Loading

60°F

55°F

58°F

61°F

58°F

61°F

52°F

60°F

58°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
New road signs put up, some older stop signs taken downSubmitted: 08/20/2014

Play Video

ANTIGO - You'll need to look out for some changes on the road in Langlade County. That's because the state Department of Transportation is putting up new signs on intersections along Highway 52. Some signs will also be taken down.

Certain stop signs have already been taken down. DOT traffic experts say they're just getting rid of redundant signs. They don't expect safety to be affected. But some drivers are concerned.

+ Read More
Local expert offers tips on keeping shrubs and trees healthySubmitted: 08/20/2014

Play Video

NORTHWOODS - You may need help keeping your shrubs and trees in shape for the fall.

Many people were forced to buy new trees and shrubs because they didn't survive the winter. Experts at Hanson's Gardening Village told us about a few trees that are most vulnerable to the winter.

"We had some in our own nursery here that we had to dispose of this spring," said Hanson's Garden Village Co-owner Brent Hanson. "A lot of people saw this effect where you get the leafing out like you would normally expect in the spring and then all of the sudden, all the little leaves turn brown the tree seems to be dead. In the worst case scenario, the tree is dead and it seems to me from what I've seen is that maples were most affected and unfortunately, fruit trees."

+ Read More
Concussion Awareness for High School SportsSubmitted: 08/20/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Football season kicks off this Friday for many high schools across the state.

But one concern from year to year is how to prevent concussions in high school contact sports.

When sport seasons begin, so does important concussion testing. Rhinelander has two tests.

+ Read More
Man pleads not guilty of killing his wifeSubmitted: 08/20/2014

PORTAGE COUNTY - A Wisconsin Rapids man pled not guilty yesterday to killing his wife decades ago. 55-year-old Joseph Reinwand made the plea in Portage County court.

Pamela Reinwand was 19 when she died in 1984. She was shot in the head.

Police originally thought it was a suicide. but family members and fellow inmates told police they'd heard Reinwand confess to killing her.

+ Read More
Wisconsin retains number 2 spot on ACT test Submitted: 08/20/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin retains its number two spot among states on the ACT college entrance exam.

The state's high school seniors scored an average composite of 22.2 out of a possible 36, ranking Wisconsin behind Minnesota. Seventy-three percent of Wisconsin seniors took the exam this year. The curriculum-based test measures students' readiness for the first year of college.

+ Read More
Shawano thinks small in economic development role in Forest CountySubmitted: 08/20/2014

Play Video

FOREST COUNTY - A new Forest County economic development leader wants to think small, instead of thinking big.

Gene Shawano Jr. just took over as President of the Forest County Economic Development Partnership.

He will help fill a void left when Executive Director Jim Schuessler and President RT Krueger each stepped down earlier this year.

Shawano wants to bring the focus back to small businesses in the county.

+ Read More
Looking for a brand new restaurant to try?Submitted: 08/20/2014

RHINELANDER - Do you find yourself looking for new places to eat out?
Well, Tula's Cafe recently added a brand new location in the Northwoods.
We found out what makes them unique, in our latest helping of 'Morning Meals with Marisa.'

Tula's recently reopened in Rhinelander. This is their second location and the manager told us so far, so good.

Tula's manager Lana Knack explains, "They said it's great to have a new restaurant choice to go to up in the Northwoods. Tula's is very successful in Minocqua, so we model everything that they do and it's worked very well."

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here