CHIPPEWA FALLS — A question from amid the crowd Friday addressed an ever-present concern for fans of the green and gold.
“When are you going to win the Super Bowl?” a young fan asked Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy at the Leinie Lodge.
“How about this year? That sound good?” Murphy responded.
It only took a few moments for the 11th-year president to admit there may be a transition period under new head coach Matt LaFleur, but he still expects big things.
“Our league is quarterback-driven, and we have, I think, the best quarterback in the league with the Packers. And I think that gives us as good a chance as anybody to win a Super Bowl this year,” Murphy said.
While anticipation builds for the upcoming season, the Packers Tailgate Tour — which made its latest stop in Chippewa Falls on Friday — brought a trip down memory lane to the Chippewa Valley. Former players Earl Dotson, Nick Barnett, Ryan Grant, Scott Wells, Bernardo Harris and Aaron Kampman accompanied Murphy at the event, where they regaled fans with tales from their days on the gridiron.
It included everything from reminiscing about the team’s win over the Steelers in Super Bowl 45 to Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre’s penchant for being a prankster.
“Green Bay does a good job of bringing back their older players,” Dotson said. “I see the guys a lot more now than when I was playing with them. ... We just do a good job keeping in touch.”
The death of Packers legend Forrest Gregg on Friday brought some gravity to the day. Gregg was a Hall of Fame offensive lineman for Green Bay, in addition to coaching the team after his playing days were done.
“Just a sad day for Packer fans,” Murphy said. “Boy, what a great person he was.”
But the feeling inside the tour tent was generally lighthearted as the former players fielded questions from fans.
Players mentioned being starstruck when they got the chance to suit up with some of the best to ever play the game, like Favre and Reggie White.
“(I was starstruck) to play with Brett. I came in the league and he was in like his 37th year. The dude dressed in the coaches’ locker room, I think. Had private food clubs I didn’t know about,” Wells joked.
“Tell you what, I got to play against Mike Singletary before he retired, and Howie Long. I think that was like the highlight of my career,” Dotson said.
As for Harris? Being able to tackle Barry Sanders was one of his highlights — much to the enjoyment of the crowd.
The event brought both nostalgia from the past and excitement for the future, with the team starting its offseason workouts earlier this week.
The offseason workouts began under the shadow of a bombshell story on BleacherReport which dug into dysfunction among the team’s players and leadership.
Murphy, however, was quick to talk down such notions.
“Don’t believe everything you read,” he said.
The Tailgate Tour makes its final stop in Antigo today.
“It’s a great way to really intermingle with our fans,” Murphy said.