GRAPEVINE

Packer Plus - - News - NFL Grapevine Mike Hart From Packer Plus wire re­ports and other news sources. Send email to mhart@jour­nalsen­tinel.com

Th­ese Pack­ers com­mit­ted some royal blun­ders

The Royal Wed­ding is be­hind the good folks of Lon­don now.

You can bet that all the pomp and cir­cum­stance that went along with it will be on dis­play again when the Ti­tans play the Charg­ers at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium.

Ac­tu­ally, the Royal Wed­ding shat­tered the Su­per Bowl’s record for the long­est pregame show. Speak­ing of the pregame show, one couldn’t help but no­tice that no­body was tail­gat­ing in front of Buck­ing­ham Palace.

Some peo­ple at your cor­ner pub were baf­fled by this event. Upon hear­ing about the func­tion, there was prob­a­bly some con­fused lo­cal yokel who snorted, “I thought Brady was al­ready mar­ried to that su­per­model!”

It ap­peared that the NFL was not rep­re­sented at the Big Gig. Not even fun­ny­man Roger Good­ell.

So there may have been a hand­ful of snubbed play­ers tak­ing two-slice toast­ers back to Good­will over the week­end.

And who would have thought that leg­endary partier Rob Gronkowski wouldn’t have flown over to Lon­don any­way and tied cans of Old Mil­wau­kee to Prince Harry’s bumper.

In­quir­ing minds wanted to know if Meghan Markle would be the great­est dutchess ever.

So an opin­ion was sought from some­one in the know.

“She con­trols her own destiny,” said an un­named NFC North scout.

What about Prince Harry? Will he be the great­est prince ever?

“He’s just a guy,” said an un­named AFC West scout.

When you get down to it, Lon­don and Green Bay have a lot in com­mon.

In Lon­don, all they have to look for­ward to is the royal hap­pen­ings and the fog.

In Green Bay, they look for­ward to the Pack­ers and snow.

The Pack­ers sea­son, by the way, has of­fi­cially started with the first OTAs. Th­ese get-to­geth­ers are very im­por­tant. It’s where Clay Matthews teaches the new guys how to pour wa­ter on their hair and then fling their locks.

There are some con­nec­tions be­tween the Pack­ers and roy­alty that may have been over­looked.

One ex­am­ple is coner­back Kevin King. With a last name like that, he could prob­a­bly get free truf­fles in Lon­don.

And, at some point in her life, Queen Lat­i­fah may have worn a cheese­head or hap­pened to glance at a tele­vi­sion that had a Pack­ers game on.

Mean­while, the Pack­ers have had more than their share of court jesters. Let’s take a trip down mem­ory lane.

Tony Man­darich: The clown prince was drafted ahead of Barry San­ders, Der­rick Thomas, Deion San­ders and Eric Met­calf. Some of those guys could play a lit­tle foot­ball. Man­darich could not. And his hold­out went on and on and on. Boy, was it funny when he fi­nally signed and tried to block peo­ple. You could hear the guf­faws in Lon­don. Brent Full­wood: This jokester sat out the sec­ond half of a 27-13 loss to Chicago on Oct. 7, 1990, af­ter car­ry­ing the ball twice for mi­nus three yards. Full­wood said he was too ill to con­tinue play­ing. Ah, the old tummy ache. Pack­ers coach Lindy In­fante said Full­wood went to a Green Bay night­club Sun­day night. “It’s hard to keep se­crets in Green Bay,” said the coach. In­fante we trust. The next day Full­wood was traded to

Cleve­land. That’s kind of like go­ing to Siberia.

Ter­rell Buck­ley: A bar­rel of laughs. Best known for not cov­er­ing any­one while he was gain­fully em­ployed by the Pack­ers. In par­tic­u­lar, he wasn’t in the same area code as the great Eric Guli­ford — a rookie free agent re­ceiver in for his first play of the year — with the Pack­ers cling­ing to a 13-12 lead in the wan­ing sec­onds at Min­nesota on Sept. 26, 1993. On third-and-10 from the 50, Jim McMa­hon com­pleted a 45-yard pass to Guli­ford with six sec­onds left to set up the win­ning field goal. OK, what hap­pened? Ac­cord­ing to McMa­hon: “Ter­rell Buck­ley said on the play be­fore that, ‘McMa­hon can’t throw it that far.’ ”

Mike Sher­man: He traded up in the draft to grab abysmal punter B.J. Sander in the third round in 2004. “I don’t look at it as overly risky,” Sher­man said af­ter the draft. “I look at it as risky if I didn’t take him.” Sander couldn’t punt and quickly got punted. It is good to know that Sher­man could find work at a com­edy club if this foot­ball thing doesn’t work out.

T.J. Rub­ley: He be­came the laugh­ing­stock of the NFL in his only game as a Packer. He called an au­di­ble against Min­nesota on Nov. 5, 1990, in the Metrodome. The game was tied, 24-24, and the Pack­ers were on the Min­nesota 38. On third and about a foot, with a minute to go, the fun­ny­man de­cided to not go with the quar­ter- back sneak and throw a pass. The pass was in­ter­cepted and Min­nesota went on to win. “It prob­a­bly ended up cost­ing us,” Rub­ley said. Ya think? At least Rub­ley, who was cut a few days later, never went on to be­come a sur­geon.

Ed Donatell: The comic stylings of this de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor re­sulted in a fourt­hand-26 be­ing con­verted. Wacky, zany and mad­cap.

There you have it. A King, Queen and plenty of court jesters.

There will be sim­i­lar ex­cite­ment in the air when Green Bay opens at home on Sun­day night Sept. 9 against the Bears.

And, to top it all off, Bears fans are a royal pain.

VINELINES

Eli Man­ning of the New York Gi­ants: “Philly, you just gotta get used to… be­cause you’re not used to see­ing a 9-year-old curs­ing at you and talk­ing about my mom and stuff. Once you get used to it, it’s fine. It just takes a year or two. Now (15 years later) he’s 24 and train­ing his 4-year-old to curse at me.”...

Scott Ostler of the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle, af­ter 49ers GM John Lynch said he was “es­sen­tially scout­ing” while at­tend­ing a War­riors game: “Lynch could (and prob­a­bly will) do a lot worse than Dray­mond Green at free safety.”...

Nor­man Chad, syn­di­cated colum­nist: “At the Met Gala, Tom Brady was wear­ing a black turtle­neck un­der­neath a Ver­sace tuxedo fea­tur­ing elab­o­rate gold em­broi­dery on the lapel. If he had worn this en­sem­ble in mid­dle school, his class­mates would have voted to hold him back a year.”... Greg Cote of the Miami Her­ald: “If dis­re­spect and doubt were wings, Ryan Tan­nehill would be ready to take off and soar. He would be poised to fly higher than we have ever seen him, with the Miami Dol­phins on his back and along for the joy ride.”... Alex Kase­berg, com­edy writer: “ExRaider, Al­don Smith, re­cently blew a .41 blood-al­co­hol, five times the le­gal limit. Com­mit­ment to Ex­ces­sive­ness. Just Gin, Baby.”

AP

Great Bri­tain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ride in an open car­riage af­ter their wed­ding cer­e­mony at St. Ge­orge's Chapel in Wind­sor Cas­tle.

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