Tailgate Tour rolls into Rhinelander
BY KEVIN BONESKE
RHINELANDER STAR JOURNAL
The Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour bus cruised into Rhinelander on Fri., April 7, when some Packer players past and present made a visit along with team President/CEO Mark Murphy.
The stop in Rhinelander was fourth of five for the week, which wrapped up Sat., April 8, in Iron Mountain, Mich.
Packers Tailgate Tour celebrities on hand for the Rhinelander visit included Murphy with three current players – backup quarterback Brett Hundley, fullback Aaron Ripkowski and linebacker Jake Ryan – and a pair of Packers alumni – running back Ahman Green and kicker Ryan Longwell.
The tour stopped at the Northwood Golf Course for a private dinner at Mulligan’s Restaurant before posing for pictures with the Hodag statute in front of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce building. The tour then traveled along Brown Street – escorted by police and fire department vehicles – on the way to Rhinelander High School for a tailgate party with hundreds of fans on hand.
Tour members took the stage set up in the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium to speak to the crowd and also fielded questions from the audience.
Given that two running backs on the Packers roster last season – Eddie Lacy and James Starks – won’t be playing for the green and gold in 2017, Green was asked whether he would consider making a return to the team.
“You’ve got to talk to my wife about it,” Green quipped. “Right now, she’s very happy with me being home most of the time and not getting all beat up.”
After the question-and-answer session concluded with souvenir mini footballs being throw into the crowd, the fans waiting in line were able to get autographs from the tour members.
The event in Rhinelander – which last hosted the tour in 2010, leading up to the season when the Packers last won the Super Bowl – also served as a fund-raiser for the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing.