The Lass Word: Murphy Deserves Praise, Not Hate

Packers begin search for his replacement.

Last week the Green Bay Packers announced they have laid out the process for finding  a replacement for CEO Mark Murphy.  Team by-laws require that Murphy retire in July of 2025 when he turns 70 years old.  The franchise has formed an eleven member search committee which will work with the Korn Ferry executive management company, a group they have worked with to fill other openings. 

During his sixteen years in the job, Murphy has been a lightning rod for criticism.  Whenever the Packers struggled on the field, many fans directed their venom squarely to the man at the top.  They blamed him for bad hires, poor organization of the chain of command, and the enormous last contract given to Aaron Rodgers.  They blamed him for being too involved in football operations and for not being involved enough.  He took heat for commenting publicly on sensitive matters and for not speaking up and taking control.  However, when the Packers are winning, the credit goes to Matt LaFleur and Brian Gutekunst, and Murphy is rarely mentioned. 

The reality is he has done a phenomenal job.  Upon his retirement, Murphy should be hailed as a hero and be immediately inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame.  The plusses of his term in the front office far outweigh the minuses.  Only the New England Patriots have won more games than Green Bay during his tenure. 

When he took the job in January of 2008 Murphy was immediately broadsided with the chaos of Brett Favre’s controversial departure from the team.  The fan base was in danger of being seriously torn apart and taking sides.  Murphy worked behind the scenes to restore unity and confidence.  Three years later the franchise won a Super Bowl. 

When LaFleur was hired Murphy restructured the chain of command, putting LaFleur, Gutekunst and Russ Ball on equal levels, all reporting directly to Murphy.  The move was widely panned by those who felt the head coach should answer to the general manager.  But the arrangement has worked beautifully.  The Packers went on to win thirteen games in three consecutive years, and after missing the playoffs one time, they returned to the post season with the youngest team in the league.  They figure to be one of the favorites in the NFC again next fall. 

But Murphy’s greatest accomplishment took place off the field.  In fact, it took place next door to the field.  His spearheading of the Titletown District may be the most significant move in franchise history.  You may take it for granted that the Green Bay Packers will always exist, but I can assure you that is not necessarily true.  The survival of the team in the modern era had been almost totally dependent on the existence of the salary cap.  Without it, the team simply would not have been able to keep pace with the financial resources of the rich owners of the big market teams, despite the generosity and support of Packer fans. 

Like it or not, we must face the fact that It is inevitable, at some point in the future, the greed of the league owners will overtake their common sense, and they will vote to eliminate the cap.  This is going to happen.  It may be many years into the future, but it is going to happen.  The wealthy owners can make so much more money by squeezing out those who cannot spend with them.  Their goal will not be to preserve the tradition of the small market teams, but to expand into huge, lucrative new population centers in places like London, Germany, Brazil and Mexico.   

Recognizing this, Murphy and his executives crafted Titletown to be in a future position to supply many millions of future dollars in revenue for generations to come.  Because of this vision, the Packers have an excellent chance to be competing for Super Bowls long after the current green and gold faithful have handed down their season tickets to their children and grandchildren. 

The search committee will be led by Susan Finco whom I worked with at WBAY-TV back in the early 1980’s.  She was a news anchor there when I was the sports anchor.  I can tell you she is a very smart lady, a hard worker and an excellent leader.  And she loves the Green Bay Packers. She is a long time member of the executive committee and I’m confident she and her group will identify good candidates, but they will be hard pressed to find one as perfectly qualified as Murphy was in 2008.  

Murphy was a Super Bowl champion safety for the Washington Redskins, and after his career worked for the Players Association, so he could relate to the way players would view issues.  He had also been an athletic director for two universities, so he understood the front office perspective.  He worked as a trial lawyer for the Department of Justice, so he had a working knowledge of legal matters.  He also had a masters degree in business administration.  In short, it was pretty much the perfect resume’ and the committee will have a challenge to find someone equally qualified to replace him. 

Murphy succeeded Bob Harlan, who rescued the franchise from 25 years of futility by bringing in Ron Wolf.  Many wondered what would become of our team when Harlan retired, but Murphy has taken it to a new level.  We have been blessed with two visionary CEOs in a row.  The process of finding the next one is expected to take six to nine months.  The goal is to have the new boss on board by this time next year, so that the new executive will have several months to shadow Murphy and learn the job.  

The future of the Green Bay Packers is bright, both short term and long term, and Mark Murphy deserves his share of credit for it.  History will, and should, remember him kindly. 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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Comments (130)

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WD's picture

February 12, 2024 at 06:18 am

I feel it is very sad to see the NFL joining the globalist movement for the love of money. Placing greed over the fans is despicable. Could congress somehow prevent this? I dread to see Packer games in London or anywhere else around the world. Moreover, I really don't think the players want it either. Frankly, I see nothing attractive about watching football at 8a.m. Furthermore, It sounds like the NFL is outsourcing a lot of jobs. How do others feel?

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HawkPacker's picture

February 12, 2024 at 06:24 am

WD, you want congress to step in? Now that is a laugh considering how they run things. Ok, enough about politics.

I would have to agree regarding the London games. I have to admit, why have games in Europe? To grow the game? To have franchises in Europe? I am not a big fan of these games at all. Actually, I think this is really off-topic to this article unless you are saying that Murphy has been actively supporting/starting these European games.

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WD's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:07 am

I did not suggest congress get involved in anything. I was asking for opinions of others. The NFL as well as the NBA are looking at expanding revenue from national to international. It is of course good business to be global so I don't blame them. Any large companies need to be global to survive. However it will without question change the NFL as we know it today. The world is becoming more and more global. So how many home games will we actually have? Three or four? I think the best chance of fighting this is with the NFL players union. If ,in fact the players don't want to be flying back to Asia or South America every other week. Again, absolutely no input from the fans who I assume; most would be against. Are season ticket holders going to be expected to travel around the world every few weeks? Will Lambeau field be empty 3/4 of the season? This is an existential threat to the NFL happening before our eyes. Nuff said.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 12, 2024 at 11:13 am

"""I did not suggest congress get involved in anything. ''''

''''....could congress somehow prevent this?"'''

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2024 at 12:34 pm

Enforce the Anti-Trust Laws for starters.

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Coldworld's picture

February 13, 2024 at 08:32 am

If the NFL did not have a legislative exemption, there probably wouldn’t be pro football as we know it. That need not cover TV rights it’s true, but the big losers then would likely be the small market teams. It’s football TV revenue secured for exclusive rights that has secured the Packers foundations vast assets, not property development, though that was funded by it. Like it or not, it’s not the financial genius of the Packers leadership but the fact that games draw vast TV audiences and thus advertising dollars that secured the Packers future.

I truly hate the idea of exclusive streaming games. It may be I elect to vote with my ideals if that ever impacts us (which will hurt) but the only way to stop it is not to play along in numbers. If we as fans just live with it then we will get what we deserve.

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Cheezehead72's picture

February 12, 2024 at 06:39 am

As much as I hate international games I do not want congress involved. The NFL is a business and needs to run itself. Congress needs to get a budget done every year on time before they do anything else.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:07 am

Globalist? I hear the dogwhistle, but I'm not seeing the connection...

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WD's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:16 am

It is so effective that most people do not realize it is happening.

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HarryHodag's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:12 am

You are correct. The parable of the Golden Goose comes to mind. Yet just like addicts who live for their next fix we dutifully assemble each Sunday(or Monday, or Thursday or Saturday) and keep watching.

When I see a 50 yard line seat at the Super Bowl going for $22,000 you know that game is no longer for the beer and chicken wings crowd.

And all of us are part of the problem.

Money is the root of all evil. If you don't believe that then you also could be part of the problem.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 12, 2024 at 11:57 am

The correct quote is .".....the love of money is the root of all evil''. It makes a difference. Money isn't the problem, but what people will do for it , is.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2024 at 11:37 am

Put it this way. I will never attend another game @ Lambeau and I had gone to games since 1960 as a kid. The Superbowl would be good viewing for insomniacs.I watched two movies, probably could have digested a 400 page tome throughout the disaster called a Championship on Sunday. The Law of Diminishing Returns. I have a better time going to small college games on the weekends.

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LeotisHarris's picture

February 12, 2024 at 06:19 pm

"I feel it is very sad to see the NFL joining the globalist movement for the love of money. Placing greed over the fans is despicable."

Oh, WD, where to start? The purpose of the NFL is to make money, lots and lots of money for the billionaire owners of the teams. Capitalism demands growth. If companies like the NFL are not growing, they are dying sooooo, they must grow the game in new markets. New markets have TV set owners. some of them may have money to gamble! They may even want to buy some sweet merch.

The NFL is driven by greed. The product you see on the field is stocked with easily replaced commodities that all look alike for a reason. If one malfunctions another is ready to be swapped-in in an instant. It's celebrated as a culture of "next man up," but it's much more than that. It's a culture where a fan doesn't have to choose a particular team in order to consume the product. There's gambling woven into every aspect of the game, and fantasy teams allow for a guaranteed audience regardless of the quality of play on the field. Where the field is located does not matter. There are fields in Europe, the UK, Mexico, and South America. The NFL wants American football to be played on them.

Yeah, like JannesB noted, if Congress wanted to dust off the Anti-Trust Laws, we may see some movement of the needle, but the NFL cannot lose. That is a certainty. How much longer mooks like us continue to consume what is offered as "football" is not so certain. Consider one moment from last night's Super Bowl telecast; the winning touchdown. What might that have looked and sounded like if the cameras had stayed focused on the players in the end zone after the catch? What if Tony Romo wouldn't have had to flap his yap as the camera cut to a ball of people containing T Swift, a sad Kyle, a happy Andy, a sad 9er, a happy crowd, ad nauseum? What if they let the players tell the story? 1980 Olympic hockey; USA vs Soviet Union. Kirk Gibson's HR off Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 WS, Starr's sneak in the Ice Bowl. Those moments would not be captured in today's media clusterf*ck.

What we will be force-fed going forward as consumers of the NFL Reality TV Show? A more pervasive focus on real time analytics, further opportunities to wager throughout the telecast, even more disjoined production to feature star players, more cluttered viewing screen to accommodate the necessary dose of dopamine required for social media junkies, and maybe a shot or two of game action between commercials.

Full disclosure: I laughed out-loud when I read "globalist movement."

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:15 pm

He meant Jews, right? Hell, I didn't even know George Soros owned a football team.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 13, 2024 at 09:49 am

Everything you say is true. I especially like the 'NFL Reality TV Show'.

As always, we can choose to not participate, not consume the product, etc. And if we choose to be consumers, then we need to accept that there are going to be changes, some of which we're not going to like. I didn't like it when they banned the bump and run, or the clothesline tackle. But I haven't chosen to quit watching, like I did with baseball and basketball.

The Globalist stuff was kind of funny. Everybody loves money, not just Globalists.

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HawkPacker's picture

February 12, 2024 at 06:20 am

Nice article Ken. It is nice to see a different perspective on Mike Murphy.

I really have had no issue with Murphy although his 'silos' chain of command was not what we are used to and we still have some confusion as to how it works such as in hiring and firing and drafting, etc. In other words, we don't know who is responsible for various actions. Gute has taken some blame on various things but maybe it is Murphy we should look at. When I say 'we' above, I am looking at all packer fans especially ones here at CH TV as I read a lot of comments and most are negative of Murphy.

How good is the 'silos' chain? Well, I could ask how do the other sports teams organize their chain of command? Not sure if this makes sense as the other organizations have individual/family owners and it is somewhat different than GB.

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GregC's picture

February 12, 2024 at 07:27 am

Somehow, Murphy's use of the word "silos" has been misunderstood as years have gone by. When he changed the structure in 2018, here is what he said: “What this process showed me, within football we have silos, and we’ve had some breakdowns in communication. And one of the things that I really tried to do as I looked at it, what would be the best way to improve communication, improve collaboration among people within our football operations, and how do you knock down those silos? So this search process really identified some of those issues for me and was really very helpful.”

So no, Murphy's structure is not the "silos chain," it is exactly the opposite. If you think of silos, like on farms, they are each self-contained. Murphy's idea was to connect the various decision-making groups within the organization--to break down the silos. This may have been exactly what needed to happen at the time, due to the rot that set in during Ted Thompson's later years, when he was in mental decline. I think the restructure worked because Murphy is a football guy and was capable of making football decisions. Having said that, I hope they return to the previous structure when Murphy retires, with the GM as football czar.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 13, 2024 at 09:55 am

I guarantee you that stuff is talked about in the office. They see each other all the time. They have phones and emails. They have scheduled meetings.

The Prez has 3 employees: The GM, who is responsible for scouting and personnel and the roster, and the HC, who is responsible for the team on the field, and the Money Guy, who is responsible for making it all fit. Everybody has to work together in order for any of them to have success.

As regards Murphy's successor, I would suggest that initially, the most powerful person in the organization will be the GM, just like Thompson was the main guy when Murphy first started.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 13, 2024 at 10:25 am

Having worked in a heavily silo'd non-profit, the COO, and CFO regularly jockeyed for the ear of the CEO (who also had direct reports outside of the VP's). I was a lieutenant on the financial side and had a division that the COO coveted. The CFO was fiercely protective of her turf. In reality we just undermined the bad ideas coming from operations by axing them from budget requests. A lot of shit happens in the pursuit of the final product. To suggest that somehow because they're all in the same building that there's some sort of agreement on tactics and philosophy is really kind of naive. Every one of those three guys has an agenda and thinks they're absolutely correct. I guarantee they're all competing for Murphy's ear. Ball has an outsized piece of the power due to his ability to control the purse.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 13, 2024 at 06:03 pm

Interesting. I would think they would realize they'll either succeed together or they'll fail together. Maybe that's a significant difference between the executives of a non-profit and people in the NFL, the most competitive league in America.

Having stayed as far away from corporate stuff as I could for my entire life, I'll yield to your opinion on this, even if it is kind of depressing.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

February 12, 2024 at 11:19 am

The history of this is that Murphy already did run things the way much of the league runs things; he let Thompson run the football side and he ran the business side. But then he learned that late in Ted's reign as GM, he and Mike McCarthy were barely speaking to each other. At that point, he decided to make sure that communication flowed between all groups; personnel, coaching and the money man. You can imagine McCarthy's frustration when he had no input on the drafting or free agency process, no way to communicate the needs of the squad as he saw them, with his offense and his defense.

In the current system, Murphy oversees all 3 parts, so can make sure they are communicating and arriving at the best decisions.

MLF Is in charge of the coaching, Gutey is in charge of the roster and Ball is in charge of making the money work. In order to be successful they have to work together. And boy have they been successful, as the article points out. The only reason I can think that fans want to know every detail of who is responsible for what is so they can direct their anger and hate towards the person they think is responsible for not drafting the guy they wanted, not getting the FA they wanted signed, or not winning the game they wanted to win. Well, they all play a role in that and Murphy can take the heat as he is ultimately responsible for all of it.

So thankful for an article that points out how incredibly qualified Murphy was when hired and how successful the team has been on and off the field during his reign.

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TKWorldWide's picture

February 12, 2024 at 06:29 am

Y’all can rest easy. I’ve applied for CEO, so it’s only a matter of time. Yeah, baby!

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Houndog's picture

February 12, 2024 at 07:41 am

TK,
I don't know, man.
Your 'WorldWide' moniker has me a little nervous.
You'll have to clarify a few things during your campaign to get my vote, but I'm open minded about it. :)

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TKWorldWide's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:37 am

Ha! Understood. But have no doubt, my friend, I’d be a man of the (CHTV) people.

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Bearmeat's picture

February 12, 2024 at 06:31 am

There are more small market teams that large. The cap isn’t going anywhere.

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Guam's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:08 am

Lass wrote a very good article, but that paragraph about eliminating the cap really surprised me (and was not particularly germane to the article). Every major sport except baseball has the cap and all of them praise the cap for making small market teams competitive and keeping the sport interesting for all fans rather than just for the fans of a few big market teams. I don't think it is an accident that baseball used to be "America's past time" but has now fallen to third place behind football and basketball in popularity. The fans will have something to say about keeping the cap as well as the small market owners.

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T7Steve's picture

February 12, 2024 at 06:58 am

If Title Town will earn them enough money to not have to sell any more of the worthless stock to get support, I'll give Muphy the credit.

Still think it was a mistake for him to hamstring the GM. I think Gute has done a great job, but unless they hire in-house what top notch candidate would want to come in and replace him when it's his time to retire. He's either got to be a GM or he's just the head of the scouting department.

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Cheezehead72's picture

February 12, 2024 at 07:23 am

The Packers need to continue stock sales every couple decades just to give fans an opportunity to buy some shares if they want. Some fans do not have the means or are too young to buy them so they need to get an opportunity later on. Yes the stock is worthless in monetary value but it means a lot to fans and is a creative way to raise money that other teams cannot take advantage. It is a tradition that needs to continue.

No one is forcing you to buy the stock.

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T7Steve's picture

February 12, 2024 at 07:33 am

I didn't say there was anything wrong with the stock sales. It would just be nice if the team didn't have to resort to them to remain in business. They could still sell token ones to people that visit Title Town and probably do (but have no idea if that's so).

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Coldworld's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:17 am

The foundation doesn’t need them, but the stadium has. They provide a way to keep that ahead of the game. Being where it is, that’s a valuable alternative to the big metropolis funding demands made to retain a team when the Packers don’t have one and can’t move anyway.

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10ve 💚's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:34 am

"They could still sell token ones to people that visit Title Town"

That's not how it works. There are limitations on selling that priceless (what you call worthless) stock. Instead of me explaining it to you, you can read it for the link below:

https://www.nbcsports.com/nfl/profootballtalk/rumor-mill/news/league-lim...

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T7Steve's picture

February 12, 2024 at 11:00 am

I've got people stuck on the "worthless" part of my post. I wasn't trying to denigrate the stocks or the stockholders. Very proud the Packers can do that. Maybe it would have been less offensive if I said valueless? The only thing I was trying to say is that if Murphy was generating outstanding income in other ways, they wouldn't be forced to issue stocks to keep up with the Jones of the NFL. I hate it when these wealthy owners of teams try to force cities to build their facilities for them. They didn't build me a steel shop to do my business in.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:02 am

I am a proud stock owner and I will say this...I haven't had it drop in value one cent.

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Starrbrite's picture

February 12, 2024 at 05:33 pm

Agree on the stock sales—keep it going.

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Houndog's picture

February 12, 2024 at 07:53 am

Steve,
So OK, the stock might be considered 'worthless' by some, but talk to other team's fans about that.
The stock sale in the early 90's financed the Lambeau upgrades and continue to add the the Packer assets.
Fans of other teams get to pay $15, $20, and $30 THOUSAND dollars for personal seat licenses just to have the right to buy tickets at $150 to $300 a piece per game.
The 49er's Levi Stadium is like an oven on one side of the field with you looking right into the sun so badly you sometime can't see the plays. That's what you get for $40K upfront plus the cost of (2) tickets per game.

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T7Steve's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:08 am

Guess the only way I'll get to go to an NFL game anymore will be to become friends with Taylor Swift. That's at least as likely as a raise in pay enough to be able to afford to buy a ticket. Was over $400 in the cheap seats to watch the Packers play in Vegas this season.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

February 12, 2024 at 12:11 pm

Well does anything cost what it used to? Isn't this simple supply and demand? Folks that own football teams didn't get that kind of wealth by thinking more of customers than they did of the bottom line.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:06 am

I live in CA also Hounddog and went to the stadium when they played the Packers there and fortunately I had what I thought were crumby seats in the upper part of the south end zone which was shaded by the upper level and relatively comfortable. It was a sunny September game (I think) and it was like an oven for fans facing the afternoon sun and almost unbearable for them. Lambeau Field is like heaven compared to Levi Stadium.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:13 am

That structure also gives Gutekunst an out should he get an offer for total control at another organization. John Schneider had to kowtow to Pete Carroll and the Vulcans and Paul Allen for most of his career, but he was patient and now he is the MAN in Seattle. He hired the coach, he makes all the personnel moves and (as far as I know) Jody Allen goes to the owner meetings.

Be patient Brian, your time will come.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

February 12, 2024 at 12:16 pm

Or . . .maybe Brian is happy with his role. Who knows. It seems to be working. Schneider might have kept his job as long as he has because so many of the bad drafts were on Pete Carroll. And GB isn't the only one doing this. SEA did it. It looks like Eliot Wolf is in charge of personnel and that's it, like Brian.

Gutekunst knew what the deal was when he took the job. He and MLF seem to get along great and work together on personnel needs.

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Cheezehead72's picture

February 12, 2024 at 07:17 am

I agree overall Mark Murphy has done a good job and the team usually is contending for a playoff spot but to say that he has done a phenomenal job is not accurate. I would use that term if he had made unpopular decisions that made the Packers a superbowl contender every year not just a playoff contender at best.

MM made the decision that LaFleur, Gutekunst and Ball would report to him. If he is going to be that involved with the operation of the team then he needs to be ready to accept criticism when things go bad. You are wrong that he does nto get credit when things go well. He gets credit when things go bad.

The most glaring is his decision to stick with AR and give him that big contract instead of trading him. What did that get us? A losing season and salary cap bankruptcy. He went with the popular decision and decided to let AR run the team. He decided not to trust the GM he hired to be able to hire a head coach and he took over that responsibility. He hired a HC that also calls plays. That is too much for one man to handle. He has supported a 17 game season. He voted for the playoff expansion. Yes I like the extra week of football and two more playoff games but the playoff format favors the top seed. I believe he was involved in Bakh big contract which resulted in cap issues and a lot for very little to a guy that was unwilling to take a pay cut after sitting in the tub for seasons.

Yes the Packers are still a good team and trending up but how much better might we be if MM would have traded AR a year earlier. We could have had many more and much better draft picks, more cap space, and Love would have started a year earlier. Yes we might be worse than we are now but MM would have shown everyone he was not going to let a player take over the team especially a player with issues of thinking that he is the center of the universe.

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Houndog's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:02 am

I'm with you Cheesehead.
You pretty much covered it.
What Ken didn't mentioned was that Murphy was also very well compensated for his time in GB. So well that he was able to buy his own golf course.
Kinda' telling of where his heart is.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

February 12, 2024 at 02:28 pm

So it is somehow a bad thing that Murphy was paid well for doing a good job? How is that a bad thing? GB doesn't have an owner. If GB had an owner the owner would be pocketing all that cash. It's a huge job what Murphy does. Do you have some info that he was paid more than other top level pro-league administrators?

And if you get paid well for your job, your heart is not it in? Would you go to your job for sheer love of your job if you were not compensated well?

Murphy sure seems to me to have his heart in the right place.

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GregC's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:23 am

You are kind of proving Ken's point by blaming the "bad" decisions on Murphy, even though you have no way of knowing if Murphy actually made those decisions. And regardless of who made them, they were hardly catastrophic. The team went 8-9 one year and were right back in the playoffs the following year with a promising young QB. Let's also remember that Murphy hired Brian Gutekunst, who seems to be doing a very good job as GM. That is no small thing.

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Guam's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:37 am

Isn't the guy in charge responsible for all decisions, good and bad? And you certainly have to know that Murphy was involved in most major decisions like Rodger's contract or the current management structure. The Packers under Murphy made some good decisions and some bad ones and it is not unfair to lay both at Murphy's feet.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:18 am

Guam, I think you are correct that Murphy was involved in the major decisions.

I think that the HC, the GM, and the CFO, all have to work together to get the job done, and that it's the Prez. job to resolve disagreements among his three chief subordinates. If there's agreement among those people, that's easy, but when there is disagreement on a big decision (btw, disagreements can be helpful), then he has to put on his big boy pants and make a decision, a multimillion $ decision that will affect the team in a profound way.

IMO, that's how it should be. As I see the restructure, all it did was remove the HC from under the GM, allowing the GM to focus on personnel and scouting, and put responsibility for the team on the field under the HC.

Everybody still has to work together. That hasn't changed. And IMO, the Packer brass does work together pretty well. They don't do stupid things like trade premium picks for a 40 year old QB, or for a QB with multiple criminal charges against him, or for a guy like Jay Cutler......I mean, some of these things are just mind-blowingly stupid, but they happen elsewhere. Not here, not since the Bad Old Days during the Long Dry Spell. We don't draft Bruce Clark and Tony Mandarich. We don't trade for Hadl. We're better organized now.

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Cheezehead72's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:51 am

I was not saying Ken was all wrong. My point is that MM has made good decisions and bad decisions but I stand behind that AR was kept and provided a big contract because MM decided it was the best way to sell tickets and to keep the fan base happy. He decided not to make the tough decision and he hurt the team more than he helped the team.

It is better to get rid of a player too early than too late. We do not know if we would have been a better team if MM would have traded AR a year earlier but I am sure we would not have been much worse.

Yes that was MM decision because he thought it was best for the team. I wish he would admit it if I am right. But I am sure that will not happen.

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GregC's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:21 am

How do you know that AR was given the big contract because MM wanted to sell tickets and keep the fan base happy? What is your source for this information? It's possible that this is actually how it went down. It's also possible that Gutekunst wanted to keep Rodgers too.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2024 at 12:54 pm

The "we're not idiots," quote seemed to encapsulate his thinking at the time.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

February 12, 2024 at 02:33 pm

Yes, the old "better to get rid of a player too early than too late."

Well, you are missing a pretty major factor in why this is not particularly applicable. The player in question was just coming off back-to-back MVP seasons. You can count on one hand the number of players that won back-to-back MVPs. Rodgers was a rare talent and it sure didn't appear Love was ready to play.

I just don't see a GM or President or whatever title EVER in the league trading away the guy playing the most important position in the came at the highest level 2 years in a row. Nobody would have traded him. It is ONLY in hindsight that would look good.

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Guam's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:50 am

An excellent assessment Cheesehead72 and largely reflects my beliefs as well.

Murphy should be highly praised for Titletown and the business side of the Packer's operation. The football side is a significantly more mixed picture. Murphy's biggest blunder was his unlimited support of Rodgers which started with allowing Rodgers to win his fight with McCarthy and ended with that ridiculous contract rather than shipping him to Denver. That situation will always be a blot on Murphy's tenure.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:31 am

Since Rodgers did get traded......in a really lopsided trade....I don't think you can say "unlimited support". By definition, there was a limit and it was reached.

I like that you go back to 2017/2018, though, because I agree that's when the ship started taking on water. We'd had a great run at the end of 2016, and started 2017 looking like strong contenders, but Rodgers got hurt and the Gumchewer couldn't play. In 2018, there was obvious discord between Rodgers and McCarthy and rather than trade Rodgers.....for which they could have gotten a BUNDLE!!, they fired McCarthy.

I kind of thought then that we might have handled that differently, but then those consecutive MVPs made me glad we'd kept him. I wouldn't call keeping him a blot. It ended with us winning the most lopsided trade of the offseason....two early second round picks for a guy who played 3 plays. One of those picks is Luke Musgrave.

Whether we kept Rodgers a year too long or not, it ended well for the team.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:50 am

Two number 2's, one last year, as compared to the haul that Seattle got for Russell Wilson in those drafts, I'm not sure if our timing was better or not. I'm very happy to have Musgrave. Gutekunst had the courage of his convictions in trading up and drafting Love, which put us in the position of strength regarding dumping Rodgers. We fleeced the Jets, and we would have fleeced the Broncos.

I'll say that Rodgers lost out in the deal to the Jets, he could have cowed the Denver media, the NY writers will be coming with the long knives this year.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2024 at 12:56 pm

Love was the best value pick in the draft.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

February 12, 2024 at 12:25 pm

What a ridiculous take.

What GM in the league would have traded away a QB that just won back to back league MVPs? No one. Not a single one. Not a single GM now or ever would not have extended Rodgers after those phenomenal seasons.

And you freaking assume they are only interested in making the playoffs? Well you cannot get to the Super Bowl without making the playoffs. You can argue about certain personnel decisions or the way the roster was built; fine. But that's Gutey's role. You can argue about the coaching issues, fine, but that is MLFs role.

GB has done so, so, so much better than most teams in the league, despite paying top salary to a QB, LT, RB, and CB, which makes it really tough to field great talent elsewhere. They were competitive and in the run for the title most years. Most fans would be thrilled with that. Not spoiled GB fans. No, they gotta blame Murphy for extending Rodgers. Who knows what happens if he doesn't break a finger and if #69 heals up. GB was a game from the playoffs in 22 and made the playoffs most of the rest of the time under Murphy.

How much better would we have been? Every fan of every team can ask that question about every decision. But only in hindsight. Suppose they trade Rodgers and start Love and he has an AWFUL first year in '22 that he can never quite bounce back from. Because he WASN'T ready. You only have hindsight your side. Unfortunately, Murphy doesn't have hindsight when making the decisions.

Look at NO, NYG, DEN, PIT and NE without their super bowl winning QBs. Not pretty. Not pretty at all. That's why you hold on to a guy that just won back-to-back MPVs and the guy you drafted isn't ready.

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Guam's picture

February 12, 2024 at 05:04 pm

What GM in the league would have traded away a QB that just won back to back league MVP's?

Perhaps a GM who saw that same MVP perform rather poorly in both post seasons of his MVP years; who saw an aging superstar who was nearing the end of his career; who saw his team needed an influx of draft choices to rebuild from a last dance; and who had a buyer who was willing to part with many draft choices to acquire the aging superstar. And none of the above is done with hindsight - many of the commenters on CHTV were offering precisely these issues as reasons to trade Rodgers two years ago.

I agree it would have been a bold move, but not unprecedented. SF traded Joe Montana (3 MVPs and four Super Bowl championships) to make room for Steve Young and Dallas traded Hershel Walker at the peak of his career to acquire draft choices to rebuild an aging roster. The examples are few, but superstars have been traded before.

These are the hard decisions that leaders must make. I understand why Murphy made his decision to keep Rodgers and it wasn't an unreasonable decision. But it wouldn't have been ridiculous to trade him either.

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cdoemel's picture

February 14, 2024 at 03:58 pm

Here’s where you’re wrong in assigning certain blame to Murphy. Just because Gute, LaFleur and Ball “report” to him doesn’t mean he’s making their decisions or usurping their duties. At all!! It’s about communication, not control. But, people are gonna hate and blame even if they have to make up reasons. The consolation is that the haters and know-it-alls don’t have any more first hand knowledge of the day-to-day operations of those 4, or what happens in their meetings than any one else. So, when they sound like they know what they’re talking about? They just made all that shit up so they could have someone to blame rather than recognizing it’s an oblong ball that bounces funny.

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Oppy's picture

February 12, 2024 at 07:59 am

Mark Murphy deserves praise for how he has handled business affairs- which should have been the entirety of his involvement. He did a great job handling team finances and creating more revenue streams for the team to ensure their viability for future generations.

Unfortunately, he also stuck his nose where it didn't belong and started meddling in football decisions, a choice that unfortunately must be weighed into our overall appraisal of his career.

There was a lot of dysfunction on the football field due to MM's involvement, IMO.

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Razer's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:46 am

I think this sums it up well. His player meddling and handcuffing of those generals that he entrusted to do their jobs caused problems. He lost the line between the business of football and the football team.

In truth, I don't have a problem with the GM and coach structure, A poor GM can handicap a team and a good coach for years and then survive a purge or purges. The problem becomes the President making calls in the football team realm when he/she doesn't know enough about the game or is making calls based on short term popular vote.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 12, 2024 at 11:27 am

"The problem becomes the President making calls in the football team realm when he/she doesn't know enough about the game or is making calls based on short term popular vote."

This narrative that Murphy "doesn't know enough about the game" has been repeated ad nauseum on this site and has never failed to drive me crazy. He was an NFL player, an NFL union rep, athletic director at TWO universities. He's been involved in the game the majority of his adult life....but he doesn't know enough about the game?

I know this will drive the "clean house" crowd crazy, but the Green Bay Packers are one of best run organizations in the NFL and Murphy has had a large role in maintaining that over the last 18 years. I hope whoever replaces him does as good a job as he has.

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Razer's picture

February 12, 2024 at 12:24 pm

You got me wrong on Murphy "knowing enough about football". He knows the game and is capable on this front. My concern with the - everybody - reporting to the president is that the next guy/gal may not be a former footballer and may not know the game like Murphy did.

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Oppy's picture

February 13, 2024 at 02:06 am

He undermined the autonomy of the GM, and in turn also undermined the autonomy of the HC. He effectively gave the contract man the power to do his own bidding; or, at the very least, he gave the contract man the okay to draw up contracts that may not have (I'm being generous here) aligned with the vision of the GM or the wishes of the HC.

Things became an issue when Ted was clearly no longer 100% and certain elements were clawing to take control of the ship. While I do believe something had to be done, I don't think 'taking the helm' was the appropriate course of action. All he needed to do was appoint the next GM. Murphy tried to appease everybody because he didn't have the balls to tell Ball he's not the GM and won't be the GM, and needs to answer to the newly appointed GM.

Murphy was a fine coordinator of business. We are damn lucky that at some time over the last year, MM came to his senses and started letting Gutekunst do his job unimpeded. This is the part where you tell me I have no proof and I'm just making up a story that fits my narrative. I'll tell you if you that if you can't read between the lines and all the smoke signals over the last many years- and you don't see a difference in how contracts are now being handled vs. the last 5 years- you aren't paying that close of attention.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:39 am

To me the biggest mistake Murphy made was not being aware of Thompson's decline of health. His decline really hurt GB on the field and behind closed doors.

But Murphy corrected that and made sure to get the team heading in the right direction. Gutey has done a really good job overall as a GM. LaFleur has been a very good HC. He got the product on the field heading in the right direction.

To me Murphy will be known as creating Titletown. The vision to see the future and to see that having income coming in outside of the Packers has set them up for a long, long time!

Murphy overall has done a very good job as a president. Hopefully the next president can do equally as good of a job!

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Coldworld's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:51 am

I don’t think it’s ever been alleged that he wasn’t aware of the extent or nature of those health issues. Indeed he had Ball take on much of the role. It was whether it was handled in a way that was best for the Packers or Thompson that was questioned.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:19 am

Therein lies the mistake, the huge mistake of letting Ball make personnel decisions. That was solely on Murphy. He almost compounded it by hiring Ball as a GM.

Ball is a suit.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 13, 2024 at 06:59 am

This moment was the inflection point where the clean haus crowd was correct in their assessment.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:34 am

Regardless of how it went down, the way he handled it, was the wrong way to handle it. He essentially let it get out of hand.
But he took over and got most of it fixed. (to our knowledge)

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Razer's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:53 am

I agree with your assessment. The Thompson decline was sad and not addressed in a timely manner. The shake-up of the front office and hiring of Gutekunst were tough decisions that he got right and that have been the foundation for our continued success. I wish that he would have kept his hand out of prolonging the Rodgers era. Overall though, he has done a good job for this organization.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:41 am

I believe that the organization was prepared to move away from Rodgers. But he then won back to back MVPs and you can't walk away from that. Also Love was not ready at that point to take over. Had he shown he was ready, I believe they would have traded him sooner.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2024 at 01:03 pm

Love was ready. View the Film of the Philly game. He wanted to maintain a Legacy. It could have been a buy low, sell high scenario and reap a bundle of Picks which may, or may not realize the Value of a future HOF QB playing at a high level. He was hedging on a Playoff run, but the team was not fortified at the skill positions and getting slower. The Devante "last dance" season should have closed the door.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:45 am

''''''To me the biggest mistake Murphy made was not being aware of Thompson's decline of health. His decline really hurt GB on the field and behind closed doors. ''''''

Are you sure there wasn't awareness that Thompson had a hole in his marble bag? I mean, people talk. It's not that hard to see when an old guy like me has a wandering mind and doesn't focus like he did when he was younger. Nobody on the Board noticed or heard? Not his secretary? Nobody mentioned it to Murphy? Murphy obviously noticed it at some point and made the switch.

I don't recall the exact timeline, but didn't stuff happen kind of rapidly? IIRC correctly, after Rodgers got hurt and we finished out of the playoffs in 2017, the team right away said Thompson was going to be replaced.

That would mean that we made it to the Championship game in 2016, and we lost our QB in 2017 and then Thompson was gone. I'm not really sure how much that hurt the team, particularly since they promoted Gutekunst to Director of Player Personnel in 2016..

Personally, I think some people were plenty aware that Thompson was going to need to be replaced, and rather than a big splashy firing in the middle of a season, they decided to do it quietly and respectfully. I think it was handled pretty well, myself.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:53 am

As opposed to the shameful way that McCarthy was handled. That there was another Murphy blunder.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 12, 2024 at 11:25 am

Yeah i didn't like how that was handled either. To me they should have given McCarthy the respect to finish out the year.

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Coldworld's picture

February 12, 2024 at 02:31 pm

There was the Favre Media Contract fiasco. If one steps back, the real reasons we had the season we did are that
1) Gute hit a home run in a draft or two the last 2 years
2) We had the sense to unravel the disastrously foolish contract Murphy gave to Rodgers and start to shed the cap hit not vastly expand it.
3) Love turned out to be a good, perhaps inspired pick
Despite
4) We held onto our D coordinator a year longer than we should have, which may have lessened what those changes could have yielded already.

And now everyone is a genius? Murphy presided over 2 decades and one SuperBowl with 2 Hall of Fame QBs that spanned that entire period. We wasted the latter part of Rodgers 30s on Ball and then kept trying for a last dance as the roster declined and cap ballooned. Give me a break.

No, the structure is flawed. That’s a gift that will bite us if not repaired. Let’s hope Hafley is as inspired a choice as his predecessor wasn’t, but the glow of this season is based on the future of Love and recent drafts, not Murphy.

The one SuperBowl, the lingering dead cap, the ceding Rodgers massive control over the O, that’s on Murphy as is the flawed and opaque structure. No, I won’t regret his passing into retirement. I just hope we won’t be left rueing the structure afterwards.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 12, 2024 at 03:10 pm

"Murphy presided over 2 decades and one SuperBowl with 2 Hall of Fame QBs that spanned that entire period."

Two Super Bowls that GB absolutely should have been in:

The Seattle debacle when the idiot backup TE botched the onside kick and the Tampa game where GB had homefield advantage and Rodgers had Davantevision.

Somehow that's on Murphy. Got it.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 12, 2024 at 11:25 am

Yeah I have no idea how it was handled. I just know that the situation got away from him.

My understanding is he kind of let stuff slip for a few years, but I don't exactly remember how it went down.

I am happy though with Gutey overall. I know many were upset with Wolf not getting the job. We will see how he does in New England now.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:57 am

I will say this about Murphy: He is a money making machine for the organization with the expansions and additions to the stadium, plus all the sundry other activities and amenities which have been built. Currently with the added 5 or 6 thousand seats he plans to add with the increased license fees, Lambeau Field has the second highest seating capacity in the entire NFL. That is one boatload of bread that comes in via game attendance with every game being sold out for decades. Lambeau Field is the only stadium which has bench seating like we used to see at our high school football games when we were kids and that increases the bowl seating significantly over the individual seats which are used throughout every other stadium in the league. It may be a little less comfortable than individual seats, but everyone is nice and cozy on cold games (just a weak attempt at humor there). He had tough shoes to fill when he stepped in after Bob Halan who was talented and awfully well liked and respected...sort of similar to a quarterback following in the footsteps of Bart Starr which is hard to do.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2024 at 01:08 pm

The NFL Offices on Park Avenue drove the "Entertainment District" and neighborhood Land Grab. Policy was involved with the implementation of this generic Mega Mall concept. A lot of the Locals were not enthusiastic about the Sledding Hill which now has no snow to slide on. Time will tell who will dwell and who will be left behind.

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HarryHodag's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:18 am

I never saw Murphy as a problem. The Packers continue to thrive financially during his time. We all would like to see a Super Bowl.(Keep in mind the Packers beat the team that won the Super Bowl and came a minute away from beating the runner up). But so much of the job relates to off the field that it takes a unique person to fit it all together.

Murphy's time at Green Bay will never been seen as a negative to any thinking fan. I don't know of a better candidate to run a team who has a financial background, former All-Pro player, union head, college sports management background, etc. He also fit into the community quite well.

I wish him well in retirement.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:42 am

I think Murphy has done a real good job for the organization. Now, just a year ago, he was being called a usurper who was destroying the franchise, part of the 1265 clown show, etc., by people who want others to think they're smarter, better informed, more knowledgeable, than the people who run the organization.

He's done well. I hope the next guy does as well, or better. We haven't had a truly bad GM since Sherman, and I think we learned from that mistake.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:32 am

I will note again, Ron Wolf hired both Ray Rhodes and Mike Sherman, and he made Sherman both Coach and GM. Ron Wolf did not walk on water. I see that Wolf finally got his son another job. The best way to succeed in the NFL is to be born into a family that is already working in the NFL.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:54 am

Everybody makes mistakes, and it's great to have a legacy that opens doors for you. Must be nice.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2024 at 01:12 pm

Epic Fail and we bitched about it at the time. Andy Reid was waiting for the call up. The rest is History.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 05:11 pm

Yep. What could have been...

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Leatherhead's picture

February 12, 2024 at 06:09 pm

Andy Reid is a good coach, but he's never won a Super Bowl without Mahomes, just like Belichick never won without Brady, and McCarthy never won without Rodgers, etc. etc. etc. He would have been a better choice than Ray Rhodes, for sure.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:40 am

I would also note that Murphy did indeed usurp the role of head of football operations. That is just fact. He took Ted's responsibility as his own. You can't dispute that.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:56 am

He was in charge of the GM before that, and he was in charge of the GM after it. Sure, the GM could do what he wanted to, but the Prez could fire him,too. Just like now.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 05:13 pm

Realistically, the Board could have fired Thompson. I'd argue that if Murphy had interfered with Thompson Murphy is the one who would have been axed.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 05:16 pm

Also, the coach was hired and fired (and answerable) to the GM. A football man. Not a damn usurping real estate developer MBA, with the power of an owner.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 12, 2024 at 05:25 pm

Mark Murphy is not a "football man"? Seriously?

"From 1979 to 1983, Murphy recorded 27 interceptions, six fumble recoveries and one forced fumble during the regular season. He added an additional interception and a fumble recovery in the playoffs. Over his career, Murphy played in 109 regular season games and 8 playoff games".
"The 1983 NFL season was Murphy's finest of his career, though, as he led the NFL in interceptions with nine."
"Murphy was named to the 1984 Pro Bowl and received first-team All-Pro honors."

I don't know what the hell your definition of a "football man" is, but it's pretty damn ignorant if you actually believe Murphy doesn't fulfill the requirements.

As far as him being a real estate developer:

"In 2023, Murphy and his wife purchased the Maxwell Braes Golf Course in Door County, Wisconsin, with the goal of preserving it and preventing it from being developed into housing."

Do some research before denigrating a man that has accomplished more in his life than you could possibly ever hope to.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:12 pm

How many front offices did Murphy work in? Did he recruit at Northwestern? Murphy didn't know shit about pro personnel. That is a fact. He's Rodger Goodell with a diminished salary and a lesser set of responsibility. He's a real estate developer, a successful one, but he's not a personnel man.

If being a pro bowler is the metric, well hell, let's bring back Nick Collins to run things. Clearly it worked great for Detroit with Matt Millen.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:23 pm

No, being a pro bowler is not the metric. Being involved in football his entire adult life is. Obviously, that's beyond your comprehension.

You truly are an idiot. That is a fact.

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cdoemel's picture

February 14, 2024 at 04:05 pm

You don’t know that at all!! Where is your detailed hard evidence MM took over football operations?

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SinceLombardi's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:57 am

So they made a decision to draft Love as the replacement.. then they decide the Super Bowl window is open and Rodgers has to get the money… yet they know this will cost them Adams and desperately needed free agents. So they go into 23 with Allen Lazard as the number one receiver, no quality tight ends, a 3x failed defense with no upgrades and a kicker that maxed out at 40 yards.
Murphy is EXTREMELY lucky that the rookie receivers and tight ends bailed him out/ and that Love got hot in time… or they would be looking at his tenure wayyy differently.

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NFLfan's picture

February 12, 2024 at 11:52 am

@SL-Well-said.

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cdoemel's picture

February 14, 2024 at 04:05 pm

Smh. It wasn’t luck!! Good lord!!

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stockholder's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:27 am

Had the packers not made the play-offs
this would never have been written.

Clean House was the talk.

Now we're looking at the next man up.

Bringing in a person that KNOWs the job;
should be priority #1.

I'm against on the job training!

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2024 at 01:16 pm

Maybe Policy has the Inside Track? I surely hope Low-Ball is not on the Wish List.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 05:17 pm

I'm fine with considering Ball for that job, as long as he isn't supervising the football. I gotta believe Gutekunst would bail if he had to answer to Ball.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:16 pm

Time for a journey away from the Familiar and residuals. Bob Harlan was a guy brought in from the outside. He set a new course. The last SB was 14 years ago.

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LeotisHarris's picture

February 12, 2024 at 09:32 pm

jannes, Bob Harlan came to the Packers with a Journalism degree from Marquette after five years as Sports Information Director at Marquette, and about that same amount of time in public relations with the St Louis Cardinals baseball team.

His tenure with the Packers:

Assistant General Manager (1971–1975)
Corporate General Manager (1975–1981)
Assistant to the President – Corporate (1981–1988)
Executive Vice President of Administration (1988–1989)
President and CEO (1989–2006)
CEO (2006–2008)
Chairman Emeritus (2008–present)

Great guy, but not an outsider by any stretch.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 13, 2024 at 07:14 am

Damn, Cliff Christl strikes again! Thanks for the editing of the way-back machine. Getting foggy in here,sometimes.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 13, 2024 at 12:40 pm

Are you telling me that Bob Harlan had a hand in all those terrible teams during the Long Dry Spell, but kept getting promoted, and when he finally had worked his way to the top in only 18 years he was finally able to fix stuff?

Kind of funny about how year after year we were bad and the solution was already in the building.

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Oppy's picture

February 13, 2024 at 07:40 pm

We had a defense in the building?!

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Oppy's picture

February 13, 2024 at 02:35 am

Ball would be a colossal mistake.

Segue: Make no mistake about it, when Ted' health was dwindling, Russ Ball was maneuvering to take control of the GM duties before the throne was cold, and I don't think it was particularly honorable.

If they so much as consider filling Murphy's seat with Russ Ball, I would be shocked if Gutekunst stayed put- and I feel fairly confident there would be a lot of pro personnel / college scouts following him out the door.

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splitpea1's picture

February 12, 2024 at 11:12 am

His efforts on the business side of the equation should be applauded. However, I am strongly in favor of the traditional model when it comes to football/on the field matters. A smooth chain of command where everyone is mostly on the same page is the optimal way to go. I also don't agree that the arrangement "worked beautifully" during the tail end of the Rodgers years; lots of regular season wins, but no Trophy and the hasty extension in 2022 that produced a forgettable and somewhat wasted season. Also there was the firing of McCarthy with four games left in 2018; it would have been more appropriate to wait until the end of the season--we weren't going anywhere at that point anyway.

We can mostly thank Gute and the offensive coaching staff for quickly transitioning the Packers back to contending status after the departure of Rodgers. Now if we can fill some of these defensive holes like we did on offense in 2023, we are going to be a serious contender for a long time.

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CanPackFan's picture

February 12, 2024 at 12:35 pm

What's pissed me off most about Murphy is the reporting structure. A bad decision IMO. And his meddling with the last, ludicrous Rodgers contract is a prime example of why he should trust his GM and let him be a real GM. Gutes has shown himself be a superior GM and it's far past the time for Murphy to recognize that and take the training wheels off.

While Murphy has been wise enough to keep Gutes in a role for GB to succeed, I do wish that the next President gives more control to Gutes and they eliminate this silo reporting structure. GPG

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Johnblood27's picture

February 12, 2024 at 02:13 pm

Years wasted... Spent pandering to an extremely valuable, but toxic employee.

This will be Murphy's legacy.

See the response from an HR professional to a similar situation.

Managers, last night I got a call from a DTC Director in charge of a very busy tasting room and club. Bugged, distracted and clearly upset she said, "Hey, I need some guidance, do you have a minute?"

I said, "of course" and then listened for the next 30 minutes hearing about one person in her tasting room - top sales person, and top disruptor to the team.

The words argumentative, combative, greedy and above the law were all adjectives used to describe the employee.

Full transparency, I've known this DTC Director for 15 years or more. Cheery, wise, experienced and composed were all things I associated with the time I've known her. Her pain was palpable through the phone.

Then, I asked one question, "what's the difference between your most challenging but profitable salesperson's results and the rest of the team's?"

She replied, "that's the problem, there's a massive difference, and we can't lose the revenue!"

My response, "if you feel this way, don't you think your other employees feel the same way and it affects their results?"

I went on "...what I can tell you from 25+ years in sales, your team is being held down by one person. Morale, drive, communication are all affected when you have this type of person in your organization --

"...and unfortunately, you've allowed it to happen."

"Your job is to scale the business, that cannot be done with one person having so much leverage over management that you cannot manage the team and build a cohesive culture."

Winery, DTC and/or sales managers. Revenue at the cost of morale is a negative - the cost of turn over is very expensive. The type of employee is regarded as cancerous and should be managed, or allowed to be "excellent elsewhere".

This article from the Harvard Business Review will help you. https://zurl.co/1ixv

"For managers, it is important to realize that the costs of a problematic employee go beyond the direct effects of that employee’s actions — bad behaviors of one employee spill over into the behaviors of other employees through peer effects. By under-appreciating these spillover effects, a few malignant employees can infect an otherwise healthy corporate culture."

What I can share from our lens, every time we've seen this in our team, we act quickly, before the problem spreads. What we also learned, someone on the team was held down by that employee and rises to meet the revenue goals, or the team works together better to create a more unified approach and then the goals are met.

Either way, your business can grow again and sanity is restored.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 12, 2024 at 02:52 pm

Please provide examples of team morale being affected during Murphy's tenure as Team President that's going to be his "legacy".

As much as I was on board with moving on from Rodgers, I can't think of one of Rodgers' teammates, with the possible exception of Greg Jennings years ago, who ever had anything negative to say about him or playing with him. He became a pain in the ass for sure, but I've never seen any indication that it affected team morale., which it seems you're insinuating.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 12, 2024 at 07:32 pm

I asked for actual examples of morale being affected. A thumbs down without an explanation is not an example.

So...thumbs down all you want. But how about an actual example of morale being affected during Murphy's tenure. It's really not that difficult.

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Oppy's picture

February 13, 2024 at 02:20 am

A number of years ago, both MVS and ESB expressed the problems they had because Rodgers insisted they ignore their position coaches and do things his way. They were in a bind because if they did what their coaches were coaching them to do, Rodgers would get mad and not target them. If they ignored their position coaches, Rodgers would throw to them, but they'd be yelled at by their coaches and ride pine for ignoring their coaching.

We have a HC with an excellent offensive scheme that was, basically, not allowed to run his offense because Rodgers is a problem. Source: Look at the offense in 2023. Chock full of guys Rodgers would never throw to, A. Jones, despite being banged up for half the season, had 4 games over 20 carries- literally double the number of games he sniffed 20 touches over the previous two years. Rodgers insisted MLF's offense was so complicated he had to wind the clock down to zero nearly every play to make all the necessary adjustments- even though he barely utilized motion (a staple of MLF's offense). He also led the press to believe that MLF's offense was too complicated for young players, and insinuated MLF has to "Simplify" to correct course... Meanwhile, Love puts up stellar numbers utilizing all the rookie and 2nd year targets on the field, hands the ball off unselfishly, and somehow manages to use multiple, complicated pre-snap motions and get the ball snapped with 5-8 seconds on the play clock regularly.

Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings.. maybe not as "bitter" as everyone may have thought at the time. Donald Driver and Charles Woodson, who both would agree on Rodgers' amazing talent, were visibly uncomfortable on more than one occasion when the topic of Rodgers being a team leader came up. There was an entire article rife with sources from (at the time) current and past team mates who spoke of Rodgers' denigrating style of 'leadership'. There was, of course, the secret hand signal offense that wouldn't be taught, but Rodgers would expect WRs to know- even if he decided to use signals he hadn't used in 3, 4, 5 years- longer than some team mates were on the team.

Newsflash, read some of the reports just pouring out of Jets camp.

It's time for everyone to open their eyes. Or, don't, I guess, but please stop with challenging people who can see. Rodgers: unbelievable talent. Class "A" douchebag. The team is tighter than it has been in near a decade. Rodgers absence is not a coincidence.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 13, 2024 at 09:31 am

My post wasn't about defending Rodgers. In fact, I made it clear that I was glad Rodgers was gone. It was in response to the OP's post claiming that Murphy's legacy would be about how poor team morale was under his tenure. I disagreed and asked for examples. All I got were downvotes.

Your entire response was about Rodgers, not Murphy, who the article and the OP's comments were about. Believe me, everyone here is aware of your intense dislike of Rodgers. I really don't understand anyone taking it as personal as you have, but that's none of my business.

Once again, I'm glad Rodgers is gone. My eyes don't need to be opened. I've moved on from the Rodgers era. Maybe you should give that a try as well.

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Oppy's picture

February 13, 2024 at 07:36 pm

Rodgers' contract extension and mere existence since as a Packer since 2018 is almost assuredly the result of Murphy's interference in football operations.

Murphy's "Don't be the problem" quote is a statement that HE took control of the situation, and basically decided to fire McCarthy and retain Rodgers. The message: I'm overstepping my boundaries and sticking my neck out for you; don't make me look like a fool for doing so.

This was double-downed on after extending Rodgers to a mega-bucks contract during the offseason Gutekunst was clearly ready to shop Rodgers the holdout.. after Gutekunst clearly had seen enough of the discord Rodgers was sowing in the locker room by outright defying the new coaching staff in 2019 and drafted his replacement in 2020. It was Murphy who gave Ball the 'go-ahead' to re-up Rodgers as some sort of last-ditch attempt to reel him back in. This had direct consequences in the locker room. Murphy's continued tampering with player contracts had direct consequences on player contracts - Remember back to back "run it back" years and extending aging vet players we couldn't really afford with back loaded paydays and voided years? The very reason our cap has been in disarray the last several? That's all Murphy giving Ball the OK to appease Rodgers' wishes with personnel. Source: snide comments occassionally slipped into pressers by Gutekunst over the last several years about how we don't have to worry about cap issues because all we have to do is pay players later- a philosophy he clearly does not believe in.

Murphy disrupted the chain of command / structure that was endowed by Bob Harlan in green bay all those years ago, neutered his GM, and enabled the Rodgers beast that became a massive problem/disruption in our team. That's something we can't let happen ever again- and yes, that's largely on Mark Murphy.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 13, 2024 at 08:39 pm

I'm going to defer to your apparent inside knowledge about "Murphy's continued tampering with player contracts". I'm not sure where you're getting that info from, including what Gutekunst did or didn't "clearly" believe in.

It's all conjecture at this point. Rodgers is gone. Murphy will be soon as well. I sincerely hope the next power structure will be more to your liking.

One thing I hope we can agree on...the future looks bright for this young team moving forward.

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Oppy's picture

February 14, 2024 at 12:34 am

Shit ain't a mystery. You've got a Thompson disciple (Gutekunst) who is clearly taking shots at the poor cap management of his team (writing up contracts for aging veterans they can't afford by back-loading contracts and using void years) at yearly press conferences.

Thompson believed cap management was paramount, you draft and develop, and it's better to let a player go a year too soon than a year too late.

I know you'd like to paint me as an ignoramus who just has a vivid imagination.. but frankly, you just aren't very observant of what's going on in front of your face.

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13TimeChamps's picture

February 14, 2024 at 10:09 am

"I know you'd like to paint me as an ignoramus who just has a vivid imagination.. "

That's not true at all. I've always thought you were one of the more intelligent posters on this site. As far as me not being very observant, I guess I just don't have the time, or interest really, to do a deep dive into all the inner workings at 1265. I just enjoy watching the games.

The only real point of my post was to disagree with the claim that team morale was low during Murphy's tenure, to the point it will be his legacy.

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Johnblood27's picture

February 16, 2024 at 05:53 pm

I guess I just don't have the time, or interest really, to do a deep dive into all the inner workings at 1265. I just enjoy watching the games.

Im calling a very LOUD BULLSHIT right here.

If this is the case, why do you feel the need to call out the OP, (me?) on the issue that you "cant see" and then claim to be disengaged from even caring at that level.

As Oppy has stated so eloquently, if you need an explanation, you have NOT been paying any attention to anything more than a casual glance at the games every now and then.

Oppy dug the history up and placed it squarely in front of your face and you steadfastly refused to acknowledge that your original "callout" was in error.

It is unfortunate that this is your legacy on this site. This is not the first you have started a shitstorm where you were wrong and while back-paddling furiously you refuse to acknowledge your own culpability for the wrong turns of the thread.

There is a very good reason why you have long running feuds with some very good posters on this great Packer site.

Please just own it. We will forgive you. Not all of your comments are off base. Admit you are wrong when you are and we will all get along just fine.

Thanks for picking up the gauntlet Oppy, Im just too busy these days to write posts this long or as detailed and with such good memory as it took for you to do so above.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

February 12, 2024 at 02:40 pm

Well Ken, the comments prove the point of your article over and over again. Whining, complaining, blaming Murphy. I think so very much of the blame is focusing their anger and even hatred of #12 against Murphy. And using a ton of hindsight to judge decisions without considering the circumstances and knowledge at the time the decision was made.

There are so many teams that are run so badly. But GB fans think they are GMs, team presidents and coaches, all in one. They agonize over salary cap hits despite the fact that they haven't paid a dime of their own money. They hated on MLF and Gutey and Love much of the season and only shut up when they saw these guys might be good at their jobs.

The moment a loss occurs, or the draft takes place, or GB misses out on a favored free agent, the hate will be out in full force. These guys running the show are not perfect, but nobody is. But mistakes are not really tolerated by fans.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

February 12, 2024 at 04:54 pm

Actually, whatever business or corporate success that the Packers have achieved - during the last decade or two - should largely be attributed to the Board of Directors. At this level, long term plans are discussed, created, refined and set. While Murphy may have had some input into the planning - the blueprint has, no doubt, been largely authored by the Board. And the GBP has a wealth of business talent and experience that the organization can draw from at any time. That being so - Murphy's responsibility as President is primarily the execution of the GB business plan - which he has done with some diligence and competence.

Unfortunately, for Packer fans and the team - he also self-appointed himself as the co-GM. By shuffling his feet on the Ted Thompson health issue, keeping McCarthy well beyond his expiry date and totally fumbling the Rodgers trade opportunity - I estimate that the team is 1-2 years behind in it's development - where they could have been.

So, in conclusion, his retirement in 2025 cannot come soon enough for me.

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NFLfan's picture

February 12, 2024 at 06:25 pm

Most of the Board have been appointed by Murphy. I feel he overstepped
and hindered the authority of both LaFleur and Gute.My concern is that he will indirectly exert control from an 'Emeritus' Board position. I would like him to find a rewarding retirement life away from Green Bay.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

February 12, 2024 at 07:01 pm

The Board appoints the President - not the other way around. They (the Board) are the ultimate authority. This is true of any n.p.o. - which is the GBP.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:45 pm

If you have ever worked at the top of a non-profit, you'd know that one of the functions of the CEO is to attract members to and to provide direction and support to their Board. It's a fool of a CEO who gets led around by a Board of Directors, whether in the profit or non-profit world. Murphy takes his marching orders from New York and the offices of the NFL, not our quaint board of directors. The board may technically have the right to fire him for malfeasance, but in reality it's as likely as them building a nuclear reactor.

Do you suppose a well- meaning though mostly ceremonial Board of Directors, selected mostly from the community would have the expertise necessary to run a multi billion dollar asset? Don't be absurd.

Murphy runs the board, not the other way around, he likely sets the agendas and runs the meetings.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

February 13, 2024 at 11:31 am

You obviously haven't checked the bios of the 30+ Board members. More than enough talent and experience to run a multi billion dollar asset.

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NFLfan's picture

February 12, 2024 at 08:50 pm

@AP-I have heard the opposite. It is my understanding that Murphy has gradually hand-picked board members.

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Bitternotsour's picture

February 12, 2024 at 10:49 pm

Exactly. That's how it works. You build your board to support your vision. You add people who are either assets and supporters, or you add sheep.

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Oppy's picture

February 14, 2024 at 01:04 am

bitternotsour / NFLfan:

you two need to do some research on the Packers organizational structure.

With all due respect, neither of you have any idea what you're talking about.
Alberta_Packer is pretty much on the money.

"A 45-member board of directors is elected by the stockholders, who in turn elect a seven-member executive committee. The executive committee runs the Packers, and is ultimately responsible for the direction of the football team and organization.

Mark Murphy is the President and CEO of the Packers, and represents the team at the NFL’s owners meetings."

https://thepowersweep.com/blog/green-bay-101-who-owns-the-packers

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Alberta_Packer's picture

February 13, 2024 at 12:27 pm

A President may nominate a person to the B of D - just like any other Board member. However any nominee must be voted-in by the entire Board as a Director. Probably Murphy has nominated a person or two for Directorship. However, given the prestige of being a Director - vacancies are infrequent. In other words, it is highly unlikely that the Board is "stacked" with Murphy's nominees.

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Starrbrite's picture

February 12, 2024 at 05:52 pm

Murphy—mixed emotions; but overall positive.
1) Titletown—excellent!
2) Allowing Thompson to continue beyond his health capacity—negative!
3) Silo Adiminstrative Structure—negative!
4) Engineering a future NFL draft in Green Bay—Masterful and excellent!
5) Not trading ARod earlier—negative!
6) Purchasing his own golf course—what self respecting human can argue with that…excellent!
Good job Murph
Go Packers!!!

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Alberta_Packer's picture

February 13, 2024 at 12:40 pm

My calculation is a net negative. Titletown and the Draft are certainly fine off-field initiatives. All others - relating to on-field performance - have been a negative. Meanwhile Murphy purchasing his own golf course is a non sequitur.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 13, 2024 at 06:12 pm

On the field, one of the winningest teams in the league since he arrived , including the 15-1, best in franchise history season of 2011, multiple playoff appearance, division titles, and Championship game appearances, a Super Bowl. Those are negatives?

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