Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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

Packers 'Bike Brigade' one of the most beloved training camp traditions
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

Play Video

MERRILL - Normally, we learn how to ride bikes. But what if a bike could help us learn in other ways?

A bike on display at the T.B. Scott Free Library in Merrill will help kids learn about solar energy. Pedal Power will be showcased as part of the Summer Library Program starting Thursday until June 12.

+ Read More

LANCASTER, WI - A collision between a school bus and a dump truck in Grant County sent five passengers on the bus to the hospital.

Sheriff's officials say the crash at a Patch Grove intersection caused one of the bus passengers to be thrown from the vehicle.

+ Read More

CRANDON - The final person living at Crandon's only nursing home left last week.

Last month, AGI Healthcare announced it was closing, forcing 37 residents to find new homes and forcing 60 workers to find new jobs.

By state law, nursing homes can't close until all people have a new home.

Forest County's Economic Development office said it was unsuccessful in finding a buyer for the home.

The nursing home's owner told us in April it wasn't making enough money to stay afloat.

Many people living in Crandon moved to Nu Roc nursing home in Blackwell.

Click below for the original story on the nursing home closing.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - The Merrill Fire Department wants you to stay safe, especially when it comes to fires.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - An Oneida County committee will wait at least one more week before deciding whether a new Minocqua hospital can go forward.

The county's Planning and Development committee didn't vote on the issue at a meeting on Wednesday. Committee members want more time to review hundreds of documents submitted on the question.

Marshfield Clinic wants to build a 12-bed hospital in Minocqua. That hospital would be less than a mile from Howard Young Hospital in Woodruff.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School seniors will say goodbye to their school in a couple of weeks. But not before they leave something behind.

A special group of students was selected to participate in the art show. Madison Krueger-Brown, Katie Vannatter, Hayley Strong and Ciarra Clifford have been committed to the arts during their high school careers.

 On Wednesday they got a chance to showcase their work.

+ Read More

Play Video

PHILLIPS - Kids see plenty of pressure these days and that pressure can cause kids to turn to drugs.

However, the AM Vets POST 50 teamed up with Phillips Elementary fourth grade students to give kids a different type of stress relief.

Chloe Borchert was one of nearly 70 students who skipped school to fish on Solberg Lake Wednesday to enjoy the Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs program.

"I hope to catch a lot of blue gills and croppies," said Chloe.

AM Vets Commander Douglas Rasmussen says this is the 10th year the AM Vets teamed up with the school. Every year the AM Vets purchase 100 fishing rods to give out to the Price County fourth grade students.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here