Loading

46°F

46°F

51°F

39°F

51°F

46°F

38°F

52°F

51°F
NEWS STORIES

Packers 'Bike Brigade' one of the most beloved training camp traditionsSubmitted: 07/26/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


GREEN BAY - Of all the traditions that make the Packers franchise special for fans, one activity stands out as one of the most unique in the NFL. And it's thanks to some of the players youngest fans.

Day one of training camp kicked off today... Newswatch 12's Lyndsey Stemm takes us to the Bike Brigade.

Training camp is much the same for all NFL teams: weeks of grueling practice in the summer heat; players showing off what they've built on during the offseason; it's where starters are made and jobs are earned. But in Green Bay it all starts on teeny... tiny... bikes.

"We were way over there by the Oneida Nation gate and there was like this open area where all the Packers came out. And we just stood there with our bikes. And you could ask all the Packers to ride on your bike," says Jason Yaeso, from Shawano.

"Getting picked out of everyone else here; I think that's just a rush of adrenaline," says Jonathan O'Connell, from Suamico.

Legend has it nearly fifty years ago Vince Lombardi saw some of his players riding local kids bikes out to the practice field. He decided it should be a daily training camp ritual to help players connect with fans. And in true Packer form, connect with fans they did... and have been doing ever since.

"The kids really like it. They get to be with some of their favorite football players; riding bikes with them. I think it's a great tradition. I'd never seen anything like it when I came in as a rookie," says Bryan Bulaga, Packers Offensive Tackle.

They lined up by the dozens this morning to taxi the men in green and gold to practice.

"I got number 69 to ride my bike, and I think his name was Brian. And we talked about how old I was," says Madison Fellons, from Winchester.

"(We talked about) how I play baseball and football and basketball," says Ethan Sauer, from Green Bay.

"I had M.D. Jennings ride my bike because he rides my bike every day, because he's my permanent rider," says Callie Vanlaanen, from Ashwaubenon.

Some players pick new kids every time. But some form a bond that first time and become permanent bike buddies.

"I just raised my hand and he picked me," says Vanlaanen.

The hilarity of seeing a grown man on a bike with training wheels has never gotten old. But some players operate on the theory that the bigger the man, the tinier, and pinker the bike.

"It's tough for anybody to ride a bike like that. I think I saw James Starks with a bike like that and he just had the little girl ride it and he walked next to her. I think I had one of those my rookie year too," says Bulaga.

No matter the size of the player, the kid, or the bike, this tradition gives the teams youngest fans an experience they'll remember forever.

"We get to see Packer players in person and not on a TV screen," says Sauer.

"It's pretty cool. I get a Packer to ride my bike every day," says Vanlaanen.



Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
Northwoods gun safety discussions following Arizona shooting instructor deathSubmitted: 08/27/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The accidental death of a shooting instructor in Arizona raises questions about what kinds of guns children should learn to shoot.

A 9-year-old girl was learning how to fire a fully-automatic weapon on Monday. The recoil was too much for her to handle. As a result, she ended up firing several rounds uncontrollably and one of the rounds hit her instructor in the head. Some gun instructors in the Northwoods wonder why a young girl was using a fully-automatic weapon in the first place.

"Firearms training is an evolutionary thing," said Bruce Gary, an NRA certified shooting instructor. "You don't go from a training rifle to a machine gun. It was a horrible accident that frankly was preventable. And I don't understand why this instructor put a machine gun in the hands of a 9-year-old girl."

+ Read More
Leadership Oneida County seeks more applicants before deadlineSubmitted: 08/27/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Going back to school takes a lot of time and money, but there's another way you can get a step up in your career without stepping in the classroom.

Leadership Oneida County is a nine month course offered to people who strive to be leaders. About 100 graduates of the course come from various backgrounds but have the same reason to take it.

"Go through this course to learn more about their community and learn more about their personal strengths as leaders, and to build their own professional network. The point of the course is to really connect leaders to their community," said Tim Brown, UW-Extension Community Resource Development.

+ Read More
Local seed company expandsSubmitted: 08/27/2014

Play Video

WHITE LAKE - A local Langlade County business will soon move its headquarters from White Lake to Antigo.

Owners of Wolf River Valley Seeds bought the building on the corner of 3rd Avenue and Edison Street in Antigo earlier this month. The company is known for producing high quality forage seeds to help provide nutrition for dairy cows. They are also a leading producer of the highly nutritious triticale seed.

"Wolf River Valley Seeds in White Lake is the largest producer today in the United States of triticale for Syngenta," said Production Manager and Part-Owner Mark Resch. "Triticale is a cross between wheat and rye and a lot of people don't know what it is. In the fields around here, it would look a lot like wheat and it is a very high protein forage crop that dairy people are using."

+ Read More
Chippewa Falls man charged with 10th OWI in Oneida CountySubmitted: 08/27/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - A Chippewa Falls man faces more than 12 years in prison if convicted of driving under the influence for the 10th time.

An Oneida County Sheriff's deputy stopped 43-year-old Edward Luedke just before 8 p.m. on August 22nd.

Court documents say the deputy noticed an SUV weaving in its lane and crossing the center line on Highway 17 near Hat Rapids Road.

The officer said Luedke had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and slow movement.

+ Read More
Antigo man charged for allegedly hitting boy with baseball batSubmitted: 08/27/2014

ANTIGO - An Antigo man could spend up to 40 years in prison for allegedly beating a 16-year-old boy with a baseball bat.

Court documents say 18-year-old Dylan Madderom told police that he hit the boy because the boy owed him a hundred dollars for marijuana. It happened Monday night near the walking trail by North Elementary School.

+ Read More
Michigan House OKs measure allowing wolf huntingSubmitted: 08/27/2014

MICHIGAN'S U.P. - The Michigan Legislature has cleared the way to allow continued hunting of gray wolves, a species that once had disappeared from the state but now thrives in the Upper Peninsula.

The state House voted 65-43 Wednesday in favor of a citizen-initiated measure that would empower the Michigan Natural Resources Commission to designate game species and regulate hunting. The Senate approved the measure earlier this month.

Because the governor's signature isn't required on citizen initiatives, it now becomes law.

+ Read More
Changes to food served at schools Submitted: 08/27/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Students going back to school could see some changes to what food they can buy at school.

New food requirements went into effect over the summer.

One of those is changes to what kinds of snacks students can buy.

There are stricter requirements for how much sodium, calories and fat can be in food.

Food also needs to be more than half whole grain.

Food service workers at the School District of Rhinelander have had to make some changes to recipes.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here