x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Green Bay Packers are passing the ball, not the buck

Want to own an NFL team? Well, the Green Bay Packers, owned by the citizens of Green Bay, are having a stock sale to raise funds for the renovation of their aging home, Lambeau Field.

Any impartial NFL fan in search of a team to support could do a lot worse than Green Bay.

It seems like forever since the Packers, 5-0 and defending champions, lost. (It was December 19, at New England.) Home is the 262nd-largest city in the US, so the club proudly carries the small-town banner. And followers are unpretentious enough to wear foam "cheese" wedges on their heads.

Two fresh reasons surfaced last week. First, the league's only publicly owned team is planning a stock sale to help finance a US$130 million (Dh477.5m) fix-up of ageing Lambeau Field.

Keep in mind that this is not your typical stock; the value of shares do not rise or fall, and no dividends are issued.

Buyers obtain voting rights and a certificate that affirms them as part-owner of an NFL team. At a projected $200 per share, that is a lot cheaper tab than the $500m for which the St Louis Rams nearly sold last year.

Second, on the subject of spreading the wealth, the quarterback Aaron Rodgers equalled a league record by completing passes to a dozen different receivers in the game at Atlanta. Typically, some diva wideout would throw a hissy fit at the egalitarian approach.

Give it up for Rodgers and coach Mike McCarthy for paying no attention to the name on the jersey.

With every eligible receiver thinking the next pass could come his way, the occasional gripe is a small price to pay. Same as 200 bucks per share.