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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 12/15/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River held a grand RE-opening that shows patience and perseverance pays off. We talk to the Library Foundation president and vice-president as well as Governor Scott Walker who attended the event.

We'll show you a half-court basketball shot a Rhinelander eighth-grader made that won money for him and raised money the Rhinelander Area Scholarship Foundation.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following basketball games:

Phelps vs. Laona Wabeno (Boys and Girls)

Rhinelander vs. Northland Pines (Boys and Girls)

Elcho vs. Crandon (Boys)


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

LA CROSSE - A jury in La Crosse County found a man guilty of fatally beating his wife and trying to conceal her death by staging a car accident.

The jury deliberated more than nine hours before finding Todd Kenhammer guilty of first degree intentional homicide, according to the Lacrosse Tribune .

+ Read More

MADISON - A drug distributor from California hoped to flood northern Wisconsin with meth to create more addicts.  Now, Marcos Castaneda faces life in federal prison.

Castaneda, 37, pleaded guilty in federal court in Madison for providing nearly $6 million of meth between 2013 and 2016.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Oneida County Circuit Judge Michael Bloom apparently didn't appreciate a standoff suspect's letter to him.

Mathew Smith, 21, wrote Bloom requesting a speedy trial, saying he "will not stand for this."

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - Snowmobilers in Vilas County can get ready to ride.

Most trails in Vilas County will be opening at 5:00 p.m. Friday.

Vilas County Recreation Administrator Dale Mayo says the exception is the Phelps Trail system.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Eighth-grader Alexx Huff doesn't practice half-court shots much.

At the end of basketball practice, he's usually too tired to try and make 40-footers. But Huff had plenty of energy two weeks ago, when he stepped onto the court during halftime of a varsity basketball game in Rhinelander.

"I'm really nervous, I'm really shaky," Huff said, remembering the night. "There's a lot of people watching."

Huff was randomly selected to take part a shooting contest held during every game. The contest ends with a half-court shot.

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - Alyssa Samz spends her days washing, blow drying, and trimming the fur on dogs, and she couldn't be happier.

"It's fun. I love to be able to do something I enjoy every day," said Samz.

Samz spent the last year working for a groomer in Argonne, but now she's decided to branch out on her own.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here