April 25, 2015

Packers to honor Favre on Thanksgiving night

QB Brett Favre - Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

QB Brett Favre – Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Green Bay Packers will not only host the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving night at Lambeau Field, but they’ll witness longtime Packers great Brett Favre’s number-4 unveiled on the facade inside Lambeau Field as his number is retired.

“I think it’s great,” coach Mike McCarthy said in a team release, “and it will be great for our fans, the first time we’ve had a Thanksgiving night game here at Lambeau Field.  I think it will definitely be a special night.”

The Packers will also host NFC Champion Seattle in Week 2 on a Sunday night at Lambeau Field. [Read more…]

Longtime Reporter and Packers PR director Lee Remmel dies

Lee Remmel Press BoxLee Remmel started covering the Green Bay Packers in 1945.  He would cover coaching legends Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi for the Green Bay Press Gazette, then work for the organization before passing away on Thursday at the age of 90.

Remmel became the Packers’ public relations director in 1974 and served in that capacity until 2004.  He became the team’s historian and officially retired in 2007.

Remmel either covered or worked for every Packers coach and was honored at Super Bowl XL as one of 12 media contributors who had worked all 40 Super Bowls.

Remmel was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1996.  It was the same year the Packers went on to win the Super Bowl.

Shortly before his retirement in 2004, the Packers honored Remmel by naming the Lambeau Field Press Box after him.

Remmel didn’t have any children and his wife Noreen passed away in 2012.  The Green Bay Packers were his life.  He was known for his vast knowledge of the team and its history.

Walker’s approval rating falls, top choice for GOP president nod

Governor Scott Walker’s job approval rating has gone down since last fall.

Among registered voters in Wisconsin, 56 percent of those surveyed in the latest Marquette University Law School poll say they disapprove of how Walker is handling his job as governor, with 41 percent saying they approve. “That’s a significant drop from in October just before the election — 49 approved 47 disapproved,” explains poll director Charles Franklin. “So, approval has come down eight points, disapproval has gone up nine points over that period.”

Franklin points out the potential presidential candidate enjoyed higher approval ratings after his gubernatorial election, but before the budget announcement and the ramp up to his presidential bid. “What happened in January looks sort of like a typical honeymoon after a reelection. Now we have two polls post-budget, post-presidential, both showing a significant decline.”

Walker downplays poll results via phone from Europe.

Walker leads among GOP hopefuls in the 2016 presidential race 

Among Republican-leaning Wisconsin voters, Governor Walker is the top choice for the GOP presidential nomination with 40 percent support, according to the latest Marquette poll. “Not surprising for a home state governor, Walker leads all of the other Republican candidates by 30 or more points,” explains Franklin.

Among Democratic-leaning Wisconsin voters, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads the pack with 58 percent. In a possible presidential matchup, Franklin says Clinton is ahead of Walker in Wisconsin, 52 to 40 percent.

Voters were asked whether any governor can campaign for president and still be able to handle his or her duties as governor. “Most folks say ‘no, really can’t.'”

Specifically, 67 percent say that can’t happen; 29 percent say a governor can do both. Overall, 34 percent of registered voters say they would like to see Walker run for president while 62 percent would rather he not run.

Johnson trails Feingold in U.S. Senate race

In a possible 2016 U.S. Senate race, incumbent Republican Senator Ron Johnson trails former Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, according to Franklin. “Feingold has a significant lead, 54 to 38 for Johnson. This is the first time we’ve asked a horse race match-up between the two.”

Johnson unseated Feingold in the 2010 election. Feingold hasn’t announced any attempt to get his old job back, but Franklin says the numbers show Feingold has not been forgotten.

Bucks arena not favored by those surveyed

The poll shows strong opposition to borrowing $150 million for a new downtown Milwaukee Bucks arena. Governor Walker had suggested $220 million in bonding, but Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos think something along the lines of $150 million in financing is more likely. Seventy-nine percent of Wisconsin voters oppose that much money for the sports facility, with 17 percent supporting the proposal. “People don’t like that,” Franklin says.

Poll results show support for the arena is a little higher in the counties surrounding Milwaukee, but only 9 percent of the rest of the state supports borrowing for an arena, with 88 percent opposed. Support for the arena in the Milwaukee media market is at 29 percent, with 67 percent opposing.

This poll was taken April 7-10, interviewing 803 registered Wisconsin voters, by both land-line and cell phone. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points.

Green Bay adds Darner as the school’s 7th head coach (AUDIO)

Green Bay head coach Linc Darner

Green Bay head coach Linc Darner

Florida Southern coach Linc Darner was a front-runner for the Green Bay Phoenix men’s basketball coaching position from the very beginning.  Green Bay athletic director Mary Ellen Gillespie said what set Darner apart from the rest of the coaching candidate pool was his total presentation.

Gillespie said, “His years of head coaching experience, his winning programs at every stop, the x’s and o’s, how he runs a program, how he interacts with parents, donors and fans, how he mentors and guides young men and how he works with colleagues across campus.”

Gillespie offered the job to Darner on Tuesday and he accepted.  He was introduced at a news conference this morning.  The reason for the 1-day delay?  Darner thought it was most appropriate that he return to Florida to tell his players that he would be leaving for his dream of coaching Division 1 college basketball.  It’s another quality trait that Darner possesses, insuring Gillespie that she picked the right man for the job. [Read more…]

Dekker to enter 2015 NBA Draft (Opinion)

Sam Dekker warming up before the NCAA title game.

Sam Dekker warming up before the NCAA title game.

Wisconsin Badger junior forward Sam Dekker announced today (Friday) that he will pass up his final season of eligibility at UW and enter the 2015 NBA Draft.

“These past three years have been the best, most memorable years of my life,” Dekker said.  “Growing up in the state and being able to wear Wisconsin across my chest has been a dream come true.

“After lots of thoughts and prayers, I’ve decided that it is in my best interest to enter the NBA Draft at this time.  It is difficult to leave Madison and the only state I’ve called home, but I’m excited for the next chapter of my life.”

The Sheboygan, Wisconsin native appeared in 113 games with 81 starts in his career at UW, finishing 15th in school history with 1,363 points.  Combined with his 569 career rebounds, Dekker became just the eighth Badger to tally 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in his first three seasons. [Read more…]