#StateOfThePackers: Bloggers and Podcasters Share Their Thoughts
Recently, we here at The Power Sweep reached out to the dozens of bloggers and podcasters who cover the Green Bay Packers to survey their thoughts on the team, their roles, and who among their peers is excelling.
In total, 20 Packers internet influencers answered the survey. We’ll learn a bit more about our group later. (If you're a Packers blogger or podcaster and would like to participate in a future survey, we've got information for you at the end of the report.)
First, let’s dive right into the data on this year’s Packers squad.
Let’s talk first about their approval ratings
The first questions asked the group whether they approve of the job done by head coach Mike McCarthy, offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett, defensive coordinator Dom Capers, general manager Ted Thompson and president Mark Murphy.
After McCarthy and the Packers’ slow start last season, many placed the long-time head coach on the hot seat. Now, most of our surveyed group approves of the job McCarthy is doing.
Perhaps some of the group places blame for the Packers offense’s slow start on offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett. With a respectable 70 percent approval rating, no one is ready to pull the plug on the long-time Packers coach. Just this past offseason, we asked why Edgar Bennett hasn’t gotten more opportunities to be a head coach.
It’s no surprise that defensive coordinator Dom Capers has the lowest approval rating of out the Packers coaches and front office staff we surveyed. The maligned coordinator’s defense has shown signs of improvement this season, but the group is split on Capers’ performance. Only one in the group disapproved of the job done by McCarthy, Bennett and Capers.
General manager Ted Thompson sports the exact same approval rating as his head coach McCarthy. It seems the pair’s fates are tied together, which is no surprise given how long they’ve worked together. For his credit, Thompson completely changed the way he constructs a roster this offseason with the addition of some high-profile free agents.
We further asked the group to grade the Packers’ most recent offseason. 80 percent of the group gave Thompson and Green Bay’s front office a B, with 15 percent awarding an A. Only one response gave the Packers a C.
Not one member of the group disapproved of the job Packers president Mark Murphy is doing shepherding the franchise. Murphy has overseen two significant upgrades to the facilities in Green Bay – the south end zone expansion at Lambeau Field and the development of the Titletown District – and both have been met with high-praise.
It’s unprecedented how smoothly the Packers organization has been able to keep pace with other franchises in large markets, and much praise is due to Murphy.
How’s the 2017 Packers season going to finish?
The group is divided on just what the biggest challenge facing the Packers will be through the remaining games. Most cite injuries as the stumbling block. With high-profile players like Mike Daniels, Nick Perry and David Bakhtiari missing time early in the season, health has once again dominated the headlines.
An underrated storyline a few in the group picked up on was head coach Mike McCarthy’s play calling. One entry in particular cited McCarthy’s flexibility, nothing that the Packers “need to use [their] players for the talent they have, not force them to bend their talent to the plan of [the] offense.”
The group doesn’t seem too concerned about hot starts to the season from the Packers’ peers in the NFC North. Only one response cited that as Green Bay’s biggest challenge.
Safety Morgan Burnett has taken on a bigger role in the Packers’ defense this season. With Green Bay’s new “nitro” package, Burnett plays as a pseudo-linebacker in addition to his regular duties as a safety. Since 2010, he’s been a valuable member of the Green Bay defense, and majority of the group cited Burnett as the team’s most underrated player.
In the second spot was second-year linebacker Blake Martinez. Martinez seems to have leapfrogged fellow inside linebackers Jake Ryan and Joe Thomas for playing time in the early goings of the season, and had a tremendous game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3.
Whether he’s a running back or wide receiver, a few in the group cited Ty Montgomery as the most underrated player on the roster. Montgomery’s been a workhorse for the Packers this season, playing the majority of the snaps over rookies Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays.
14 of the 20 surveyed have the Packers losing in the postseason, while six believe Green Bay has a Super Bowl victory in them this season. With the Super Bowl being played in Minneapolis, Minnesota this year, there’s no question every Packers fan is hoping for a chance to take home a fifth Lombardi Trophy in the Vikings’ new digs.
Just 20 percent of those surveyed think the Packers will take a step back in the postseason, losing in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Last year, Green Bay needed a thrilling, last-second field goal to best the top seed Dallas Cowboys on the road to earn a trip to the NFC Championship Game.
Either way, the group predicts it to be a successful season for the Packers. Half of the group believes the Packers will win either 12 or 13 games, while the other half has Green Bay finishing the season with 10 or 11 wins. Given how 10 wins has traditionally been enough to make the postseason, it seems like the group expects another playoff appearance.
Thinking about the big picture in Green Bay
Looking to the future, the Packers will eventually replace general manager Ted Thompson. We asked the group who they would select to replace Thompson, if the candidate was available and interested in the post. Multiple choices were allowed.
While Packers beat writer Bob McGinn believes former Chiefs executive and longtime Packer John Dorsey will be the eventual successor, only 20 percent of the group would pick Dorsey.
The big winner was Eliot Wolf, son of Hall of Fame general manager Ron Wolf. Half of the group would pick Wolf, a surprising result. Seattle’s John Schneider came in second with 30 percent of the vote, followed by Dorsey and Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie.
Brian Gutekunst and Scot McCloughan each received one vote.
It’s the ultimate question to ask during a commercial break – who’s the best quarterback in Packers history? Green Bay has been blessed to have three of the all-time greats lace up their cleats, but only one can be the considered the best.
It may be a case of recency bias, but Aaron Rodgers overwhelmingly took home the crown. It’s hard to argue a case against Rodgers – he’s statistically at the top or on pace to be at the top of almost every quarterback record – and navigated a sticky situation in 2008 when Brett Favre retired and unretired.
Lombardi’s quarterback Bart Starr respectably pulled in a quarter of the vote. Starr still holds the NFL record for the highest passer rating in the postseason – a sparkling 104.8 – more than 46 years after he last played quarterback.
And now, a little more about Packers bloggers and podcasters
With the advent of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, you no longer need to work for a local newspaper, TV station or radio station to cover the Packers. There are dozens of high-quality blogs and podcasts focused solely on the Packers created by a large group of fans.
For most surveyed, their Packers blog or podcast allows them to connect with the team and their fans while living outside of Wisconsin.
If there is a common thread between how those who blog or podcast about the Packers came to be a fan, it’s certainly family. More than half of those surveyed cited family or close friends as the reason why they began rooting for the green and gold.
There are some interesting outliers in the data, too. One podcaster cited Madden as the reason why they became a fan of the Packers. A handful became fans of the team during Favre’s glory years, and his star power and charm led them to follow the team.
Finally, a survey respondent said they began to root for the Packers as a child because their favorite color was green. I’m glad you chose the Packers and didn’t root for the Eagles.
While the survey respondents may not live in Wisconsin, that hasn’t stopped them from cheering on the Packers in person. 85 percent have attended at least one game in person, and half have seen Green Bay play more than six times.
Those who were surveyed weren’t just fans of football. Of those who root for other Wisconsin sports teams, 80 percent also cheer for the Wisconsin Badgers. With the Packers drafting Badgers players like wide receiver Jared Abbrederis and linebacker Vince Biegel, it’s an exciting time to root for both teams.
It’s surprising to see the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks come in second place, with two-thirds of the surveyed group also cheering for the Bucks. It’s been well over a decade since the Bucks have competed for an NBA Finals appearance (sorry, fans of Michael Redd), but the arrival of Giannis Antetokounmpo has certainly ignited this group.
Despite a successful 2017 season, just 60 percent of those surveyed also cheer for the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers. Given how baseball is played in the opposite months as the NFL’s season, it’s likely that our surveyed group takes the summer off to recharge.
Are Packers bloggers and podcasters being paid?
It can be an uncomfortable subject, but the blogs and podcasts produced by this group of Packers fans rely on financial support from listeners and readers. Only 30 percent of those surveyed are being paid to cover the Packers, while 55 percent are estimating that they spend over 10 hours a week covering the team.
So, how much should a Packers blogger or podcaster be paid to cover the team? The average monthly amount in the anonymous survey came out to $650 -- encompassing a range of $50 to $2,500.
If you’re a Packers blogger or podcaster, you’ve got a chance to cover the games in person as a credentialed media member. 20 percent of those surveyed have applied and gotten credentials, and 65 percent have yet to apply for credentials.
What’s the highest quality Packers blog?
We asked everyone to select their top three favorite Packers blogs, based on the quality of their content. With so many blogs producing original, quality content, it’s no surprise that more than 10 blogs were named. Here’s who came out on top:
Other blogs mentioned include (in no particular order) Bleacher Report’s Packers Team Stream, Lombardi Avenue, Packers Talk, Packernet, SettingEdge and UK Packers.
What’s the highest quality Packers podcast?
We asked everyone to select their top three favorite Packers podcasts, based on the quality of their content. It’s never been easier to podcast, and the Packers are a popular subject to cover as a podcaster. Here’s who came out on top:
- Railbird Central, hosted by Brian Carriveau
- Acme Packing Company Podcast, hosted by Alex Petakus, Ben Foldy and Zach Rapport
- Blue 58, hosted by Jon Meerdink and Gary Zilavy
Pack to the Future, hosted by Brian Fonfara, Jordan Peck, Dusty Evely and Jon Jameson
Other podcasts mentioned include (in no particular order) the UK and Irish Packers Podcast, Locked on Packers, Packernet Podcast, Cheesehead Radio and Packers Therapy.
Who are the best non-media Packers personalities?
If you were chatting with your friends about the Packers and were asked to recommend one Packers personality (non-player) to follow on Twitter, who would you recommend? The results were clear:
- Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler)
- Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq)
- Packer Ranter (@PackerRanter)
Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL)
Nagler, the founder of Cheesehead TV and multimedia reporter and social media strategist for PackersNews.com, was the clear winner. After New York City-based Nagler had his Twitter account briefly suspended at the start of the season, Packers fans began a #FreeNagler campaign. While there’s no word on whether the campaign actually moved the needle, but Nagler did have his account unsuspended.
Mosqueda published a wildly popular “Being Ted Thompson” series on Cheesehead TV this offseason, where he highlighted the incoming NFL rookies who best fit the tendencies that general manager Ted Thompson prefers.
If you’re into the lighter side of Twitter, Packer Ranter is your go-to resource. Two friends, Robert Greenfield and Franklin Hillside, post witty comments and satire about the Packers.
Finally, Ben Fennell brings you extensive breakdowns of game film. His content can touch on any of the NFL’s 32 teams, but it seems Fennell has a special affinity for the Packers.
What would Packers bloggers and podcasters change?
If you gave the Packers bloggers and podcasters a magic wand and change one thing about being a blogger, what would they change?
The biggest request was for more access to the Packers. One survey participant wrote that they wished the Packers "would give more access to non-traditional media." Another mentioned they wished Green Bay would "allow access to the select bloggers that cover the team with professionalism and dedication."
For many, though, they wished more fans would interact with them on Twitter. So, if you're reading this and follow a few bloggers – don't be shy!
Well, that just about does it for the State of the Packers Blogosphere. We hope you’ve enjoyed this content. If you did not participate in this survey, but would like to in the future, please send a direct message on Twitter to @ThePowerSweep.