CQ NRL Bid team scores touchdown
GREEN Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws a Hail Mary into the end zone and ... touchdown Geoff Murphy.
Before Eli Manning delivered the New York Giants another last-minute Super Bowl triumph over the New England Patriots earlier this week, Murphy completed a match-winning play in Central Queensland's quest for a national rugby league team.
The CQ NRL Bid chairman has returned to Rockhampton after a whirlwind visit last month to the home of the Green Bay Packers where he made some powerful new friends and clinched a "sister club" agreement with the NFL's most successful franchise.
Speaking to The Morning Bulletin yesterday, Murphy was still "blown away" by his Wisconsin experience and revealed Packers chief executive Mark Murphy had agreed to be in Rockhampton for Central Queensland's first match in the NRL.
Murphy, the CQ NRL Bid team's quarterback and key player, takes up the story from his JM Kelly office.
"What actually happened was a very good friend of mine and a very good friend of the Bids Paul Broughton (Gold Coast Titans chairman) wrote to the Packers on our behalf and told them about our Bid and Mark Murphy (from the Packers) wrote back to us, which I was quite thrilled about," Murphy said.
"So I contacted them and asked if I could come over and talk to them and learn more about them and it went from there. I took it upon myself that with Beef 2012 coming up I had to go over sooner rather than later.
"Other than the weather," he laughed.
"I was blown away by the similarities between the Green Bay area and Central Queensland."
Murphy, who is also chairman of Beef Australia, said the similarities between the two entities included the populations, ties to the meat industry, a salt works and passionate supporter bases.
Packers fans drive up to four hours to attend one of their games.
"There's no doubt we can learn a lot from the Green Bay Packers, they're the most successful franchise in America," said Murphy, who received a No.12 Aaron Rodgers Green Bay jersey in the mail three days ago from his new friends.
"They've agreed to be a sister club with us and in the long run that's going to be extremely, extremely important to us.
"One of the things I wanted to bring home from the experience was to form an exchange system of employees (players) and management when we get our team.
"Mark Murphy has also agreed to come out to sit in our stadium in 2015 for kickoff. It's very exciting times for us and what we can learn from them is enormous."
One of the highlights of Murphy's trip was coming across a sign that accompanied the 1958 Chevrolet pick-up truck displayed on the merchandise floor at the Green Bay Packer's Lambeau Field.
"On the truck was a sign from a local business which said something along the lines that this vehicle was donated to the Green Bay Packers to acknowledge what the team had done for business in the area," Murphy recalled.
"The last three years I've been trying to tell people in Central Queensland how they would benefit from a rugby league team.
"That really choked me up because this is what I've been saying and there on the truck was tangible evidence."
- To many, Green Bay is best known for its professional football team, the Green Bay Packers.
- Founded in 1919 by Curly Lambeau and George Calhoun, the Packers have gone on to earn national stature and virtual worldwide recognition by winning more championships (13) than any other team in professional football.
- These achievements have come while representing a city that currently boasts around 110,000 people (Rockhampton has 120,000) in competition with the country's population giants.