STUDENT-ATHLETES AT WISCONSIN!

The Wisconsin football team’s final home game at Camp Randall Stadium is also always Senior Day.   Just prior to the game against Northwestern, 19 Badger seniors were introduced.  Ironically, the focus wasn’t so much for their on-field accomplishments, but rather their academics.   As they were introduced, it was noted what Degree they would be achieving at graduation: for example, Journalism or Real Estate and Finance.   It was interesting to know what their primary focus in school has been for the past four or five years (for the red-shirt players).   The most interesting of all may have been for starting Quarterback Joel Stave.  His degree will be in Civil Engineering…probably one of the most challenging majors a player could select.   Not bad for a QB who, if the Badgers win one of their two remaining games (Minnesota and the Bowl game) will tie for Wisconsin’s winingest QB ever (30) with Brooks Bollinger.   Stave has also been an Academic All Big Ten for 2012, 2013 and 2014.   Which made it even more disappointing that Stave was booed during the Northwestern game by Wisconsin fans.   By John...

MURPHY AND THOMPSON: FORMER PLAYERS CAN BE GREAT LEADERS!

We’ve all seen the camera shots during NFL games.  A quick scan to a luxury suite and a millionaire/billionaire owner cheering for their team.   A scene we’ll never see in Green Bay, WI.  Never at Lambeau Field.  Never for the Green Bay Packers.   The camera shot there would be of two former NFL players: Mark Murphy and Ted Thompson.  Murphy was a safety for the Washington Redskins and Thompson a linebacker for the Houston Oilers.   Today, they lead one of the most successful – and iconic – franchises, not only in the NFL, but all of professional sports.   Murphy is CEO and President of the Packers.  Thompson is the Packers General Manager.   Murphy and Thompson are employees of the Packers.  The team’s “owners” are the fans in Lambeau Field!  It is the fans who are the “stockholders” and throughout the decades have invested in this historic and unique NFL team.   In an era where professional sports has become more and more corporate, it is so fitting that the Packers remain a “bottom up”, not a “top down” business.  Players who often have incredibly short careers due to injuries will always have an opportunity in Green Bay to be executives as well as athletes.   Interestingly, neither Murphy or Thompson played for the Packers – and both have succeeded legendary leaders: retired Packers President and CEO Bob Harlan and NFL Hall of Fame General Manager Ron Wolf.   It is not coincidence.  The field the Packers play on is not named for a corporation.  It honors Curly Lambeau, the team’s founder and first coach....