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Inbox: Reggie White made it cool to be a Green Bay Packer again

How a random click brought one particular reader a lot of joy

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Former Packers DE Reggie White

5a. What's the most memorable interaction you've had with a Packers player?

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

My amazing dad died suddenly and unexpectedly when I was 14. It shocked our family and truly much of the Green Bay community as he was well known as a fitness advocate. My five siblings and I walked down the aisle of dad's very full church behind our very brave mother. As we turned into our pew on the right, I looked to the left to see a row of very large young men uncomfortable in their suits sitting shoulder to shoulder. I have always been grateful to those '60s Packers players for being there.

Steven from Balsam Lake, WI

In the summer of 2007, I was at training camp and had a 15-minute conversation with the backup quarterback after a night practice. I also got a picture with him after he signed my mini helmet. He was the starter a year later and has won four MVPs and a Super Bowl since!

Mike from Franksville, WI

Most memorable interaction I had with a Packers player was with Gabe Wilkins during the 1997 training camp. I was a quiet 10-year-old, too shy to go up to players for autographs, but after practice Wilkins and Marcus Spears were making their way back to the locker room as fans mobbed the team. They walked past my family, and without thinking about it, I blurted out, "Hey Gabe!" He looked over, gave me a nod and said, "Hey" back. Then, my mom turned to me and gave me a "That was awesome!" look. It made my day.

Adam from Madison, WI

Having a daughter in a wheelchair and being a veteran, I was nominated for a free bathroom makeover by a partner of the Packers. I was selected, and to my surprise, Mark Tauscher showed up the day they were putting it in. We did some photo ops for the news and the four of us (Mark, me, and my two daughters) were in "Dollars and Sense." Whenever he is spoken of or on the radio, I tell anyone around that "he's been in my bathroom" and leave it at that.

Matt from Hillsborough, NC

My most memorable interaction with a Packers player was I believe 1996. I was 11 or 12 and waited in line six-plus hours at Scheels All-Sports in Eau Claire for Brett Favre's autograph. It was the week before they played the Bears and Brett had one of those medical boots on. I remember realizing he was human at that moment. When I was next in line, the security guard told me, "Hey kid, go tell Brett to kick some Bear (butt!)" I gave Brett my football, froze up, and said nothing of the sort.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

Arizona, Super Bowl XLII in 2008. My sister saw a sign for a Packers player doing a promotion. It was Aaron Rodgers. My sister didn't know him but knew I was a fan so she walked up and asked if he would say hi to me on the phone if she called me. He said yes, so she calls me, but I'm on a school trip and my phone is dead. So, she calls my mom, who answers. I walk up to her car after the trip and see her hang up the phone. I ask who she was talking to? "Oh, some nice Aaron Rodgers guy."

Bruce from Jackson, WI

Having managed movie theatres in Green Bay for more than 17 years, I had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with many players away from the pressures of the game. There were a few knucklehead experiences but 99.9% were positive. The Minister of Defense was as gracious and soft-spoken as they came. I remember the day he came into the Stadium Cinema with his family for a kids show. The lobby was very small, so it was impossible to miss this giant as he came in. People were respectful as he had his young children in tow. When the movie ended, here comes Reggie White leaving the auditorium carrying someone else's child which to her must have seemed like 10 feet off the ground. Still makes me smile inside remembering that child's giggling. Later I worked with Reggie and his wife, Sara, for the premier of his film "Reggie's Prayer." He was genuine and the real deal! (Editor's note: I thought Monty hit it out of the park on Monday. Reggie White made it cool to be a Green Bay Packer again, in so many ways).

Chuck from Richfield, WI

Our WI Army reserve unit was stationed at Camp Shelby, MS, during the "surge" and Katrina relief. We invited Brett Favre to our touch football game on Feb. 6, 2006, Super Bowl morning. He came and zinged passes to every soldier…few completions.

Dave from Bentonville, AR

A number of years ago my wife and I flew back to WI on the same plane as Paul Hornung. Upon deplaning, he requested wheelchair service to baggage claim. After we exchanged pleasantries and salutations, the young man, with no idea who he was, noticed his ring. "Wow, great ring, where did you get that?" Mr. Hornung winked and simply responded, "Used to play a little football."

Stan from Merrill, WI

In the 1980s, the Packers played a couple preseason games in Madison. I was a cab driver while attending school in Mad-town. I was lucky enough to give Paul Hornung a ride from the airport to his hotel. When I went back to the airport, I picked up an old bald guy whose voice was so familiar. About halfway to his destination, I blurted out excitedly, "You're Max McGee!" He, in an excited voice, said "I know!" Next, he handed his Super Bowl ring to me while I was driving him to meet Paul.

Brad from Oshkosh, WI

During a practice held inside Lambeau (pre-Family Night) in 1993, a limited number of fans were allowed to attend (no idea how we were part of that), but my dad noticed a player up against the wall and he encouraged me to go say hi. As a 7-year-old, I had no idea who Reggie White was, but when the giant stood up, shook my hand, and spoke with his deep voice, I was in love, and a Packers fan for life.

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

A few of my siblings and I, along with our dad, met Marv Fleming at Marc's Big Boy on Oneida Street the summer he was a rookie. He graciously signed our paper placemats and shyly said he didn't think anyone would ever want his autograph! A few years later, Mr. Fleming came and spoke to my sixth-grade class at Howe School. As an adult, I was fortunate to meet Mr. Fleming again and thank him for those thrilling encounters. He quietly thanked me for remembering him. A true gentleman.

Tory from Milwaukee, WI

I worked for Starbucks for quite some time. While I was part time in college LeRoy Butler came through the drive-through at my store while I was working and placed his order like normal. He got to the window and was super nice and at the end of the transaction asked how many people were working at the time and threw a stack of signed cards in the window and drove away without saying another word.

Brett from Effingham, IL

Most memorable interaction would be with Don Horn. It was in '69 or '70, and I was a member of the Don Horn Fan Club. There were hundreds of kids and their parents at a luncheon at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee for this event. Only the Pack would have such a "thing" for a third-string QB! He graciously met each kid and parents, signed anything and everything they brought, and gave a little talk after the lunch. It was a wonderful event for a young kid!

Adam from Pacific Palisades, CA

When I was a kid in Madison, Ken Bowman was going to law school while playing center for the Pack. My dad was a professor at the law school and Ken took one of his classes. As a result, Ken came to our house and spent a couple of hours talking football with my brother and me. Great guy and really nice. I was about 12 and my brother about 14. We were thrilled and never forgot the experience, especially since he left a dent in the sofa!

Kris from Roseville, MN

In 1992, Mike Holmgren was in his first season as head coach. I was at practice getting autographs when I spotted him from across the way. I ran up to him and presented a Mike Holmgren football card. He took one look at the card and said, "Kid that isn't me, but you might be able to get Mike after practice." Later I learned I was talking to assistant coach Andy Reid (wish I had gotten his autograph). Bushy mustaches look alike to a kid.

Jim from St. Pete Beach, FL

I organized a charity fishing tournament for the pediatric heart center at my hospital this spring. I was fortunate enough to meet Sam Barrington as I was planning the event, and he jumped right in and rolled up his sleeves. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix also joined us. I was fortunate to spend the whole weekend with them at a social event, the fishing tournament, and then had them to my house for brunch Sunday morning. They were incredibly personable, generous and all-around wonderful human beings.

Susan from Santa Cruz, CA

While I was in graduate school at Oregon State, Nick Barnett was one of my students in a biology lab course for which I was a teaching assistant. Over the months that I knew him, Nick was consistently funny, friendly, and humble. There was another football player in the same course, and while he was full of ego, he never made it to the NFL. When Nick was drafted by the Packers, I was thrilled.

Jeff from Redondo Beach, CA

I remember meeting William Henderson at a pre-game tailgate party. Others just signed autographs, but he engaged with us.

Michael from Morrison, IL

While attending training camp as a kid in 1999, players were leaving the field post-practice and I was getting autographs from several roster hopefuls (including a rookie clad in No. 13 named Donald Driver). One of those hopefuls slid out of the crowd and began crossing Oneida Street. Seeing this, I raced across the four-lane road to get an autograph from...Rick Mirer. While I still excited, the police present did talk to my parents about the situation.

Steve from Seven Devils, NC

I grew up in CT. My mom had a cousin named Bob Skoronski, from CT, who went on to star at Indiana and then at left tackle for Green Bay during the "Glory years." She used to change his diapers. Every year, Bob would bring players back to CT for his church's annual sports night. I had the honor at 12 years old of meeting Bart Starr and Herb Adderley in my parents' kitchen. I guess you can say I was born a Packers fan as my entire family were huge fans.

Ken from Palm Springs, CA

I once caddied for Vince Lombardi and spent the day looking for his ball. I also delivered newspapers to his house but never saw him at home, just his wife.

Jeff from Gulf Shores, AL

In the dead zone of 2020, I met Jaire Alexander at a local golf course. We chatted for about an hour and the next day he came to our house and played some street ball with my son and me. He picked off most of the passes, but I did burn him on one flag route. Awesome.

Team photographer Evan Siegle shares his favorite photos from the 2021 Green Bay Packers season.

5b. What's the most memorable interaction you've had with Ray Nitschke?

Thad from Prior Lake, MN

Ray Nitschke. My sons and I were at a Menards grand opening where Ray Nitschke was signing autographs. We were standing in a very long line. My 5-year-old jumped out of line and yelled "Hey, Nitschke! Mean on Sunday!" With that, Ray looked up, started growling and ran after my son. Ray caught up to him and started throwing him up in the air. The whole line of people were laughing including my son. Ray beamed.

Bob from Dundas, MN

Back in the '80s, when singing telegrams were all the rage, I was hired to deliver a telegram to a woman at the very exclusive Potpourri Dress shop in Appleton. I brought my trombone along to blow a very loud fanfare on entering. When I stepped in the door and did just that, I lowered my horn to see Ray Nitschke standing right in front of me. His face told me he was ready to take me through a nutcracker drill. I got out of there as fast as I could!

Johnny from Fort Myers, FL

Twenty straight years with Ray Nitschke, as we were best friends. Also, bible study weekly with Paul Coffman and monthly calls with Jerry Kramer.

Jay from Town of Big Flats, WI

I had a beer with Ray Nitschke and sorely wanted to spend more time with him. I would ask him to bring two friends and one would surely have been Dick Butkus. (Editor's note: This was technically a reply to Question 7 but fit well here).

Rick from Trempealeau, WI

Home-opener in 1992 against the Vikings. My wife and I had lucked out on tickets, 45-yard line, three-quarters up at Lambeau. Right before the second quarter, I felt a tap on my shoulder. A gravelly voice said, "Sir, I think your wife dropped her jacket and I'm giving it to you because I didn't want you to think I was getting fresh with her." When I turned, I was staring Ray Nitschke in the face. When I recovered my composure, he was gracious enough to shake hands and autograph my program that I still have.

Steve from Eau Claire, WI

I was part of a two-journalist team doing an interview with Ray Nitschke in Eau Claire. I was introduced to him by name before the 45-minute taped interview, then was tasked with positioning him for a live on-air interview. After lining up the lights, I asked him to step forward into them. He did so and then asked, "Is this good, Steve?" I was flabbergasted. The fact that this world-famous athlete had recalled my name from an hour before was evidence of his kindness and humanity. I've never met another athlete like him.

John from San Antonio, TX

I meet Ray Nitschke at a grand opening event in Corpus Christi, Texas. He let me put on his Super Bowl ring. It fit on two fingers! We took pictures but he was too wide to put my arm around! My wife loved him, too. She was pregnant at time with son we named Forrest after Forrest Gregg. You guys rock!

Team photographer Evan Siegle shares his favorite photos from the 2021 Green Bay Packers season.

6. How did you discover Ask Vic/Insider Inbox?

Jerry from Luck, WI

It was roughly midseason of 2011, Vic's first year on the job. I had just finished missions work in the South Pacific and was operating a business in Hawaii. My mother-in-law called me to say that "my Packers" were doing really well (I didn't even know yet they were coming of a SB win. It had been almost three years since watching football). I stumbled across Ask Vic, which immediately brought me back into wonder of football. I've been a reader ever since.

Benjamin from Burlington, VT

As a mostly lifelong Vermonter, I didn't follow football at all when I met my now-spouse. It was in-season, though, and she made it quite clear that if we were going to hang out on game nights, we'd be watching the Pack. So, I took it upon myself to understand the basics of the game and started reading everything I could get my hands on, which is how I became an avid fan as well as discovering Ask Vic. Bonus: My job is Chicago-based, so I make sure my "G" mug is in full view during video calls!

Sam from Greendale, WI

Sophomore year of college, my good friend Seth sent me a message, "I just got absolutely eviscerated by Vic from packers.com." I had never heard of it before but instantly became a daily reader. It was a classic "angry reader gets destroyed by Vic" that got me hooked. After that, we would compete to see who gets posted the most. We still text each other whenever we get posted.

Tom from Phoenix, AZ

On Feb. 18, 2011, following the Super Bowl victory, I checked into packers.com to see what kind of post-Super Bowl news I might stumble on. Lo and behold, there was an interesting article about some guy named Vic starting a "Dear Abby" type column for the Packers. His article announcing his arrival exuded a writing style and wit I immediately found captivating. The tales he shared, and his passions hooked me. I haven't missed a single Ask Vic or II since.

Nathan from New Lisbon, WI

At the beginning of my senior year of high school, I wrote a paper on why the Packers would win the Super Bowl that year. Fast forward to February and sure enough, they did. This started a new hunger to consume as much Packer knowledge as possible, which led me to packers.com. Not only did I find relevant news there but also there was someone answering fan questions (the exact kind I wanted to ask) daily and in an entertaining way! My wife thinks it's weird I read it every day, to which I say, "OK."

Mark from Sartell, MN

Jan. 19, 2015 – the day that I first read "Ask Vic." The day after the Packers-Seahawks NFC Championship Game. At that time in my life, I was a demonstrative football fan; demonstrative meaning the house echoed with my shouts of joy and cries of despair after Packers victories and defeats. After the Packers collapse, I was absolutely demoralized. I found both comfort and perspective in reading "Ask Vic." Life is too short to spend time being depressed about the outcome of a game.

Dave from Lake Zurich, IL

I discovered Ask Vic by daily checking the website. I don't believe I've missed a column since it began.

Sam from Saint Louis, MO

I discovered II back in the Ask Vic days and read it off and on. I remember becoming a regular reader because of the image of a plate of bacon and eggs with a cup of black coffee that always headlined Ask Vic Saturday. It brought me to such a happy place, reading about the Packers on a lazy Saturday morning like my grandpa would've done with a newspaper at the breakfast table.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

I stumbled on to Ask Vic in 2014. It was a random click that changed how my mornings would go for the next eight years and counting. I didn't submit a question for more than a year. I just read and enjoyed. I remember the thrill of getting my first question posted, my first column-opener, closer, headliner, first streak of consecutive days posted and many more milestones. A random click has given me a lot of joy. Spoff and Wes carry the torch well.

Charles from Ripon, WI

I can't recall exactly why I started reading Vic. I will say I am forever grateful I did. Vic changed how I enjoy football for the better. If I had that chance to meet anyone, I've seen play football or Vic, I'd want to meet Vic and thank him. I'm not a great wordsmith like you guys, so I can't convey what all the little lessons Vic taught meant. I just know it because I've lived it. Thank you for continuing the teaching with your own lessons. Laser goalpost, indeed.

Lisa from Plymouth, MN

Due to my inability to get TV reception, I was looking for an update about a Packers game. I jumped on packers.com and came across Vic's halftime blog where he was answering questions from fans. One read and I was hooked. That led me to the Ask Vic column. Great writer! Great insight! Great wisdom! The better story? I told Lori from Brookfield, WI about Ask Vic. The rest is history.

Keith from La Pine, OR

My son had submitted several questions to Ask Vic, and he told me Vic was mean and he never got published. I downloaded the app and started reading every day. I have been answered by Vic, Mike, and Wes; and met Mike and Wes at the Northwoods in Chicago before the opener in Chicago, 2019. I am an Inbox minion for life! (Editor's note: Ha, Inbox minion is a new one).

Nick from Plainwell, MI

I started reading Inbox after my first son was born. I'm now on our third (and final) boy and I've read to all three of them while snuggling them for their midday nap. I don't know what I'll do once our littlest is done with naps. (Editor's note: Hopefully keep reading?)

Sal from Hailey, ID

My first submission could've earned me an auto-ban. Frustrated after watching and yelling at my TV for at least two quarters, I needed to vent to someone and didn't know another Packers fan in my entire town. While watching postgame interviews on Twitter, I saw an II teaser tweet and followed it to rage dump. I'm sorry for being that guy! But I'm glad I found this community. (Editor's note: Same here, Sal.)

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