|The intersection of Holmgren Way and Brett Favre Pass in Green Bay.|
When Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt announced during the Return to Titletown celebration at Lambeau Field on Tuesday that he intended to name a city street after coach Mike McCarthy, he sparked a controversy over the un-funded program. The proposal continues a local tradition of naming streets after Packers Super Bowl Champion coaches and players. But Alderman Chris Wery, who will be running against Schmitt for mayor this April, initially opposed the name change on the basis of cost and characterized the move as a political ploy to win voters.
All that changed yesterday after local law firm Metzler, Timm, Treleven, Pahl, Beck, S.C. generously offered to donate $5,000 to underwrite the costs of new signs and labor to rename the street Mayor Schmitt happens to live on as McCarthy’s Way. Wery, recognizing he was running against the sentiment of his die-hard Packer fan constituents, quickly announced a street renaming initiative of his own.
“I’m proud to announce that the stretch of Highway 41 between Oneida and Lombardi will now be known as Ted Thompson Turnpike,” announced Wery at a press conference yesterday morning in the parking lot of Copp’s on Lombardi Avenue in -9 degree weather. “Furthermore, Brookwood Drive will now be known as Rodgers’ Road in honor of the best quarterback ever!”
Mayor Schmitt’s office was quick to respond with a press conference of their own yesterday afternoon announcing an expanded plan to re-name streets after the entire 53-man Packer roster, as well as 15 players on injured reserve. Mayor Schmitt provided local media with directions to his house, where tomorrow’s unveiling of McCarthy’s Way will be held, using the new street naming scheme.
“Alls you do is take Woodson Way till it turns into Williams Way. You’ll pass Starks Street and then take a left on Barnett Boulevard. Take that down past Collins Court and Lee Lane and then merge onto Hawk Highway. Take the exit for Bulaga Byway and then take your second right on Driver Drive. Veer left at the split between Peprah Parkway and Pickett Place and you’ll see McCarthy’s Way on the right. If ya hit Tauscher Terrace, ya gone too far.”
Not to be outdone, Alderman Wery’s office issued a press release this morning announcing his proposal to the Green Bay City Council to paint Lombardi Avenue green and yellow with permanent Green Bay Packer bunting adorning every street lamp.
But Mayor Schmitt seems ready to push the political power struggle even further, with a press conference planned for tomorrow in which he is expected to unveil a series of bronze busts for every current Packer player that will line Lombardi Avenue like a Roman coliseum. The plan is expected to cost taxpayers $250 million. “It’s a small price to pay to show we’ve got the best fans in the NFL,” said the mayor.