We're Black and Blue All Over:
I hope everyone had an enjoyable and meaningful holiday weekend. Now let's get back to work.
In explaining why the Green Bay Packers haven't yet instituted pay cuts during the lockout, president/CEO Mark Murphy made an interesting revelation: The franchise's revenue hasn't yet fallen off. Here's what Murphy told Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette:
"Each team has to make their own decisions, and some teams have been affected already. We're very fortunate I think with the type of fans we have and the success we had last year. We haven't seen a drop-off in ticket revenue or premium seats, where some of the other teams in the league, they've already seen losses in revenue."
The Packers have seen a small reversal in corporate sponsorships, as Murphy suggested they might earlier this spring, but to this point Packers fans haven't reacted to the lockout in a negative way with respect to their wallets. We've extensively discussed the idea of paying for season tickets during a lockout when no games are guaranteed, but it's clear that the alternative -- giving up and heading to the back of a long waiting list -- isn't a realistic option for many.
To this point, at least, that decision has saved jobs and maintained payrolls within the Packers organization.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Packers will invite all members of their roster, including pending free agents, to their June 16 Super Bowl ring ceremony, according to Vandermause.
The brother of Packers rookie linebacker Ricky Elmore, who was forced to quit football because of a heart defect, is trying to return to the game. Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette has more.
In an interview with Dave Orrick of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said the franchise declined an appearance on the HBO reality series "Hard Knocks."
Jeremy Fowler of the Pioneer Press offers an extensive profile of Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, including the role of his father -- a former NFL player -- in his football development.
Ponder and 10 other Vikings players are expected to begin working out together Tuesday in Florida, according to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
Detroit Lions receiver Derrick Williams has reached a crossroads in his career, writes Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.
Veteran safety Erik Coleman is expected to have a substantial role with the Lions in 2011, notes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Among the unknowns for the Chicago Bears during the lockout: Only two members of their punt team, long-snapper Patrick Mannelly and safety Major Wright, are under contract for 2011. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune has more.