Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Randomization: 07/18/06

A crowd of 30,000 is expected at Lambeau Field...but the preseason doesn't start for another four weeks. Training camp is still around ten days away.

And, no, there isn't a OMG HUGE SALE at the Packers Pro Shop inside the stadium.

So why are 30,000 people showing up at Lambeau Field today and tomorrow?

For the shareholders' meeting.

The Packers, if you didn't know, are the pro sports world's only publicly-owned franchise. And, every year, anyone who has shares in the team can go to Green Bay for the shareholders' meeting. Usually, the meeting draws a crowd in the 7,500-10,000 range...sometimes more, sometimes less. And since 1999, the meeting has been held outside Lambeau Field, either at the old Brown County Veterans' Memorial Arena or the new Resch Center.

This year, the Packers offered tours of the new locker rooms at the recently refurbished Lambeau Field, and they received some 30,000 requests for tickets to the Wednesday morning meeting. As a result, the team decided to make it a two-day event, with tours starting today and continuing tomorrow.

You don't have to like the Packers (there are plenty of us who do, though), but you have to respect their fans/owners. 70,000 people showed up for a scrimmage last year, and a similar crowd is expected for this year's scrimmage. Even after a 4-12 season, the fans still show up in droves.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm guessing that they aren't all looking forward to listening to a report on the team's finances. They want to see the players' area. Though the format of this get-together is, by any standards, unique to Green Bay. No other team gives free tours of the locker room areas to such a large group of people. No other team is required to reveal certain financial information to the public (the Packers have to because of their status as a non-profit stock corporation in Wisconsin - they don't have to give a more detailed report, as would be required by the Securities and Exchange Commission, because they are non-profit).

So I guess an alternate headline for this story could be "Only in Green Bay: Part 357".

Not that anyone should be surprised by such a story.

T.O. at it again. First came the book, which includes ridiculous stories about how former Eagles WR Terrell Owens was so terribly mistreated in Philadelphia, as well as at his previous NFL stop in San Francisco.

Then came a story last week where Owens alleged that ghostwriter Jason Rosenhaus (brother of Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus) misquoted Owens in the book.

Now, Owens is back to work, blaming his past problems on everyone's favorite target. No, not Jeff Garcia. The media.

Is anything his fault?

Owens said he doesn't think reporters are necessarily conspiring against him as much as using him "to gain viewers' attention." As a result, he believes that he is "misunderstood." He said other players have been, too, "but I feel like I have been one of the main guys who've been vilified."
"That's the million-dollar question," he said. "Why me? ... At some point it does get to me. And I can't say it enough. Dude, I'm human and that's what I'm trying to get people to understand."
I really don't have enough time, energy, or desire to pour through all the stupid things that Terrell Owens has said and done throughout the last two years.

I will say that I think my favorite was when he told then-offensive coordinator Brad Childress (now the head coach of the Vikings) to only speak to Owens when Owens speaks to him first.


Because Owens felt that Childress was being confrontational.


Because Childress had the UTTER NERVE to say, "Hey, Terrell, how you doin'?".

Don't you just hate it when people do that?

File under "Searching for a storyline". I'll usually watch at least some of the British Open. It's a fun event, because the courses are so different than what you're used to seeing for major golf championships. And the weather is insanely unpredictable (Carnoustie comes to mind immediately).

(Not only that, but instead of the organizers making the golfers look stupid by making the course impossibly hard, the British Open usually features weather that makes the golfers look stupid. That's infinitely more entertaining, in my opinion, than the US Open.)

Anyway, the media always searches for storylines in events like these. Apparently, some form of "Tiger/Phil" isn't enough anymore. The media is about to blow up something much less interesting than "Tiger/Phil".

The pairings were announced for the first two rounds of the British on Monday, and they have paired defending champion Tiger Woods with three-time champion Nick Faldo.

Why should you care? Well, I don't expect you to care, but why will the media try to make you care?

Because Faldo has done some broadcast work for ABC, and during his role with ABC in the 2004 Buick Championships, Faldo was critical of Woods' swing.

Oh, no.

Not the swing. Don't be critical of the swing. We know Woods is sensitive to such criticism, but why would this be a big deal? Do you think that Woods, who is famous for his meticulous preparation for major championships, is going to let anything as minor as this upset his focus on Thursday and Friday?

Since the obvious answer is "No", ask yourself why this is a story when the focus ends up being on Woods' interaction, or lack thereof, with Faldo later this week.

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