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Murph Needs to Rethink No-Fans Policy NOW

Sorry to have to start the new season on a critical note, but Green Bay CEO and president Mark Murphy made an enormous blunder over a month ago that imperils our team. It was on August 6 that the Packers’ bureaucracy announced that the team will play “at least for the first month of the 2020 NFL season without fans at Lambeau Field.”

That’s right, despite the fact that the world is learning more about the novel and unique virus on a daily basis, our team’s leadership committed to play in an empty stadium against the Lions in Week 2 and against the Falcons in Week 4. Those decisions were reached and announced 45 days prior to the Lions’ game and 60 days before the Monday-nighter against the Falcons.

Choosing so prematurely to play games in Green Bay without fans is a defeatist attitude and a disservice to the team’s legions of loyal fans. I recall very little criticism when this announcement was made. Like most everyone else, I was glum and asleep at the wheel at the time. In this age of the virus, I think we all have become too accustomed to being dictated to – by mayors, governors, commissioners, and Chief Executive Officers. Rise up, fans!

When it comes to people’s health, shouldn’t individuals be able to make their own risk-reward decisions? I suspect that driving from around the state to Green Bay is a greater death risk than is attending the game – and this is especially true with the increased distancing and reduced number of attendees that many other sports teams, professional and otherwise, have reasonably implemented.

As we all know, a Lambeau Field packed with rabid fans has given the Packers a decided home field advantage for many decades.

Why would Murphy give that up so quickly and cavalierly? Like so many other execs, Murphy has a corporate mindset. Instead of remaining a true fan of the “game,” Murph has shown himself as a manager to be more concerned with financial statements and projections than sport. With this latest squishy move, the CEO has shown himself – as he has in other recent ways – to be a political correctness parrot. He’s a follower rather than a leader.

Following the lead of NFL Commish Roger Goodell, Murph has put the interests of our team behind that of the crowd that insists we all bow to the scientists, shut down our businesses, and head to the bunkers until the virus is utterly eradicated.

While we don’t yet have all the results of the Chiefs’ experiment on Thursday, it appears that Kansas City’s fan plan – with a partial attendance of 15,985 (Arrowhead Stadium has a capacity of 76,416) was both reasonable and successful. Congrats to them.

It’s Not Too Late

Mark Murphy should never have reached a decision in early August about attendance at Packers’ games scheduled for September 20 and October 5. He needs to be pressured to acknowledge that, and agree to make a final decision on attendance at these first two home games no more than one week prior to each game. We fans also need to be giving him our unbridled input.

Though I believe they are one of only five or so NFL teams that plan to have a fair number of fans at their home debuts, the Chiefs have shown the way. The enlightened leadership of its owners (Lamar Hunt family), GM Brett Veach, and head coach Andy Reid, provides a fine example to the Packers’ front office. This kind of leadership – and love of the game – is surely a major reason that the Lombardi Trophy currently resides in “the Paris of the Plains.”

As things currently (but not irrevocably) stand, the first chance for fans to be in the stands at Lambeau is on November 1, against the Minnesota Vikings.

 

Lambeau Field

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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Rob Born

I’m with Matt: “You gotta make those chunk plays!”

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36 Comments

  1. PF4L September 11, 2020

    Hey Rob…..

    I think the decision was announced after they took a poll of season ticket holders where 80% said they would opt out if i remember correctly.
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    Right or wrong it seemed like a decision was made by the results of the poll, i didn’t look back at the article, but that’s my recollection of it.

    Reply
    1. Robster September 11, 2020

      Thanks for that background. I see that in July the Packers sent a questionnaire to ticket holders, and just over 80% opted out of tickets, for 2020 only. If so, then that leaves just the right number to have around 20,000 in attendance. Of course there also would have been no difficulty in marketing the tickets to other eager fans – wouldn’t it be nice to offer fans a one-time chance to see a Packer game live, and at market prices rather than getting scalped? MM had this to say: “It was a tough decision. . .at the end of the day, in my mind, the most important thing was protecting the health and safety of our community and our fans.” I guess Big Brother Murphy doesn’t think Pack fans possess the ability to make personal health choices on their own.

      Reply
      1. Jim September 12, 2020

        Sorry but only KC and Jasksonville are the only stadiums open to fans on a limited basis. You really don’t know what you are talking about do you?

        Reply
  2. cj September 11, 2020

    Amen……thank you very much for that. Like I’ve mentioned in the past, these guys at Lombardi Ave are not critical thinkers. Followers indeed.

    Reply
  3. Dave Litschauer September 11, 2020

    Murphy really needs to stand up for the fans…allow choice…people just didn’t want to lose money so 80% chose this. Be a leader and let the fans back ASAP. Otherwise he’ll never be anything to real fans. Like the article!!!!!

    Reply
  4. Skinny September 11, 2020

    I havent been following training camp much this summer but whats the deal with this RT spot? Im just seeing a lot of Billy Turner being kicked out there for this Viking game but now hes hurt and appears to be not playing Sunday. Did we not sign Rick Wagner to be the starter at RT? Is Wagner hurt?

    Reply
    1. stiggy September 11, 2020

      Ricky Wagner is always hurt. Another Injury prone packer to fill the ranks.

      Reply
  5. James Guido September 11, 2020

    Bullshit article.

    Reply
  6. Creeb September 11, 2020

    Shame on you, Rob Born.

    You are upset by a planned lack of fans in the stands. Why? You feel fans would give the Packers an advantage. Your point is not that all stadiums should have fans, your point is an opportunity to gain advantage.

    That is a very Packer mindset, cheating is the way. It reflects badly on the Packers and their fans but you’re supposed to at least pretend at a level playing field and wanting a level playing field.

    The logic may also be flawed — how much of the home field advantage is the fans and how much is the location, familiarity with the turf and lights, and one team off center due to travel? I guess we’ll find out. The point is you argue for something that may gain nothing.

    You also go drama-queen and claim no fans in the stands for the first two games “imperils our team”. Oh really? Not having an extra advantage “imperils our team”? Sad if true! But… not true even nearly. Not even in any alternate universe, a really messed up fringe one. Not even then. “We must imperial our fans so that our team is not imperiled…” Duh-huh?

    You claim that learning more about the virus is a reason to not practice safety whereas, the truth is just the opposite. For instance, we now know the Prez knew it had a 5% death rate and was fully airborne back in early March and then played of off as a hoax and as nothing more than a little flu. We do learn more all the time but the new things we might learn do not undue the things we actually already know. Virus — deadly, easily transmissible by air alone, most transmissable before showing any symptoms, most people get it from someone who shows no signs of it at all. Also, we now know you can get it from someone simply breathing 15 feet away from you or by walking thru a room occupied by someone with it 3 hours previously.

    Not cheating by trying to pack fans in the stands is not a defeatist attitude. It is realistic. Keeping fans safe is not a “disservice”. Rob, where is your “safety first”? It sound to me like your safety is second and “gain advantage for Packers” is your first. Sad!

    Your greatest transgression against logic? As follows:

    “When it comes to people’s health, shouldn’t individuals be able to make their own risk-reward decisions?”

    Yes, Rob, exactly in a way but you don’t get it. People don’t know when they have this or who has it. Someone who goes to the game and catches it — from travel or from the stadium location — and they will be running around spreading it for 5 or so days before they shows the first symptom. Infecting innocents who had NO CHOICE and did not make a RISK-REWARD decision about this. People not getting any reward would be put at risk. Not fair. But, oh, I forget, as a Packer Backer, you scorn things like fairness.

    As far as “dictating” and your other inflammatory misguided language: What about speed limits? Shouldn’t people have the right to drive any speed they want — or drive drunk — because individuals should be “able to make their own risk-reward decisions?” No? Why not? Oh oh ooooh! Because what they may do — drive 100 mph or drive 100 mph while drunk — could also EFFECT OTHERS and they DON”T LIVE IN AN INDIVIDUAL BUBBLE! Just like… spreading the virus….!

    See? Get it?

    As per the KC experiment, keep in mind when you call it a success, the results are not yet known and will never be known. No one ever debated if they could successfully let 15K fans in the stands. That alone is not success. No one yet knows if this has led or will lead to more cases and more deaths. We do know, at the least, that it is quite possible some people, perhaps many, will die due to their decision. It was not a brave decision. It was a decision to put money in their own pockets ahead of fan safety. That is despicable.

    Also, keep in mind that the Packer fan base is a unique challenge during the pandemic because they are such a higher percentage of alcoholics and just plain heavy people, much more obese than the average American. These are Covid risk factors that should not be ignored. The lives of alcoholics and fat fans are still valuable.

    Rob Born… willing to risk hundreds of human lives because he wants a dubious possible competitive edge for a sports team…..

    Sad.

    Reply
    1. PF4L September 11, 2020

      Millions of people go to work with each other everyday, nobody considers their lives “at stake”.
      Millions of people go grocery shopping everyday together.
      Millions of people shop at Walmart, Costco, Sams club everyday.
      .
      Lambeau field has a capacity of 81,441. 22% of that is just short of 18,000 people. There is more than enough room to social distance and then some.
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      I don’t care about the home field advantage perspective, but it would be nice seeing Packer fans there. It would also be a GREAT time to have some fans go there that usually don’t have the means to attend games.
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      At the end of the day it’s the Packers decision, but it would nice to see some fans.
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      I just don’t see high risk at letting 22% of fans coming in. It seems to me the same risk as going shopping at pick n save.

      Reply
      1. Caden Joos September 13, 2020

        And hundreds of thousands have died doing all those activities.

        Reply
  7. Jeffrey Kugele September 11, 2020

    The author of this article is an idiot. He or she must COMMIT SUICIDE YESTERDAY. You know nothing about BIOLOGICAL WARFARE, and that is the posture that the world is currently in. The NFL playing the 2020 is a stretch, and I hope that nobody suffers the consequences.

    Reply
  8. Stephen September 11, 2020

    Some of the greatest danger a Packer Fan could endure, would be sitting next to them rabid people from the West. It’s a disgrace to Our Country and their State, disgusting looter’s, and factions of them protesters, just don’t belong in the stands of a game here, on Lambeau Field. They been busy burning buildings, looting, and spreading the virus in Their Cities, so now someone thinks they should come over here and spread whatever it is they carry to our’s?
    I don’t think so. I don’t much care how much money they make spreading their disease and destroying others property.
    We don’t need them here. The Packers have enough money to carry us through this epidemic, and there’s no need to ever worry about The Packers going defunct.
    That can’t and never will happen. The Cities hosting games should all pool all of their proceeds, and share it with all 32 teams in the league. We can fight this together, but the spread in a confined area like ours, is going to be a problem eventually. It’s bad enough that the disease that started in Minneapolis, Minnesota has dispersed across our nation, and reached Kenosha.
    We don’t need to infect Green Bay, or it’s great fans or residents, with people like that coming in here. Hopefully our fans are safe if the decide to go into Minnesota to somehow get a glimpse of the game. We have to remember how irresponsible them people are, and how they have not been wearing their protection, while they loot, and Rob each other and burn down each other’s places of business. I hope and pray that our team can return safely from their game over there. We don’t need anything destroyed at our home field, or in Our State or Country. It’s time to clean the trash off of the streets, and make our people safe again. The National Football League has never had to carry a banner up and down the streets of the U.S. to define who they are, and I don’t see any need for it now. I am poor myself, cold, hungry, and low on beans, but I still won’t burn our flag, or bring harm to people who don’t deserve that. I use real money, to pay for my beans. It was hard earned for 50 years, and now I got to watch the news about people that would rather steal, than work for a living. They aren’t heros to me, and when they break thru a window or a wall, it illustrates that they belong on the other side of it !!!

    Reply
    1. PF4L September 12, 2020

      Tell us more on how Cousins is a top 5 QB.

      Reply
    2. R.Duke September 12, 2020

      Miss the klan rally or just a bit into the big Q ?

      Reply
      1. PF4L September 12, 2020

        I don’t even know if Stephen belongs to the Klan.

        Reply
    3. Ferris September 12, 2020

      Get some help, and please stop saying WE. Nobody is with you.

      Reply
  9. NachoDan September 12, 2020

    Take the year off fans so we can get back to normal sooner. Tired of this dragging on.

    Reply
  10. Thomas F Smith September 12, 2020

    Covid aside for a minute….To honor and support BLM without acknowledging all the other ethnicities is racist and discriminating, not to mention alienating a large number of fans and putting revenues at risk.

    Reply
    1. Ferris September 12, 2020

      I haven’t heard about other ethnic groups getting beaten and killed very much. Please enlighten me on that. Idiot.

      Reply
      1. Thomas F Smith September 13, 2020

        Well Idiot….. for one thing how about the Police being targeted and assassinated. 2.) Maybe not as much as blacks, but just maybe perhaps other ethnic groups don’t run from, resist and threaten police. Maybe…just maybe other ethnic groups don’t have a reason to run from or resist the commands from authorities. Whoever taught these young black men to run and resist is responsible.
        Don’t get me wrong. Black Lives Matter….but not anymore than anybody else’s. To say otherwise is racist, discriminatory and divisive.

        Reply
        1. sTICKMAN September 13, 2020

          I agree 100%.!!!!

          Reply
          1. PF4L September 13, 2020

            Isn’t it amazing how people (black and white) who cooperate, don’t fight, don’t put cops in a threatening position go home or go to jail…..healthy?
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            Call me crazy…. but lawbreakers have seen for decades where not cooperating or fighting authority ends in serious injury …or death.
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            So……knowing that. What do some of today’s law breakers do when confronted by Police? If you said some still do not cooperate, fight, and put cops in a threatening position….you are correct.
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            I have 2 things to say about that…
            1) Bad cops…..have no place here and should get the maximum punishment for when they are out of line.
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            2) Criminals……knowing what the score is and what might happen to them is proof positive, you can’t fix stupid. It makes you wonder if criminals even value their life in the first place knowing….what the cops may do to them.

            Reply
  11. Kato September 12, 2020

    People should be free to make their own decisions about their health. If someone wants to lock themselves in their house for eternity, that’s fine. If someone wants to go watch the Packers, then they should be free to, and also not blame the organization if they get sick. Last I checked, millions of people made the decision to attend protests over the past few months. Literally no different than attending an outdoor game.

    Reply
    1. Empacador September 13, 2020

      It is real easy to simply say people should be free to make their own decisions about their health. Maybe decisions involving one’s individual health risks, sure. Where do you draw the line? Do immunizations cause autism? I remember a young 9 year old girl dying here where I live because she had untreated type 1 diabetes and her parents prayed and left her health up to God. Hey, their choice about their collective family unit’s health right?

      Reply
  12. Chris ONeill September 12, 2020

    LOL. This is a terrible take/article and they absolutely did the right thing. They should follow it up and announce no fans for the ENTIRE season. This virus is not going away because of block headed know-it-all opinions just like this one.

    Listen to the science on this one and we can go back to cheering in person next season… don’t and we wont.

    Reply
  13. PF4L September 12, 2020

    Kato…..Lots of new names around here but you may already know that.
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    If tens of thousands attend a protest and don’t social distance or wear a mask, you get a free pass. If you’re someone else not wearing a mask, you’re front page news on Yahoo.

    Anyway…welcome back for week 1

    Reply
  14. Robster September 12, 2020

    In response to “Jim,” most NFL teams have announced they’ll have no home game fans “until further notice,” meaning their situations are fluid and they could open up to fans at any time they choose. Of the 16 Week 1 home teams, in addition to the Chiefs, the Jaguars will have approximately 25% of their seats filled on Sunday. The Colts have allowed up to 2,500 fans for their Week 2 home opener. The Browns are allowing 10% of capacity for each of their first two home games. According to DraftKings, Dallas has made no final decision for its Week 2 opener, but “Jerry is pushing for fans in the stands.” The Broncos say they will re-evaluate after Week 1. The Bengals plan to have up to 6,000 fans at their second and third home games. At the other end of the spectrum, for now the political cauldron of Washington D.C. plans on having no fans for the season, and the Giants and Eagles have said much the same. The Saints had earlier been reported as “no fans for Week 1 opener, unlikely for Week 3,” but on Friday New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell confirmed that the Saints will not be granted permission to host fans for their Sept. 27 (Week 3) game against the Packers. I’ll take it.

    Reply
  15. Outtagad September 12, 2020

    Well yeah, 80% opted out. Murphy spent the previous 2 months talking down the possibility of fans at games. He’s just a glorified real estate agent. How about talking about how the packers will bring home another Superbowl.

    Reply
    1. PF4L September 13, 2020

      Bring home a SuperBowl? (chuckles) that’s cute.

      How about something realistic and relevant, like maybe,… Packer/Viking Preview?

      Reply
  16. Stickman September 13, 2020

    The NFL better reconsider and let the 99.5% white people back in the stadiums or they are going to be the new NBA. A`lot of people are getting tired of this bullshit.

    Reply
  17. PF4L September 13, 2020

    Looking forward to today’s games with complete BLM and Antifa bonus coverage.
    .
    Not only do you get NFL entertainment when you tune in for kickoff, you receive answers to your burning questions of …will they play the black National Anthem? Who will kneel? Who won’t kneel. Will teams stay in the locker room, will some stay and some come out on the field? Will some stay in the locker room for the black National Anthem but then come out for the Nations recognized National anthem.
    Will there be a discussion on how many National Anthems we have?
    Will there be debate of one race having it’s own National Anthem, and does it further divide people…..or unite?
    Will all the players come together and stand in Unity?
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    All these questions may be answered before kick off. If it’s anything like Thursday’s kick- off, kickoff will be 15 minutes late.
    But DON’T you worry if you crave for more, there will be further bonus coverage of this during the game, every halftime show, and every post game show….Trust me, you’ll get a football game in there somewhere.
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    They also may give 15 seconds of coverage for the western wildfires but i can’t guarantee.
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    You NFL fans tune in, just to watch a football game?……silly people.

    Reply
  18. Hinder Head September 13, 2020

    No, people shouldn’t get to decide if they can attend. Why? Because Most people are morons. Don’t get me wrong, I could care less if 50,000 meat heads want to kill themselves. Good riddance. The problem is they go out in their communities and spread the virus to people who actually have some working brain cells. And we need those people to keep the country running.

    I bet this writer is the one who grew up in Fond du Lac, WI. I lived in Fondy for a few years. An average chimp could be mayor of Fondy in 6 months. Go swing on your rope, Bonzo.

    Reply
  19. Caden Joos September 13, 2020

    Obviously you don’t understand the severity of what is happening right now. Mark murphy is choosing to save lives over make money,.and yes while that might make some fans mad at least they will hopefully be safer in the long run. Take school for example, my state decided to open schools for the 2020-21 school year, 18 of the schools that opened have shit down again due to outbreaks, teachers have died because of the government’s I’ll informed decision. Mark Murphy is not making the same mistake.

    Reply
  20. Empacador September 13, 2020

    You lost me Rob when you said “When it comes to people’s health, shouldn’t individuals be able to make their own risk-reward decisions?” Depends. Are you going out and imposing your will and beliefs on others? For instance, did you complain when smoking was banned from work or public places? Did you bitch when laws were enacted making it illegal for people with HIV/AIDS having unprotected sex with those that didn’t know the status of their partners?
    .
    Once upon a time over 30 years ago I was stationed in Japan. One of the most stunning things I observed were some of the Japanese wearing medical like masks. Never being exposed to that, I asked one of my Japanese national co-workers what was up with the masks. The people wearing the masks had colds/flu and were wearing them out of respect for others. They also had beer and cigarette machines available out in public that didn’t get looted unless some drunken idiots from the base decided they missed home.
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    When people are incapable of making decisions like being unable to give up the bar scene as one of my co-workers did after they opened the bars here in May. For 2 days he frequented his normal bar that became a major hotbed for another round of virus breakout in Portage county. Or my daughter’s boss neglecting to tell her employees she had tested positive from visiting her boyfriend in the county jail. These risk-reward decisions by others put me and my family at risk. I made the decision to stay away from people as much as I could and yet here I was potentially exposed because of the assholishness of others and their “right” to choose. Until Americans can display a sense of empathy, compassion and respect toward others, I say no. A bunch of assholes knowingly going out in public and potentially infecting others because they STILL believe this is some sort of political hoax or other rhetoric? Fuck that.

    Reply
  21. PF4L September 14, 2020

    The Saints are planning to have limited fans for week 3 against the Pack. There are strong arguments that can be made on both sides. That’s why debates get energized.
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    It’s a lot of young people that just don’t get it, whether it’s schools, bars, or beaches.
    Remember back at spring break in Florida? They interviewed the kids who mostly said….if i get sick, i get sick. Obviously there are other factors involved of spreading the virus to family (Grandparents) and friends. For college students, they are pretty GD stupid in my opinion.
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    Right now, Wisconsin is among the States with the highest rate of increase percentage in positive test

    Reply

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