Thank you for Packer Report. It is the only magazine I read cover to cover every time I receive it. I am one of those millions of die-hard Packer fans that love the Packers, win or lose. I enjoy reading the opinions of your staff writers as well as the letters to the editor.
I never thought I would write one of those letters that was anything less than positive since I rarely appreciate a negative letter. However, this past week has forced me to speak out for the thousands of fans out there that can't afford to attend a game because it has become a "rich man's" sport in the past decade. The Packers were good enough to create an event that the average Packer fan can bring his whole family to without taking out a second mortgage. I brought my wife and 4 young children, and my brother and his two kids on my first six-hour trip to Lambeau Field last August to attend Packer "Family" Night. We enjoyed it so much that I decided I would make it an annual trip. Unfortunately, the Packers chose to sell out to the almighty corporate dollar and allowed ticket scalpers and large businesses buy up the $8 tickets in blocks of hundreds and even thousands from what I have been told. It sold out in three hours. We did not even get through online or by phone. No one I know did. I guess the ticket office did not have to worry about paying overtime last Saturday. Now I can buy tickets for $45 and more, if I can find them. What am I going to tell my kids? They have been looking forward to it for a year.
Why would a fan-friendly, family-friendly organization do such a stupid thing? Who were they catering too? The bottom-feeding ticket scalpers? A few corporate giants? What "family" needs a block
of 500 tickets? After all of those years of blind loyalty to the Packers, we "average Joe" Packer fans get the shaft once again. All of that good will they work so hard to earn just got thrown out the window. Average Joe Six Pack can just go back to his favorite corner tap and watch the game from
where he belongs. Even though they say it will be televised, I don't know if I can bear to watch.
Chris Mara, Prairie du Chien, WI
Offense as questionable as defense
I have been reading about fans who question the defense and Jim Bates' schemes and how they will help. Let's not forget that we lost two solid offensive linemen and we have a Pro Bowl wide receiver who is holding out. Our offense may be as lethargic as the defense if these pieces are not solidified, Favre or no Favre. He can't do it alone. Hopefully, Ahman Green is past his personal problems and Walker shows up ready to play. If not, we will rely on Robert Ferguson (virtually absent last year) and Antonio Chatman to step in and fill Walker's void. There are some good, veteran receivers out there and I'll bet that we don't even look at one of them. Right now, I don't place any more stock in our offense than I would in our defense.
Jason, Chandler, AZ
Revise the rules
Here's my idea for NFL contract rules:
If you hold out, you don't get paid.
If you hold out, and you're not getting paid, that doesn't mean you're released.
If you're still holding out at the last minicamp, or the first pre-season game, the team can put you on the reserve roster at a minimum salary, or not pay you at all, cause you're not working. And they don't have to put you back on the regular roster for the rest of the season, if they don't want to. And you get removed from their salary cap for the season.
Since you're still under contract, in the above ways, even though you don't get paid, you can't play on any other NFL team.
Jay Chappie, Bentonville, AR
Packers will finish 11-5
Ted Thompson is playing conservative. He wants to win, but he doesn't want it now. Coach Sherman wanted everything now, and now Thompson has a huge mess to clean up. Don't get me wrong, I think the Packers will finish a healthy 11-5 this next season, with most of their veterans coming back, a re-vamped defense (at least in the coaching aspect), and a new GM (meaning more dedicated coach).
Thompson took what he could in the draft, setting the Packers up for the Super Bowl in 3 to 5 years.
By the way, Javon Walker will most likely be lured back in. He isn't going to sit out the '05 season because of a contract dispute.
Jeff, Austin, Texas
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