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Thursday, August 11, 2011
BBAO: Packers to see three airports Friday

By Kevin Seifert

We're Black and Blue All Over:

The Green Bay Packers will conduct their final practice of the week Thursday and then embark on a unique training camp experience.

Their entire team, including rookies and other newcomers, will fly Friday to Washington, D.C., to meet President Barack Obama and enjoy their final celebration for winning Super Bowl XLV. Then the team will fly to Cleveland, where they are scheduled to arrive at 7 p.m. ET, and settle in for Saturday's preseason opener against the Browns.

Players who have moved on to other teams won't participate, even as the Packers' new players (who weren't with them in January) will. According to Jason Wilde of, coach Mike McCarthy said: "It's the best that we could do under the circumstances. It's a business trip and also an invitation to the White House, all in one."

Obviously, no NFL coach wants to interrupt training camp for a celebratory visit. Absent the lockout, this trip probably would have taken place months ago. But it's good to see that McCarthy isn't allowing coaching dogma to block a unique opportunity for scores of Packers players, coaches and staffers.

Continuing around the NFC North: