Sunday, March 11, 2007
Sports Illustrated: August 8, 2005
Once again, for the 28th time, the Packers were on the cover of Sports Illustrated during Training Camp time in 2005. Pictured going through a ropes drill is running back Ahman Green (#30), with fellow running backs Najeh Davenport (#44) and Chris Robertson (#38). The occasion for the cover appearance is that SI picked them to adorn their “Training Camp Kickoff” issue — probably due in part to the popularity of the Green Bay camp each year.
Inside, the article opens with a two-page spread of the Packers’ Clarke Hinkle Field along Oneida Street, with Lambeau Field in the background. The headline “Bigger Than Ever — As training camps open across the nation, the ever-more-popular NFL is looking at a season like no other” starts the article, which has many Packer references.
“It doesn’t matter how many Packers are griping about their contracts, or what little the team did to buttress a 25th-ranked defense, or how much better the other NFC North teams got in the off-season. Football fever is at an all-time high in Green Bay. In March the faithful came from as far away as Italy to attend the club’s inaugural fan convention. In June the Packers needed all of three hours to sell some 60,000 tickets (at $8 a pop) to Family Night, a combined practice and scrimmage with the Buffalo Bills (plus fireworks afterward) at Lambeau Field this Friday...”
Most of the article talks about how popular the NFL had become (as of 2005) and the excitement surrounding various teams in the league.
At the end, SI says: “In Green Bay the story line for much of the off-season was wideout Javon Walker’s contract woes. After leading the team in catches (89), receiving yards (1,382), and touchdowns (12), Walker said he was unhappy because the Packers wouldn’t redo a deal that calls for him to make $515,000 in salary this year, and he threatened to stay out of camp. The issue flared when quarterback Brett Favre criticized Walker in the media, saying the receiver should honor his contract. So last week, when Walker surprisingly showed up on the first day, he was the big story again. ‘Pretty weird,’ he said as he walked off the practice field in Green Bay last Friday. ‘But people love football. People love drama. I gave them both.’ ”
And now he's giving it to the fans in Denver.