A sweeping salute to Lombardi’s left guard

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.

This is Fuzzy and my sister Kathy, two of the most resilient people I know.
This is Fuzzy and my sister Kathy, two of the most resilient people I know.
Mom, Fuzzy and Laura
My mom and I enjoyed a Fuzzy hug as well.
Fuzzy and Jerry Kramer
Two of the greatest guards in the NFL built one of its greatest friendships. This is Fuzzy Thurston and Jerry Kramer in a familiar pose, with their arms wrapped around each other.
Between the two of them, Marv Fleming and Fuzzy Thurston earned six Super Bowl titles and four NFL championships.
Between the two of them, Marv Fleming and Fuzzy Thurston earned six Super Bowl titles and five NFL championships for a total of 11 rings.
Fuzzy walks into the crowd
Fuzzy loves a crowd and this weekend, like it has for more than 50 years, the Lambeau crowd loved him. This picture reminds me of the Garth Brooks song, “Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain but I would have missed the dance.” Even today, Fuzzy would never miss the chance to dance.

5 thoughts on “A sweeping salute to Lombardi’s left guard

  1. Great post on Fuzzy. His son & my brother were best friends in Hight School. A lot of talent & class on the field last week.

  2. I watched Fuzzy every weekend the packers played, since he was drafted
    by the Packers. What a joy I had watching the games with my best friend’s. We always looked forward to every Sunday, could not wait for game day. May Fuzzy rest in peace and from above enjoy every Sunday and Monday nights when the Packers play.

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