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Jacke Gets His Kicks From Packers' Super Bowl Journey


*As part of the Green Bay Packers' celebration of the 10th anniversary season of the Super Bowl XXXI Championship, is running a series of stories about the people responsible for bringing the Vince Lombardi trophy back home to Titletown.

Playing in the Super Bowl is no small feat. That much is obvious. After all, playing on the world's biggest stage is something a select few players ever get an opportunity to do in their NFL careers.

What isn't so obvious, however, is that for the players that do climb the mountain, it's not always the game itself that they remember the most.

For Chris Jacke, who played for the Packers for eight seasons, it was the journey to Super Bowl XXXI that he looks back on the most. And from what he remembers, the fact that the Packers had only three losses and had little trouble with the rest of their schedule comes to the forefront of his mind.

"I would just say we dominated," Jacke said. "That's the way it was then. In prior years before that, we were knocking on the door against Dallas, we just couldn't knock it down.

"Obviously we knocked the door down and we went all the way. And that's what I remember from that year of the Super Bowl."

Jacke, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound kicker, had plenty to do with the Packers' success, too. He had one of his best seasons in Green Bay in '96, scoring 114 points and converting on nearly 80 percent of his field goal attempts. Currently, he's third on the team's all-time scoring list.

With numbers like that, it's clear that Jacke had several critical kicks in his career, but it doesn't take him long to decide which one is his favorite.

"The San Francisco game that went to overtime is the one that I remember the most," Jacke said. "It was the Monday Night game and I made the long game-winner. To me that game was the turning point to our season. That was another team we had trouble beating to that point."

The kick Jacke is referring to is a 53-yarder that he booted through the uprights in Week 7. It happened to be his fifth field goal of the game, and it was the longest game-winner ever in overtime. What's more, Jacke also made a kick with eight seconds left in regulation to force the extra session.

According to Jacke, who also made two field goals in the Super Bowl win over the Patriots, playing in such a big game was "a lot of times like a blur."

"There is just so much going on leading up to the game that the game is almost like a side note," Jacke added. "You really remember after the game, you don't remember too much during the game. You're so in awe of everything that's going on, the media hype, the fans, New Orleans.

"But after the game it was just great. Everybody being down on the field, the presentation of the trophy, it's those things that stick out the most. It's really nothing particular during the game, just finally getting to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay."

For a kicker who seemingly had no trouble kicking in pressure-packed situations, he admitted that the Super Bowl wasn't easy on the nerves.

"We were all nervous," Jacke said. "It didn't matter if you were a rookie that year or a 10- or 11-year vet, and we had a couple of those on the team. It was just a whole new ballgame being in the Super Bowl. I was nervous before the game, everybody was nervous before the game. But it was a lot of fun."


It turned out to be Jacke's last game as a Green Bay Packer, as he moved on to stints with the Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals. However, Jacke never really left Green Bay.

He still resides there with his wife Tracey and their two sons Jacob, 12, and Jonah, 10. To Jacke, who now works in financial planning for a company called MML Group in Appleton, Green Bay has been home for a long time.

"Well, obviously, it's a great community," Jacke explained. "This is a great area to have kids and I played here for eight years. I left home when I was 18 for college and never looked back.

"I was originally from Dallas and haven't really been back other than to see my parents, who still live there. I've basically just stayed here other than the couple years after I left the Packers."

Now, life is all about family for the Jackes, and Chris wouldn't want it any other way. He admitted that getting back in touch with family life once again is the most significant thing that has happened to him since he left the game.

"I guess getting to know my kids again (is the most significant)," Jacke explained. "I have two young boys and I think just being able to be around and raise them and not be off on the road for football is very important. I don't miss that working out year round. Even for kickers, we had to work out year round and then be ready for training camp. I don't miss it. I enjoy being around the kids."

So, does Jacke still find the time to watch the Packers or the game he loved and played for so long?

"Well, not too often," Jacke admitted. "With the kids being involved with things, it's difficult to watch football a whole lot. But if it's a good game between a couple good teams, I will. I still make it to a couple games in person.

"But do I really follow it per se? No. We'll be out and someone will say, 'Hey, that's so-and-so.' And I'll be like, 'Well, who's that so-and-so?' I don't know. I really don't follow them a whole lot."

It should come as no surprise that just like in his football days, Jacke's journey with his children is more important than the destination.

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