A Piece of the Pack
The Green Bay Packers' ballyhooed offering, on Nov. 14, of 400,000 shares of common stock as a way of raising $80 million for the Pack's building fund has stirred the interest of cheeseheads everywhere. With certificates for the $200-per-share issue almost certain to become hot gift items for Packers fans this holiday season, prospective buyers might want to check the fine print.
According to the offering, purchasers receive no dividends, get nothing for the stock if the Packers are liquidated or sold, cannot sell the stock in any market, receive just 2.5 cents per share if the team chooses to buy back the stock and could even be assessed $200 per share if Green Bay for some reason can't meet its payroll.
What's more, as part owners, shareholders come under the jurisdiction of the NFLs "detrimental conduct" clause, meaning that should the proud owner of a $200 share in the Packers publicly criticize any team or referee, said proud owner could find himself or herself fined as much as $500,000 by the league. Any wager on a game could draw a $5,000 fine. And, of course, the NFL is authorized to run credit and background checks on an owner.
Don't worry, cheeseheads. Painting yourself green and gold and drinking too much of what made Milwaukee famous isn't considered detrimental conduct.
Stray bullets and wayward arrows pose the most well-known dangers to hunters, but with deer season upon us, doctors warn of a more perilous threat: buck fever. That's the phenomenon that each season causes scores of heart attacks in hunters overexcited by the sighting or shooting of a deer, or overcome by the exertion of dragging their kill out of the woods.
"Hunting is much more strenuous than we imagined," says Susan Haapaniemi, an exercise physiologist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. Over the last few years Haapaniemi and her colleagues have strapped monitors on 25 middle-aged male hunters who had at least one complicating health condition (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, a smoking habit, a sedentary lifestyle or a family history of heart disease) and discovered that when a deer came into view the men's heart rates jumped to as much as twice their normal rates.
That explains the reports of hunter heart attacks that flood in each fall, including the case of Roger Pawlovich of Royal Oak. The then 51-year-old Pawlovich was hunting in the mountains near Trout Creek, Mont., on a cold October day in 1994 when he spotted a mule deer. He says he felt the familiar surge of excitement as he aimed and shot the deer cleanly. After claiming his kill, Pawlovich knew something was amiss. "I could hardly lift my legs. I had no strength," he says. Several hours later Pawlovich got himself to a local hospital, whence he was swiftly flown to Missoula, Mont., to be treated for an attack that had destroyed the lower third of his heart.
Like many things bad for the heart, hunting can be addictive. Pawlovich was back in the woods in Stephenson. Mich., last Saturday, hoping—in vain, it turned out—to bag a buck on opening day. "It's worth it to me," he says. "If I couldn't hunt, I might as well die."