Loading

57°F

53°F

57°F

52°F

57°F

52°F

49°F

58°F

57°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
Another try for White Lake referendum after two-vote failureSubmitted: 09/02/2014

Play Video

WHITE LAKE - A big part of the community in White Lake takes its small rural school very seriously.

Two years ago, the community helped build a brand new gym and fitness center at the school.

The wood for the basketball floor was even donated by local loggers.

Each grade level at the school has only about 15 students.

Despite its size, for many, it's still the center of the community.

+ Read More
Updated--ATV rider killed in crash along Highway 29 Submitted: 09/02/2014

MARATHON COUNTY - A Marathon County man died when his ATV crashed on Highway 29.

Deputies were called at 9:42 Monday night with a report of the accident in the town of Rib Falls.

The man riding the ATV was dead at the scene.

He had been heading north on Cardinal Lane and went across Highway 29, apparently headed for 9th Avenue.

Instead, the ATV collided with two cars on Highway 29.


+ Read More
Rhinelander Food Pantry needs volunteers to help move to new locationSubmitted: 09/02/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Food Pantry could use more volunteers to help move to their new location.

The pantry will move into the old Golden Harvest building.

But before they move they need to make some changes to the building.

One of those changes is building a new wall.

"It will separate the distribution area from the storage area," says Rhinelander Food Pantry volunteer Bill Vancos. "The distribution area will end up being about twice the size of what our current area is right now at the current location, so that'll be great. And then we'll also have the storage all on one level."

+ Read More
Phelps to welcome business incubatorSubmitted: 09/02/2014

Play Video

PHELPS - The Vilas County Economic Development Corporation will open a business incubator in Phelps.

New chairman Carl Ruedebusch bought a 9,000 square foot building.

It will give small businesses space to develop and share resources.

Leaders hope it will also bring some much needed businesses to the community.

+ Read More
New gunsmith shop targeting niche market in the Northwoods Submitted: 09/02/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Owners at a new custom gun shop in Rhinelander believe they can fill a void in the Northwoods firearm market.

American Hot Shots LLC opened in August. They'll have their official grand opening on Sept. 12 & 13.

The shop works on old guns, custom guns and even offers gun training.

William Nosek is the company's gunsmith and chief instructor. He believes they have an opportunity to fill a niche market in the northern part of the state.

+ Read More
Walker says he won't make another jobs promiseSubmitted: 09/02/2014

Play Video

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he won't make another job-creation promise like he did four years ago.

Walker said Tuesday that his economic development plan to be unveiled in coming weeks will be a detailed proposal about how to grow jobs, but it won't include a specific promise of how many jobs would be created.

Walker promised during his first campaign for governor in 2010 that if elected he would make sure the state added 250,000 private-sector jobs over his first term. Based on the latest figures, only about 103,000 jobs have been added.

+ Read More
Close's motivation atop Langlade County Economic Development comes from close to homeSubmitted: 09/02/2014

ANTIGO - One specific person motivates Angie Close to help Langlade County succeed economically.

Her grandson.

Close is the new Executive Director of Langlade County Economic Development.

She wants Antigo and Langlade County to be a great place for her young grandson to grow up and someday live.

It's one reason for her drive to success as the new economic development head of Langlade County.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here