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

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