It’s natural to admire Fuzzy Thurston, the affable athlete. A key member of the Green Bay Packer’s vaunted sweep, the iconic left guard remains a face of the Green Bay franchise, referenced regularly by football coaches at every level for the fearless way he threw a block.
He earned six championship rings, one in 1958 as a member of the Baltimore Colts and five during the Packers’ Glory Years.
As he enters his ninth decade, though, Fuzzy evokes the kind of respect that transcends athleticism and it’s time to honor Fuzzy Thurston, the man.
His coach Vince Lombardi famously said, “The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall.”
By that measure, Fuzzy’s accomplishments continue to mount.
In 1980, cancer took his vocal chords, but not his voice and he continued his gregarious greetings through an electrolayrynx.
He bounced back from two hip replacements and colon cancer. A 30-year battle over a disputed tax bill led to the IRS seizing his Super Bowl II ring.
Most devastating of all, Fuzzy lost his beloved wife Sue last year.
Still, he came to Lambeau last week for the Packers’ Alumni Weekend with open arms and a familiar smile. As he has done consistently for more than 50 years, Fuzzy offered warm greetings and giant bear hugs.
For a decade, the Green Bay Packers lived under the bright lights of Title Town, representing a small city and the achievability of big dreams in their NFL mandated matching blazers and their increasing collection of championship rings. We appreciate the opportunities, as they head into their twilight years, to salute this group of men who earned their titles on the football field and the enduring respect of a grateful fan base in the many years since.