About 15,000 people attended Thursday’s Packers shareholders meeting and another 10,000 watched online.
The Packers held their annual shareholders meeting on Thursday at Lambeau Field. Here’s everything you need to know in 200 words or less.
- Packers president Mark Murphy reported that 350,000 stockholders hold more than 5 million shares of Packers stock.
- The Packers were ninth in total revenues last season at $324.1 million.
- Ted Thompson put everyone to sleep with his remarks and ended with “Go Pack Go.”
- The Packers have 112,000 people on their season ticket waiting list.
- Lambeau Field now holds 80,750 people, second most in the NFL.
- The playoff ticket policy is changing. Playoff tickets will only be paid for if the game is played. No more holding money to deposit toward next year’s season tickets.
- Murphy said they’re working on improving in-stadium wi-fi.
- The Packers are buying up all kinds of property around Lambeau Field and hoping to attract businesses and other development to a “Titletown District.”
- The average ticket price for a Packers game ranks 17th in the league. Team may move to variable pricing for preseason games next year.
- It doesn’t sound like the NFL will bring the draft to Green Bay any time soon.
- The Packers have $272 million in corporate reserves (this team is loaded on the field and at the bank).
- Murphy said the Cowboys call themselves “America’s team.” The Packers are the “World’s team.”
That about sums it up as succinctly as possible. Players report to training camp on Friday. Who’s ready for some football?
Packers GM Ted Thompson.
A source provided ALLGBP.com the below speech that was rejected by Ted Thompson for Wednesday’s Packers shareholder meeting. Unfortunately, Thompson decided to not use this speech, and just wasted everyone’s time like he’s done at every other shareholder meeting. Hopefully Ted changes his mind and uses a speech like this next year.
“Before I get started, I first want to thank everyone who is here today. Many of you forked over $250 to buy Packers’ stock a few years ago, and for that, the entire organization is truly grateful.
All of us in Packers’ upper management love you people, even though we think you’re insane and make jokes about you behind closed doors. I mean seriously, you guys fork over $250 so you can hang a certificate on your wall and come here every year to listen to me say absolutely nothing about your favorite football team. The last couple of years, I’ve literally stood at this very podium and read off the names on the roster. If you paid me $250 to listen to myself talk, I wouldn’t do it.
But I had an epiphany the other day. I was watching tape of some unknown prospect that you all have never heard of, but will one day get mad at me for drafting, when I realized the Packers owed you more for your $250 than what you’ve been getting at this event every year.
What I am going to give you today is actual insight into some of the decisions that were made about this season’s team. Hopefully you think it’s $250 worth of insight. I happen to think it’s worth $2 million because insight from Ted Thompson — yes, I just referred to myself in the third person — is super rare and worth a lot.
(Pause for fans to whisper among themselves and get over the initial shock of what you’ve said so far)
I saw the other day that Charles Woodson said he’d retire as an Oakland Raider. I know Charles has his own brand of wine and it must be some good s#^t!! I should try some. Without myself and the Green Bay Packers, Woodson would probably be making $40,000 a year as a sideline reporter for Division I-AA college football games on ESPN U. I never sign free agents. But I signed him off the scrap heap. It’s nonsense to think of Charles Woodson as anything but a Green Bay Packer. I know when you get cut it sucks. I really do. But c’mon Charles, have a little perspective.
Then there’s Greg Jennings. He must be planning to catch passes with his mouth this season because it’s been wide open and running 100 miles-per-hour ever since he signed with the Vikings. I draft wide receivers that are just as good as you by accident, Greg. I hope you enjoyed popping off at the mouth in July because it’s probably going to be your hamstring that pops in September.
(Pause to let the crowd gasp and whisper among themselves at this shocking comment)
Ok, enough with the negativity. Let’s talk about the players who are on this team.
I like this team. I really do. I know a lot of you are worried about the safety opposite of Morgan Burnett, the offensive line, inside linebacker and stopping the read option. I’m telling you, we’ll be fine. There’s going to be some bumps along the way, but we’ll be fine.
(Pause for awkward silence)
As this season progresses, you’re going to see a lot of the young guys on this team grow into solid players. It happens almost every year. I get rid of some old guy or injured guy, and one of my draft picks or undrafted rookies that nobody’s heard of steps up and plays well. It’s extremely rewarding to me when that happens. I lock the door in my office, tear off my shirt, and pound my chest while screaming “WHO’S GOT TWO THUMBS AND IS THE BEST GM IN THE NFL?! THIS GUY!!!”
(Pause for nervous laughter and applause)
All of you should try that some time. Instead of getting all pissy because I didn’t sign this free agent or that free agent for some exorbitant salary, take a look at the youngsters on the roster and have a little faith in them. It’s pretty cool when you’re on these guys before the rest of the world and you can say, “See, I told you he was a player.”
Jerron McMillian, Terrell Manning, Davon House, DuJuan Harris, David Bahktiari, Jarrett Boykin — these are all under-the-radar young guys who wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they played well beyond our expectations.
(Pause for applause)
I know a lot you hate Jermichael Finley.
(Pause for 10-minute standing ovation)
I do too. But Good Lord, if he ever stops being an idiot and plays up to his potential, that hate will turn into love pretty quick. There were some rumblings that I was going to cut Jermichael this offseason. I wanted to, but couldn’t. Jermichael’s size, speed and strength still causes other teams to freak out and adjust their entire defense for him. Until teams figure out that Finely isn’t worth pooping their pants over, he has value. And who knows, maybe he’ll grow up a bit and resemble the tight end against the Cardinals in the playoffs from a few years ago.
(Pause to let the audience shrug their shoulders and nod their heads in reluctant agreement)
I’d like to give you some insight into our offensive line, but I’m really just throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks with those guys. I like drafting college tackles, then making them play guard and center in the NFL. This hasn’t necessarily worked very well, but for some reason I keep doing it. Maybe one day I’ll get better about evaluating offensive line talent, but for now, I’ll just let Aaron Rodgers cover up our shortcomings with that group.
(Don’t pause. If you pause here, it gives the audience time to realize that you just admitted you have no clue what you’re doing when it comes to offensive linemen)
I kind of want to see what this Italian kicker looks like in camp. The reason I didn’t axe Mason Crosby last season was because there were no other kickers out there who would’ve been better. Some people thought I didn’t make a move at kicker because ‘that’s not what the Packers do.’ Nonsense. I’m Ted Effing Thompson. I have no problem cutting somebody.
(Pause for the republicans in the audience to pump their fist and say “YEAH. ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE!! ‘Merica!!!”)
But you can’t just go around cutting people on a whim. I draft these guys. I need to show a little faith in them every now and then. Christ, if I listened to you emotional fans on roster decisions, everyone would be cut by week four. All players deserve an opportunity and a little backing if they screw up.
(Pause for the democrats in the audience to nod their head, take a bit of their granola bars, and praise you for your sensitivity)
Speaking of screw ups, we’ve had some bad ones in the playoffs the last two seasons. It’s not acceptable and it pisses me off. I’m sure you all feel the same. I wish I had an answer for you as to why we’ve gotten our asses kicked in our last two playoff losses. I wish I could point to this roster move, that coaching decision, or an on-field error that could explain it all away, but I can’t.
In today’s NFL, what you want is a chance — to be among the handful of teams come December with a legit shot to win the whole damn thing. The Packers have been one of those teams since 2009 and we will be again in 2013. Hell, we did end up winning the whole damn thing a couple years ago.
I wish I could stand up here and guarantee another title in 2013, but I can’t. I can guarantee, however, that we’ll be one of the handful of teams with a shot come December. A quarterback change, massive roster turnover and injury-plagued seasons hasn’t stopped us from contending over the last four seasons and it won’t stop us this season.
That might not be the inspirational speech and bold declaration you want to hear, but it’s the truth.
Thank you again for coming out today. That’s enough candor from me for, oh, the next 10 years or so. I look forward to our next chat when I will return to my regular method of talking while saying absolutely nothing.”
(Take a bow. Soak in the applause. Exit stage. Wait for applause to build and continue. Return to stage for an encore)
“Ok. Ok. Ok. I’ll give you one more moment of candor: Brett Favre hates me. He didn’t care for me much from the get-go and it got real ugly when he left. But the Packers are making progress toward bringing Brett back into the family. I’m going to stand off to the side while all of that happens because I don’t want to scare him away. Brett Favre means more to the Green Bay Packers than Ted Thompson ever will, and he should be welcomed back with open arms when the time is right….unless he tries to make me trade for Randy Moss again. Then he can just stay away.”
Could Tramon Williams fall victim to Ted Thompson’s axe before next season?
Packers fans have seen a lot of big names and sentimental favorites either cut or allowed to sign elsewhere in free agency over the last two seasons.
The most recent casualty was Desmond Bishop. The inside linebacker’s exit came after guys like Greg Jennings, Charles Woodson, Tom Crabtree and Scott Wells were given their walking papers or not resigned in the last two offseasons.
Of course, losing name players always gets a certain segment of Packers fans riled up. Never mind the fact that the vast majority of players cut or not resigned by Packers GM Ted Thompson have gone on to do very little once they’re picked up by another team. The initial shock of losing a player who fans have formed some type of connection with usually causes some sort of backlash.
So, who’s next? Which one of our beloved Packers will be axed by the evil Thompson or not resigned because Packers salary cap whiz Russ Ball says, “Screw the fans! This guy isn’t worthy half of what he’s asking!”
Here are some possible candidates (I tried to limit it to players that the fans generally like. Hence, Jermichael Finley was not included):
CB Tramon Williams
Throwing Williams’ name out there makes me feel like Skip Bayless, but consider: 1) Williams will be 31 next season; 2) He’s due to make $6.9 million in 2014; 3) He hasn’t been able to repeat the success he had in 2010; 4) The Packers have a lot of young talent in the secondary; 5) He’s been bothered by a bum shoulder going on two years now. Kind of sounds like a prime candidate to fall victim to Thompson’s axe, doesn’t it?
FB John Kuhn
If the Packers had any sort of confidence in the pass-blocking ability of the running backs currently on the roster, I think they would wave bye-bye to Kuhn and his $1.8 million salary today. Packers fans boo Kuhn whenever he touches the ball, anyway, so maybe they wouldn’t be too upset about this. Wait…oh, they’re saying “Kuuuuuuhn!” Never mind, fans would be pissed. But Kuhn isn’t going anywhere unless one of the young backs shows the immediate ability to read blitzes and be a shut-down pass blocker.
WR James Jones
This is a contract year for Jones, and if he has another season like he did in 2012, he’s going to want a big fat deal. Aaron Rodgers had to lobby to bring Jones back the last time he was a free agent, and even then, Thompson didn’t budge until Jones found out that nobody else besides the Packers wanted him. I wouldn’t put Jones in the fan favorite category yet, but if he’s rolling in November like he was last season, he probably will be. At least, he will be enough of a favorite to cause a little bit of an uproar when Thompson lets him sign an overpriced deal with the Vikings.
DL Ryan Pickett
Next season will be Pickett’s 14th. He’s a one-dimensional space-eater that still does what he does well, but can you see Thompson re-signing a 35-year-old fat guy? I suppose it’s possible if Pickett has another good season in 2013 — hell, anything is possible if the price is right — but I wouldn’t count on it.
Who did I miss? Remember, it has to be a player that the fans like, a guy you think has a legit shot of being cut between now and the start of next season, or not re-signed next offseason (For example, I think the Packers will re-sign B.J. Raji, so I didn’t include him on the list).
It’s time for me to stop writing about the Packers and start my work day before my boss takes out his axe and cuts me.