A legendary afternoon at Lambeau

We honored our legends Sunday afternoon the best way we Packer fans know how — with our cheers, our respect and an important victory against our neighbors to the west.

Go Pack Go!

We lost four key players from the Lombardi era this past year — quarterback and very esteemed gentleman Bart Starr, running back and Hall of Famer Jimmy Taylor, former coach and Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg, the guy Lombardi called the best football player he ever coached, and offensive team captain Bob Skoronski, an important player on the team and during the famous Ice Bowl touchdown.

Cherry Starr represented her husband and his team graciously as she marched her tiny self out to midfield to address a respectfully full stadium at halftime.

Her tender escort? Another legend of Lambeau, Brett Favre.

I like to think Cherry’s husband, his teammates and their coach would have been pleased by what they saw on the field Sunday.

As I have mentioned before, the Packers have always led the NFL in the way they treat their veterans. They were the first to have their own Hall of Fame and they regularly invite retired players back to Lambeau.

Their annual alumni weekend is a well-run celebration of a team with a glorious past, a promising future and some of the most loyal fans in the NFL.

As they celebrate their veterans, the Packers also honor and respect the wives and widows of those players. In addition to Cherry Starr, Helen Taylor and Ruth Ann Skoronski watched yesterday’s game from the Packers’ box, a bittersweet honor for them all.

Former Packer wide receiver Boyd Dowler and his wife Pat missed the bus from the hotel to the pregame tailgate so my sister Kathy gave them a ride. This little errand of mercy relieved them and allowed Kathy, who sits next to me at most games, to spend the afternoon starting most of her sentences with “So I asked Boyd Dowler…” or “Boyd Dowler told me…”

We both also had a great time.

As a new and promising Packer era begins, it was very heartwarming (and good karma!) to also honor the legends of the Lombardi era.

It was very touching to see Brett Favre, who had some ferocious moments on that field, tenderly escort Cherty Starr to midfield. After her speech, she also received a heartfelt hug from current Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
My mom, Peggy Kostelnik, enjoyed the game with her friends Joan Long, Ruth Ann Skoronski and Lisa Palokoski.
Meanwhile, the rest of my mom’s family enjoyed the game from less elegant (but equally entertaining) seats in the stadium.

Coach Lombardi even joined us for a while.

This is him checking out his 1966 lineup on my vintage shirt.
My siblings and I also enjoyed meeting Packer superfan Jack Robbins, who regularly supplies us with cool pictures of our dad.
I took this shot of Jimmy Taylor during the 2015 reunion with a couple of his offensive linemen, fellow Fall of Famer Forrest Gregg and “Dapper Dan” Currie, who played linebacker for the Packers from 1958-64. Rest in peace to all three of these gentlemen.

4 thoughts on “A legendary afternoon at Lambeau

    1. It was a beautiful tribute to a great man. Even the men sitting around us had tears in their eyes. I was blessed to have worked with Bart and Cherry with Cerebral Palsy young adults. Such a lovely and classy couple.

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