1) Introduction: I’m not entirely sure how I’m supposed to “grade” Packers team president Mark Murphy, but I’m going to try. Do I watch film of his speeches and critique based on the number of stammers and stutters? Do I deduct half a grade if his hand-shake while schmoozing with league officials isn’t firm enough? What about how he treats his secretary and other team staff? A positive grade for saying “please” before issuing an order? A negative grade for putting an appointment on his own personal Outlook calendar, but forgetting to put it on the office-wide shared Outlook calendar?
- Age: 59
- Born: 7/13/1955 in Jacksonville, FL
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 218
- College: Colgate
- Rookie Year: 1977
- NFL Experience: 8 years as a player, 8 years as Packers team president
3) Expectations coming into the season: Don’t completely embarrass the entire Packers organization. That’s all us fans want out of the higher-up team executives who aren’t involved in the day-to-day management of football operations, right? Don’t pull a Jerry Jones and take racy photos with young women that end up hitting the internet. don’t say racist things like Marge Schott used to. Don’t do anything Dan Snyder does. As usual, Murphy kept his pants on, his mouth shut and didn’t dabble in football operations this season. In other words, he vastly exceeded our expectations.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: But let’s not give Murphy an “A+” just yet. Oh no, Packers fans have high expectations. That’ll happen when you had a man like Bob Harlan running the team in the 90s and rescuing it from the depths of the NFL. You gotta do more than just avoid controversy and embarrassment to win us over. And here is where Murphy struggles. Exhibit A: The Brett Favre Packers hall of fame induction ceremony should be held at a large venue with tickets sold to the public. By only allowing corporate suits and other big-wig types access to the event, Murphy and the Packers are 1) missing a big opportunity to make even more money off the event and 2) thumbing their nose at Packers fans who are dying to see Favre’s “official” return to Green Bay. Murphy also let the G-Force debacle drag on for far too long before finally killing it in favor of #GetLoudLambeau at the end of 2014. I also get the sense that Murphy isn’t very tuned into just how passionate Packers fans are. Too often, it feels like fan interaction or gameday experience types of things have been planned by some overpriced out-of-state consulting firm that thinks Green Bay is like any other town that’ll go for whatever works at Madison Square Garden during Knicks games.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Kudos for Murphy for getting contract extensions done for both general manager Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy this season. It’s not easy maintaining a healthy productive working relationship between a team owner/president, general manager, head coach and superstar quarterback. That’s a lot of egos to manage. A team president has to know his role and have confidence in the football people he’s hired to do the job. Murphy has done that, and the Packers are better off because of it. Can you imagine having to deal with a mettling owner like Snyder or some upstart who got rich off the dot.com boom overseeing the Packers and thinking he knew more about which right tackle to draft than Ted Thompson? I shudder just thinking about it.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: They never show Murphy watching a playoff game, or any game, from his luxury suite. It’d be nice if they showed Murphy on TV every now and then. You can tell a lot about a man based on how he watches a football game? Does he sit by himself and focus solely on the game, ignoring the rich guests that surround him in his suite? Does he slap backs and shake hands with the other CEOs in the suite, ignoring the game altogether? Does he get drunk and say uncomfortable thing as the game wears on? Does he act like any other fan and give high fives and man hugs after the Packers score a big touchdown? These are things Packers fans deserve to know.
7) Intangibles: Murphy needs to book some better concerts at Lambeau. Enough with the Kenny Chesney and pop country/hick hop garbage. Bring in AC/DC, Metallica or whatever band wrote and performed the “Bears Still Suck” song.
Season Report Card:
(A+) Don’t embarrass the entire organization and don’t mettle in football operations that you know nothing about.
(D+) Properly balance giving the fans what they want and appeasing rich corporate sponsors.
(C+) The Packers are better off because Mark Murphy is the team president
Overall Grade: B-——————
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .