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Inbox: That's what being a Green Bay Packer is all about

“If they make this, I'll buy everyone in the bar a round.”

RB Tony Fisher
RB Tony Fisher

7. Who is your all-time favorite "niche" Packers player?

Gregory from Madison, WI

Tony Fisher was one of my favorite niche Packers. As a gift for my wife (last name also Fisher), I bought her a Tony Fisher No. 40 jersey. Up until now, I think I'm the only one that's gotten a kick out of it. (Editor's note: Tony was one of my favorites – still is. We're wishing our man well, as Tony recently went home to Ohio to become the athletic director at his alma mater, Euclid High School. He is a true gentleman and someone who made me feel very welcome inside the Lambeau Field walls after I joined the Packers in 2016. "We over me." That's what being a Green Bay Packer is all about.)

Rex from Chetek, WI

Without question, for me it's my "Uncle" Milt Gantenbein — Iowa native, Wisconsin Badger, and Packers Hall of Fame member. One of the two times I've been to Lambeau, I had my picture taken with his Hall of Fame plaque. For Christmas last year, my wife bought me a custom jersey with his/my name and his No. 22, verified in the copy of Cliff's book that she gave me along with the jersey. I intend to wear it every week through the Super Bowl.

Andy from Brooklyn, WI

Scott McGarrahan. I was 10 when he was drafted and started to deep dive into the fundamentals and framework of the game. I would wear out my dad's copy of the yearly Packers media guide and loved to learn about the guys I hadn't heard of. I always favored the defensive side of the ball, and when I came across him something stuck out. I would get super excited to watch special teams. While my buddies would be Brett Favre, I would be McGarrahan and pick them off. My mom even made me a No. 43 Packers blanket for my bed. Oh, and it was absolutely a fumble...

Bil from Stateline, NV

I always thought that Matt Flynn (the Real Matty Ice) made the most of his opportunities. Not too many people share records with Aaron Rodgers, let alone reach that record first. I cheered for him when he got his contract in Seattle, even if Russel Wilson usurped the QB1 position. If the Pack is thinking about a veteran backup, maybe Matt is still hanging around waiting for a call.

John from Jordan, MN

It actually has nothing to do with the player. But in the 2009 season when Brett Favre defected to the evil Vikings, my brother modified his Favre jersey by duct taping a "1" on the end and switching the nameplate from Favre to Havner. Everything Spencer Havner did that season was obnoxiously celebrated, especially his two-TD game against Minnesota. It was a loss, but I'll always remember those cellies with my bro.

Terry from Elroy, WI

If by "niche" you mean the player filled a special role on the team, I'd go with William Henderson because in addition to playing on offense, he played on three of the four special teams throughout most of his career. If you mean an "obscure" player, I'd go with Scott Hunter because he was the quarterback when I began following the Packers and he led them to the playoffs in 1972.

Scott from Noblesville, IN

If one grew up in the 1960s, the answer is No. 23 Travis Williams. Nothing was ever more anticipated than his returning a kickoff during Vince's last Super Bowl run, especially his two in one quarter against the Browns or turning a routine run into a TD against the favored Rams in Milwaukee in the playoffs. I'm not certain we've ever had a truer home-run threat to score from anywhere quite like the "Roadrunner." His star burned quickly, but none ever shone brighter for a brief time.

Jason from Austin, TX

Samkon Gado. Even though his time on the Packers was brief, Gado was fun to watch. I remember rewatching highlights of the games and Chris Berman would show a touchdown run followed by saying, "We Gado win!" His post-NFL life is really great to read about, too. He crushed it on the field and he's crushing it in the medical industry.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

Tunch Ilkin. I remember he was a pretty good player for the Steelers. When the Packers signed him in 1993, they were just beginning to get respectable, and I thought Tunch would solidify the O-line. I don't think he ever broke the starting lineup as he was at the end of his career. The name just flows off the tongue. I later found out it is actually his real name, not a nickname. He was born in Istanbul, Turkey.

Dean from Belmont, MI

How about Chester Marcol? The Packers have had many great kickers, but Chester Marcol was voted to the Pro Bowl twice. His life story is pretty remarkable as he has overcome so much adversity, and have you ever seen another football player pull off the nerdy glasses look like he did?

Taylor from Fargo, ND

John Crockett was my favorite player at North Dakota State, and I was ecstatic when the Packers picked him up. I knew he was a longshot to get a starting role. But in 2015, the stars aligned on a fateful December night in Detroit. After the Packers couldn't get much going, Crockett stepped in a provided a spark on offense. The rest is history. On the broadcast, you can see Crockett running beside Aaron Rodgers as they go to celebrate at the goal line after the "Miracle in Motown."

Kelly from Stoughton, WI

Craig Newsome. I was young kid and thought he was going to be the next Deion. Years later, at a charity basketball event, I got him to sign my jersey; still have it.

Mike from Franksville, WI

My favorite niche Packers have always been returners: Desmond Howard, Allen Rossum...but my favorite was Roell Preston. He looked great in that '97 game against the Colts and then was cut. Then, he returned a kickoff for a TD in the '98 preseason and thankfully made the roster. He made the Pro Bowl and All-Pro second team in '98...and then was let go after the season. I realize now that he was a fumbler, but 10-year-old me couldn't understand why Ron Wolf kept getting rid of the guy!

Tom from Lisbon, WI

I don't know if the Packers' all-time leading scorer and greatest iron man counts as "niche," but he's a kicker so I'm going with it. Mason Crosby and I both graduated from the University of Colorado the same year, and he was the best player on our team. I was thrilled when he was drafted by the Packers and have loved to watch him have the career he had. He has five children, the same as I do. Last year for Christmas, my wife got me his jersey - one I'll treasure for a long time. (Editor's note: Bless you, Tom. I have my hands full with one child).

Dale from Prescott, WI

My favorite "niche" player was Chuck Cecil. Early in a game, he knocked a receiver down in his zone and when the receiver got up he would tell them, "Expect that every time you come my way." He was an enforcer with blood on the bridge of his nose after every game.

Dave from Buffalo, MN

My ultimate favorite Packers "niche" player is Mark Tauscher. After a game on Sept. 17, 2006, I was fortunate to be standing where the players exited the stadium. First Charles Woodson and then AJ Hawk passed by, but the third player, Mark Tauscher, stopped to greet me. The fact I was wearing a "65" jersey certainly helped. Mark autographed my jersey, "Great names stick together - Mark Tauscher 65" and I proudly wear it to all games, including to Super Bowl XLV where the jersey got me a spot on TV!

Josh from Seattle, WA

Hard to think of a HOF player like Jerry Kramer as "niche" but I played the same position in high school and picked "64" because of him. I tried my best to copy his game, too, from what I saw him do famously well, pull around the corner to make an alley and go low to cut down the bigger guy. I also just absolutely loved William Henderson growing up as a kid during the Favre era!

Gregg from Arlington Heights, IL

Chuck Mercein: All I need to say is "The Ice Bowl." However, I will add that Chuck Mercein was great during "The Drive." I was a kid, on my knees, watching the final minutes of the game on our basement T.V., with my face about six inches from the screen. I can still hear my dad and uncle yelling at me to back up, so they could see. But I did not budge, it would be bad luck if I moved. You can imagine how I exploded after we scored. And Chuck Mercein had his moment in "The Ice."

Wayne from Lake Hallie, WI

I was a kid during the '70s when I started watching the Packers...and they were terrible. It was much easier to root for players from other teams who were "killing it" against our team. However, the one Packers player I loved back then was Steve Odom, No. 84. He was only 5-foot-8 and looked so little out on the field but his kick returns were usually the highlight of every game. And with the team being so bad he got to return A LOT of kickoffs! :)

Todd from Brighton, MI

Steve Odom Maybe not a "niche" player, as I think he stills holds some Packers records, but sadly he is not known by many fans. He played during my formative years as a Packer fan, and the Packers as a team were not very good. He certainly wasn't an imposing size; pretty sure Wes might have him in height – and certainly weight given Ma Hod's cooking. I still have my Ray Nitschke's Packer Report with the Steve Odom "Where Are They Now" feature. He became an undercover narcotics officer. (Editor's note: You're getting your flowers today, Mr. Odom)

Mark from Carlsville, WI

Don't know if this is a niche player but I ran into Jan Stenerud at the Minneapolis airport. Both of us were coming to GB. I was coming home, and he was coming to the fantasy camp. Due to a set of circumstances that wouldn't fit in 500 words, Jan and his girlfriend rode with my wife and me from Appleton airport to his hotel in GB. Couldn't have met a nicer guy. It's amazing what they will talk about when they don't have to worry about being quoted in the media.

Kent from Howard Lake, MN

John Kuhn. Loved hearing the echoing '"Kuuuuuuuuuhn" reverberate thru Lambeau. He was one of the last of a dying breed!

Mike from Union City, NJ

Bob Kuberski! A quintessential Packers name. Hearing that name pronounced with a thick Midwest accent is music to my ears. Could have easily been swapped out for the name of George Wendt's Bill Swerski in "Superfans" (or any one of the Superfans, for that matter). I bought his No. 94 jersey from the pro shop when I was in college at UWGB, and it still hangs in my closet. I thought he was a really good player, too. Didn't play a ton, but always seemed productive.

Larry from Carney, MI

Cullen Jenkins, my sister-in-law got me his jersey for a reason I cannot disclose…I will tell you the reason – we share a name and it's not Cullen.

8. Has your Packers fandom ever gotten you into hot water? If so, please explain.

Shawn from Stratford, WI

At the conclusion of the game that shall not be discussed, I left my friends Packers party on foot (I left my wife there with the car) and walked about 1 mile home, in shorts and a T-shirt. That January night it was minus-5 with the wind chill. I was so darn mad and heartbroken that I didn't even feel the cold. I got the flu a couple days later, go figure. My friends still give me a hard time about it to this day.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

I used to work for one of my best friend's family in my late teens. We were absolutely dead on this early October Sunday, and I was scheduled to work until 4 p.m. Packers kicked off at 1 in Miami. My friend's parents were out of town and had left someone else in charge. I asked, pleaded, and finally demanded to be let go early to watch my beloved Pack. Got home in time to watch the fake spike to Davante Adams and Andrew Quarless walk-off. I received a stern talking to, worth it.

John from Fort Atkinson, WI

After moving to Wisconsin from Kansas for work, I was happy to throw in for the Packers. I'd been enamored with Brett Favre from childhood and the hometown feel of the franchise won me over. The move happened the year Rodgers was drafted, and I managed to get in some extremely hot water for not being upset enough that Favre "left." I don't know. I just liked the guy! My workplace was decidedly hostile for a while.

Helen from Hot Springs Village, AR

We stayed at a hotel in Tyler, TX. My daughter, hubby and grandchildren left, and I stayed back to watch the Packers game. I started jumping up and down when Brett threw a TD. I little while later a security guard came to the door. He said "the people downstairs asked that I ask you to keep your grandchildren quiet. I told him that I was the only one in the room and what I had done. He "smiled" and said "Please madam, I hope I won't have to come back again."

Justin from Los Angeles, CA

My fandom got me into trouble in 2014 when a buddy brought me to watch a live taping of FOX NFL Sunday. They have a green room for guests to watch the games (the studio itself is teeny) and when Aaron hit Jordy Nelson for a long TD, I couldn't help but whoop (cheering isn't press box prohibited, but it isn't common either). All of a sudden, I hear "Is there a damn PACKER FAN in here?!?" and I turn to see Michael Strahan walking by. He laughed it off, but I was still pretty quiet the rest of the game!

Phil from Marietta, GA

At the conclusion of the Fail Mary game, I wordlessly stood up and walked out the door in jeans and a Packer T-shirt, barefoot. I walked a few miles over the span of a couple of hours and my wife had to come and find me to bring me home. I got some advice about not letting a game destroy my psyche and also got a little "hot water" regarding her level of worry. But I'm thankful she came. I might still be walking.

Jonathan from Vero Beach, FL

In January 1998, I got into a car accident (my fault, no one was hurt) in Virginia. This was a few days after the Packers beat the Buccaneers in the divisional playoffs in Lambeau (the Favre-Sapp jawing game). I get out of my smashed car wearing my Packers jacket and the cop that showed up on the accident scene had a Buccaneers clipboard to write the accident report. He looked at my jacket and said, "No way are you getting out of this one."

Joan from Eau Claire, WI

It was Sunday night in September 2021 game I was watching on TV against the 49ers. I had my front screen door open. The game was a nail biter and in the last seconds of the game the Packers scored for the win. I was screaming so loud when they won the neighbor across the street called the police. They thought something or someone was hurting me. When the cop found out why I was screaming he just laughed and took my information. I was really embarrassed but so happy they beat the 49ers.

David from San Antonio, TX

What got me in trouble? My wife had several episodes of chest pains, so at the same time as the game we shall not mention was on, I had to take her to the ER. Luckily, there was a TV in the waiting room, and she eventually sent me home. She is a good wife. I woke up next morning to a message from her that she was heading into surgery. All ended well for her. But we still lost the game. Very bad day overall and I did take some heat from others for my priorities. My wife was not mad actually.

Ron from Mitchell, SD

I was at a bar with friends watching the now infamous Detroit Hail Mary game. The Packers were losing the game and my friends were giving me a hard time. They lined up for the Hail Mary play and I stated, "If they make this, I'll buy everyone in the bar a round." Needless to say, it was a spendy night but worth every penny!

Jeff from Littlefork, MN

In 2010, I was running for public office. I am a diehard Packers fan in the heart of Vikings country. Late that October, the Packers played the Vikings, and some work colleagues were visiting from out of town. I met them for the game but had to hide in the bathroom when the pizza delivery guy came. I couldn't let a voter see me in a Packers jersey that close to the election. Pack won 28-24; nine days later, I won my race with 61% of the vote.

Zachary from Kathleen, GA

I got into big trouble last year while watching us beat the snot out of the Vikings. I was at home while my mom was taking a nap. I tried to stay quiet after Keisean Nixon's return for a TD, but my dad still told me that I was way too loud. As y'all know, just a few plays later, Darnell Savage picked off Kirk Cousins and took it to the house. I lost it. I jumped out of my chair screaming like crazy. I woke up multiple family members that afternoon, which made for a tense afternoon. But I would do it all again.

Doug from Lake Mills, IA

Packer-backer pastor living in Iowa town five miles from Minnesota border. Surrounded by the enemy…Viking fans. My town was settled by Norwegian immigrants (original Vikings) and Norwegian monument at town entrance. Wore my Packer jersey No. 92 & Cheesehead one Sunday, as boos and hisses rained down on me. I preached on loving your neighbor to deaf ears. I had my wife close the service while I snuck out the back door. I'm still pastoring same church after 33 years. I'll die before ever converting to Viking fan!

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

I was once Caleb from Pine Island, MN. I grew up in the southeastern part of the state, which was about 50/50 Packers and Vikes fans. One time, driving home from work, I got pulled over by a couple sheriffs for having fuzzy dice hanging from my rearview mirror, a traffic no-no in Minny. However, they jokingly informed me that they'd also pulled me over because they were Packers dice... and the fellas were Vikings fans. I live in TN now. The dice are back, baby.

John from Schaumburg, IL

The Friday before the 2010 NFC Championship game, my boss/principal played the Bears fight song not once but twice over the loudspeaker for the school. Thinking that was excessive, after the Packers won, I blocked my phone number and called her office playing the "Bears still suck" song. For some reason, my number wasn't blocked. The following day she and two teachers were waiting for me at the front door. Fortunately, she took it well and we all had a good laugh.

Bret from Hertel, WI

My brother was dying of cancer, and we had a benefit for his young family in 2010. I knew he would wear his Packers jersey, so I did as well. At the event, I got ripped apart verbally by Bears fans. Cancer or no cancer, they were not going to let me off the hook. The Packers won the Super Bowl going through Chicago, and my brother and I got celebrate the victory together before he passed away.

Shannon from Ovilla, TX

My Packers fandom almost got me in hot water about 15 years ago. I had a new boss and she said we were going to have a day where we would wear our favorite jerseys to work. She proceeded to give me a Cowboys jersey. I told her that I wouldn't be wearing that as they were not my favorite team. She told me it wasn't a big deal. I informed her that I had spent the five past years building relationships with my staff and they were all very clear that I was a GB fan and not a Dallas fan.

Jake from Elkhart Lake, WI

On Dec. 15, 2013, my wife and I went out to a local bar to watch the Packers/Cowboys game. Down 26-3 put us in a bit of a lousy mood so we decided to head home at halftime. I never give up on the Packers, so I nonchalantly turned on the game at home. Then, it all turned around. Matt Flynn and Eddie Lacy go off-the-wall crazy. When Lacy punched the TD in from the 1 with 1 minute, 31 seconds on the clock, I ran outside in my skivvies, jumped in the snow, and made a snow angle. Pack wins 37-36! My wife wasn't impressed.

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