Saturday, June 09, 2007

Blasts from the Past: Podcasts with Lombardi Legends

The 37th Annual Vince Lombardi Golf Classic tournament is taking place this weekend in Milwaukee...well, Menomonee Falls actually, a Milwaukee suburb. And it is one of the best places to see a lot of former Packers and other NFL and sports celebrities gathered together. Inevitably, stories turn to days of yore. After all, this is a tournament in honor of The Coach himself. Some stories relate to today, as well. On occasion, a microphone is nearby and we get to listen in.

We are treated to two such episodes in the form of podcasts courtesy of 620WTMJ radio in Milwaukee. Sports poobah (and did you know that the term "poobah" originated in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado?), Bill Michaels, landed both interviews.

One compelling conversation is with Packers great Jerry Kramer, one of the best guards to ever play the game and who is still not in the Hall of Fame...but that's a whole other topic. In this interview, Kramer talks about his fight for better pensions and treatment of former NFL players. He has created an organization dedicated to this effort called Gridiron Greats which, by the way you can find in the Links area of You can listen to this podcast by clicking here.

Michaels also hosted a one-of-a-kind roundtable discussion with a group of Packers who played in the Ice Bowl 40 years ago: Bart Starr, Jerry Kramer, Max McGee, Bob Jeter and Zeke Bratkowski. WTMJ's Jay Sorgi also helped facilitate things. Check it out here.

Barry Released

Packers offensive lineman Kevin Barry -- of "U71" package fame -- was released by the team yesterday. Barry was a favorite of former coach Mike Sherman for the power run blocking scheme he favored. However, with the move last season under new head coach Mike McCarthy toward a zone blocking scheme Barry no longer was a good fit. He was also hurt in training camp, rupturing a thigh tendon which sidelined him for the season. A Racine, Wisconsin native, Barry was a fan favorite. Being released by the Packers stung a bit, according to reports. But immediately upon being released his agent began receiving calls. A player of his size and ability, assuming he can make a full recovery from his injury, will certainly find a place somewhere in the league. Good luck, Kevin. It was fun watching you pancake opposing players. Just hope you don't do it to any of your former teammates any time soon.