The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame welcomes the class of 2010 Saturday night with the induction ceremony at the Lambeau Field Atrium. Three players will be enshrined, tight end Marv Fleming, offensive tackle Greg Koch and tight end Mark Chmura. Fleming was the understated pass catcher in the glory years, appearing in 95 games during his 7 year career from 1963 to 1969. Fleming was an 11th round draft choice out of Utah. Koch was second round pick out of Arkansas in 1977 and manned the right tackle position for the Packers for the next 9 years playing 133 games before finishing his Green Bay career in 1985. Koch was a bright and outspoken voice in the locker room. He was a solid player on a team that never quite got over the hump under head coach Bart Starr. The team made the 1982 Super Bowl tournament with an explosive offense and a seive for a defense. When Forrest Gregg came on board for the 1984 season, the team slumped back to .500 and the following year, he cleaned house from the veteran corps, including Koch. Mark Chmura came to the Packers as a 6th round pick out of Boston College in Ron Wolf's first draft as Green Bay's general manager in 1992. He immediately became one of Brett Favre's favorite targets and along with center Frank Winters, were annoited the three amigos for their togetherness on the field and friendship, sometimes wild, off-the field. Chmura's best season was in 1995 when he caught 54 passes for 679 yards and 7 touchdowns. A neck injury all but ended his career in 1999 but in the spring of 2000, he was involved in an off field incident in Waukesha, charged with sexual assault after a prom party involving high school students. Chmura was released by the Packers before his trial and was later acquitted. I grew up watching Fleming with the Pack in the 60's and covered both the careers of Koch and Chmura. Greg and I often clashed, as he called me "the most sarcastic reporter" on the beat. After leaving Green Bay, Koch joined the Miami Dolphins and made a crack about a nice wardrobe in Green Bay is a bowling shirt and fans promptly mailed him hundreds of them. Chmura's locker was conveniently located in a tight corner of the old locker room at Lambeau field and he used the location to keep reporters at arms length, but he was always insightful when talking about the team's rise to become eventual Super Bowl Champions. Congrats to all three, immortalized as Packer Hall of Famers this weekend.
I'm taking my pre-season hiatus for a couple of weeks but the blog will return once the Packers open training camp and you can expect constant updates throughout the 2010 season.