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XLV: Hurt feelings over team photo

1/25/2011

We've had another interesting Twitter afternoon in the NFC North.

We all know what happened Sunday with Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Tuesday, two prominent Green Bay Packers spoke out about the team's decision to exclude injured players from its official Super Bowl XLV photograph to be taken next week in Arlington, Texas.

Linebacker Nick Barnett and tight end Jermichael Finley, both of whom are on injured reserve, tweeted that they learned of the decision Tuesday. Barnett was the first to mention it, tweeting: "Kinda sad... Found out basically IR guys can not be in team picture... It's kinda sad to think.. Just goes you injured yourself you not part."

Finley then fired off this series of tweets:

We got hurt playing for the team. Its not like we got injury bs'in around.

And its a team rule! Shame

I never trip abt anything, but the way IR players are getting treated not cool

I guess its what have u done for me lately!

Barnett later clarified his original tweet:

I was not trying to be a distraction nor was I downing the organization they have done so much for me over last 8 years..

Just saying I am sad that it worked out the way it did.. This game is bigger then my feelings and my body of work.. It's about "One Goal"!

A team spokesman gave Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette this statement: "It was a team decision driven by the sheer number of players on IR. Our primary focus is to get the team ready to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. Every decision we make is about trying to win a world championship."

The Packers have 15 players on injured reserve, making for a particularly tough situation. I've seen these situations go both ways. Some teams incorporate their injured players into postseason festivities. Others keep them separate. In fact, I once covered a team that forced injured players to sit in the stands during playoff games.

Are the Packers shunning their injured players? It sounds like this is more of a logistical issue than anything. Feelings were hurt, but in a cold-hearted way, we can probably agree those feelings will have no impact on whether the Packers win the game itself.

When this ruckus began, my suggestion was for the Packers' IR crew to gather for its own photograph. Then, @billmarkut suggested that proceeds from that picture should go to the MACC Fund, a Milwaukee-based group that funds research into childhood cancer and blood disorders. Can I get a second on that?