars serves as proof of their substantial organizational and brand power. But despite all the self-confidence in the world, no one should ever be too sure of himself – just ask Ivan Drago how that worked out for him.

You can talk all day about being a professional, being prepared and flawless execution but what about awakening the inner beast once in a while? The same one that eats lighting, craps thunder and offers random barbaric yawps to the moon? Did you know the average age of this team is like 26, which is still on the cusp of adolescence and adulthood? And the perfect time to fuse brain with beast.

The key to understanding the Packers predicament and motivation lies in the seminal film, Billy Elliot (2000). This remarkable underdog story of an 11-year old aspiring ballet dancer stuck in the coal mining town of Evrington, Durham County, Northeast England, perfectly parallels with the Packers current situation. I’m even willing to bet very few within the organization have seen or heard of it, nor would they consider an independent British dance drama film the perfect spark to ignite the fire within their collective bellies.

Allow me to explain.

In the movie, Billy lives with his hardened father and brother, two coal miners out on strike. To toughen up his son, Billy’s father sends him to boxing classes, which also happens to share the gym with a girls’ ballet class. Unbeknownst to his father, Billy joins the ballet class and his teacher begins to believe Billy has the potential to study and the Royal Ballet School in London. But his father finds out, and his disapproval and sheer stubbornness extinguish whatever hopes Billy might have of becoming a professional dancer.

The Green Bay Packers are in a similar situation. Under the care and guidance of McCarthy, Brett Hundley remains trapped in an environment that on the surface would appear to look out for his – and his team’s – best interests but one that also suppresses potential. What if they unleash the reigns and he’s no good? What if he fails? These questions and others like them are aptly addressed in the film.
Photo taken by Jim Matthews, Green Bay Press Gazette
and PackersNews.com
Getting Billy into the Royal Ballet, you see, is only a metaphor for the taking that so-called leap of faith into the great unknown. McCarthy could turn back at any time, but it must be his conscious decision to lead Hundley – and the team – onto a new and hopeful path outside their comfort zones. This is no guarantee of success, but this action must be taken if any success were to happen at all.

This dilemma is precisely what Billy’s father eventually must come to terms with and so must McCarthy. If not, we know that Billy will languish in despair and grow up in the British coal mines like his brother and father before him. Similarly, we accept the fact that Hundley will also be stuck in check-down purgatory, never being able to blossom as a starting NFL quarterback, and giving the Packers no hope to overcome the cruel, unforgiving and inevitable losses that await.

A major turning point of the film shows Billy standing up to his father in the form of an impromptu dance, causing his father to drop his guard and see the potential that lies within his son. From then on, Billy’s father realizes he must do whatever it takes to get his son into the Royal Ballet School and acts accordingly.

In the final scene of the movie, Billy has long been accepted into the Royal Ballet School. We see his father (aka McCarthy) come to see what has finally become of his son (Hundley) during a performance of Swan Lake. A focused, stronger and more mature Billy gracefully leaps across the stage during the climax, thrilling the audience and astonishing his father. The “score” is irrelevant because the previous decisions that were made allowed us to be symbolically victorious. Whether that means winning games or just being competitive is to be determined…

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How to Achieve Happiness When Things Don’t Go Your Way

It’s so easy to rely on others for our personal happiness. I know this all too well. Maybe it’s your Uncle Elmer. Maybe it’s your bae, Ramone the Ticklish. Maybe it’s a group of people you don’t even really know, like the Packers. Or worse yet, it could be that block of cheddar in your fridge.

Sure, that perfectly aged, natural cow’s milk blend is a beautiful balance of both sharpness and texture, exciting your palette with savoring flavor. Pair that with the engaging satisfaction of watching a 7-minute Packers drive end in 7 points and you might be in heaven. But soon, your blood pressure soars due to the high sodium content of the cheese. And then you start to feel sick after remembering that article, which said cheese can contain pus from cows’ bladder infections. And Brett Hundley just threw a pick that effectively ended the game.

Where is your happiness now, my friend? Was it really so fragile, fleeting and superficial?

What you must realize is that you are in control of your own happiness. Sure, it’s easy to give up on the season and become relentlessly bitter in the comments section of ESPN. But it’s just as easy to take a deep breath through your mouth, slowly exhale through your nose and then sing along to Sweet Child of Mine in your best vintage Axl Rose voice. It’s the little things, after all, that remind us just how close happiness really is.

If this sounds like feel-good, derivative crap, you are probably still angry at what happened to #12 and not ready to let go. Give it some time, but don’t wait forever. Because procrastination is a tell-tale sign of weakness, and just one part of the reason you’re reading this blog and not living the sweet life in Southern California’s beautiful San Fernando Valley.

Hey. I don’t live the perfect life, nor do I pretend to be the perfect fan. But I’m not letting expectations of failure or success interfere with my happiness. If there’s one thing you can take away from this, it’s that if you never have any expectations, you will never be disappointed. 
Delusional? Inspired? You decide.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Packers 53 Man Roster Prediction

We don't usually get very analytical here at the Ranter, as there are plenty of people out there who think they know more than us, and even some that do know more than us. However, I thought it might be fun to step into Ted Thompson's New Balances and do one of those 53 man roster projections that everyone seems to have so much fun doing this time of year. I spent many, many....several minutes running through the roster, and the following is what I was able to arrive at. It's a fairly non-traditional roster make-up, but I think the personnel department at 1265 would be impressed.

"Franklin did a really good job with this roster." 


Quarterback (2) - Joe Callahan, Taysom Hill
Running Back (4) - Ty Montogomery, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Devante Mays
Fullback (2) - Aaron Ripkoski, Joe Kerridge
Wide Receiver (5) - Jordy Nelson, DeAngelo Yancey, Malachai Dupre, Max McCaffrey, Michael Clark
Tight End (3) - Martellus Bennett, Lance Kendricks, Aaron Peck
Center (1) - Corey Linsley
Guard (5) - Lane Taylor, Jahri Evans, Kofi Amichia, Justin McCray, Lucas Patrick
Tackle (4) - David Bakhtiari, Jason Spriggs, Kyle Murphy, Robert Leff


Defensive Line (6) - Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Montravius Adams, Ricky Jean Francois, Brian Price
Inside Linebackes (2) - Jordan Tripp, Cody Heiman
Outside Linebacker (5) - Jayrone Elliot, Kyler Fackrell, Vince Biegel, Reggie Gilbert, Jonathan Calvin
Safety (5) - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice, Marwin Evans, Jermaine Whitehead
Cornerback (6) - Davon House, Kevin King, Josh Hawkins, Lenzy Pipkins, Raysean Pringle, Donatello Brown
Special Teams (2) - Justin Vogel, Brett Goode

I know what you are thinking: this only adds up to 52 players. This is the result of the kicking vacancy that will need to be addressed before the first game. Not a big deal, in my opinion. Kickers are pretty easy to find.

What? That's not what you're thinking? Oh, I realize I forgot to clarify that this 53 man roster 52 man roster is based on the Packers' players who have not been cut, traded, or spit on when replacing Brett Favre/benched for a 5th round pick last season by fans.

Operating under these parameters, I think I pretty much nailed this roster. Enjoy...but, please, don't cut or trade anyone because I don't think I can do this exercise next year if you do.

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