Found May 07, 2013 on
Fox Sports Wisconsin:
Green Bay Packers
Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Chiefs
Illinois State Redbirds
Friends, co-workers and classmates of Nate Palmer are still processing what happened and how to react to it. Living in what Palmer described as "the heart of Bears Country," the Green Bay Packers' sixth-round draft pick has suddenly joined up with the enemy, leaving those around him a bit conflicted.
"Every time I see someone now, they say, 'I'm going to cheer for you, but not the team,'" Palmer said in an interview with FOXSportsWisconsin.com. "I told them you can't get one without the other. A few of my friends who were Bears fans said they're going to jump on the Packers' bandwagon."
Up until only a couple weeks ago, Palmer was just like his friends, actively rooting against Green Bay.
"I've always been a Bears fan," Palmer said. "Times have changed. Right now, you can't be a fan anymore. The fan in you has to go away for this process."
Palmer is making himself an easy target for those he's come across in Illinois since the draft. The team gave him a hat and T-shirt, and Palmer has been wearing the green and gold Packers hat every day on campus and around his hometown.
"People keep telling me I've got the wrong hat on," Palmer said.
One of his co-workers at an internship in Illinois went beyond just criticizing his choice in headwear. A woman named Christie left a note on Palmer's desk after he returned to the office the week following the draft.
"As a loyal Bears fan, I'm sorry to say that I can no longer speak to or work with you," the note read, which Palmer posted on his Twitter account. "I feel betrayed."
Though Palmer laughed at the note and didn't take it overly seriously, it's a reminder to just how much the Packers-Bears rivalry means to many fans. Palmer, himself an admitted Bears fan for the first 24 years of his life, is finding out what it's like to be on the other side now.
"It's serious," Palmer said of the animosity between the two long-time NFC North rivals. "It's like the Red Sox and Yankees. People joke about it, but it's a real true rivalry game. The best thing about it is I'll get a chance to play them twice every year in the NFL."
The Bears will visit Lambeau Field in Week 9 for a Monday Night Football game. That will be Palmer's first shot against his childhood team. But in the final week of the regular season, the Packers travel down to Chicago, and that's the game that Palmer is especially looking forward to.
"That will be an extra special game," he said. "I've been through so much adversity. Several things happened in my life where I could've just quit and given up. (To play in Chicago) will be a dream come true. It will be a dream come true to play anywhere, but that day will be really special."
Palmer will have every chance to make an impact in those games, too. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound outside linebacker is what his agent described as a "designated pass rusher," with Palmer picking up 17 sacks in his two college seasons at Illinois State.
"I pride myself on rushing the quarterback," Palmer said.
Green Bay finished fourth in the NFL in sacks last season, just one year after tying for 27th in sacks in the league. The addition of Palmer is welcome on the Packers' defense, as the team is still looking for someone other than Clay Matthews to individually total more than five sacks in one season. After Matthews' 13 sacks in 2012, the next-best player was Mike Neal with 4.5 sacks.
The free-agent departures this offseason of outside linebackers Erik Walden (signed with the Indianapolis Colts) and Frank Zombo (signed with the Kansas City Chiefs) also leaves a spot open for Palmer near the top of the depth chart. Behind starters Matthews and Nick Perry, Green Bay only had one backup, Dezman Moses. Palmer is now the fourth member of that group.
"I feel like it's a great fit systematically," Palmer said. "I'll be learning from the best. (Outside linebackers coach) Kevin Greene taught Clay, so now I have two of the best at what they do together to help me be the best I can be. I feel that'll just be a real nice experience."
As Palmer transitions from Bears fan to Packers player, there's one thing he's known with certainty all along about the Green Bay franchise.
"They're all about winning," Palmer said. "When I took my visit there, the first thing you see is the Lombardi Trophy. They're used to winning. As a player, if you see that every day, all I can say is that I have to go out there and give it my all."
Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
This past weekend's Kentucky Derby, a traditional "who's who?" of stars, was graced with various NFL elite, from Tom Brady to Robert Griffin III to Clay Matthews and Aaron Rodgers.
Matthews and Rodgers are close teammates, friends, and practical jokers. The latter trait came out during a Kentucky Derby party, in which the Packers' linebacker sneakily...
While I was a huge Margus Hunt fan leading up to the draft, I quickly jumped on the Datone Jones bandwagon after a little investigation.
Sounding like a broken record, we all know that the Green Bay Packers defense was destroyed by the 49ers on multiple occasions last season. With Pickett getting up there in age, and more importantly weight, and Wilson not performing not even half...
Well-publicized was the Green Bay Packers’ drafting of two running backs in the recent NFL Draft: Alabama’s Eddie Lacy (round 2, pick 61) and Jonathan Franklin (round 4, pick 125) out of UCLA. Less publicized, however, have been the running backs still on the Packers’ roster.
This week, Packers’ brass revealed they were actively shopping James Starks, former playoff hero...
Illinois State defensive lineman Nate Palmer only had one predraft visit, and it was with the team that drafted him, the Green Bay Packers. At the 6-foot-2, 248-pounds, Palmer fits as an outside pass rusher in Dom Caper’s 3-4 scheme. In college he played as a down lineman and will be making the transition to linebacker in the NFL, but he doubted that anyone would draft him...
Aaron Rodgers, meet Andy Bernard.
The Green Bay Packers' quarterback is about to do just that this Thursday night when Rodgers appears on NBC's "The Office" as a judge in an a cappella audition. NBC 26 in Green Bay confirmed the news.
Though Rodgers isn't on great terms with CBS after the fallout from the "60 Minutes" piece on him, he's done...
Photo from Packers.com The Green Bay Packers will be wearing their throwback uniforms this season when they host the Cleveland Browns. The first wore them in 2010 and 2011 and didn’t wear them last season. The Packers unveiled the third jersey during a 34-16 win over San Francisco on Dec. 5, 2010, and wore them again the following season during a 24-3 win over St. Louis before...
GREEN BAY, Wis. They're back. The Green Bay Packers' 1929 uniforms will be worn by the 2013 Green Bay Packers for an Oct. 20 home game against the Cleveland Browns.
The Packers debuted these slightly altered throwback uniforms in 2010 and wore them again during the 2011 season, but they were not used last season. Both of the team's previous games in those uniforms resulted...
According to NBC 26 in Green Bay, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will make his acting debut on “The Office” this week.
Rodgers will be playing a judge for a capella singing competition. The episode will air on Thursday May 9th.
Need NFL Tickets?
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is adding more to his acting resume'. He's going from State Farm commercials to "The Office".
This will be Rodgers' prime time acting debut as he'll be appearing on an episode of NBC's "The Office".
Rodgers will be playing a judge in an a cappella singing competition.
Acting isn't new...
In this latest podcast installment from ALLGBP.com, the team is back and busy breaking down the latest in Packerland. They discuss the Packers 2013 draft, including how Eddie Lacy fell to them in round 2. Learn more about this year’s undrafted free agents and which ones have the best chance of making this year’s roster. Is Charles Woodson headed back to Green Bay and...
Ed Helms‘ Andy Bernard character on The Office is getting rejected by just about everyone these days — from Clay Aiken to Aaron Rodgers.
Aiken and Rodgers, an unlikely duo, have reason to share the small screen this week as they both appear in a cameo on The Office. While the NBC comedy is wrapping up next week after just a couple more episodes, the series still needs to resolve...
Aaron Rodgers has an extensive history of photobombing teammates. At the Kentucky Derby, Clay Matthews returned the favor with his best rape gaze over the right shoulder of Rodgers. The people at Fathead need to get to work making that an option for a Clay Matthews wall decal. It’ll be a best-seller in the highly lucrative dungeon/mancave demographic.
– Oh hey, a bunch of dumb...
Jordan Rodgers played two years of college football at Vanderbilt. While there he threw for 4063 yards and 24 touchdowns. He won the 2012 Music City Bowl against North Carolina State. However despite the success, Jordan Rodgers has carried a chip on his shoulder for the last few years. Jordan is the younger brother of NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. Being the younger brother of an MVP quarterbacks...
He fits in a Buick Juan…
NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal and Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers attend the festivities at the Kentucky Derby over the weekend Hosted By Blackrock at Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center in Louisville. Aaron Rodgers has made it known he’ll be at the Derby year in and year out.
Aaron Rodgers Attends Maxim And Maker’s 46 Fillies & Stallions...