Sunday, August 7, 2016

This makes me sad for the Packers, but happy for Kuhn

John Kuhn, the only football player from Shippensburg State College in Pennsylvania ever to make it to the NFL, is no longer a Green Bay Packer. He signed the other day with the New Orleans Saints after nine years with the Pack. Everybody knew it was coming -- last year, the Packers drafted a new fullback who looks awesome -- but I don't think anybody actually likes it:
Kuhn's departure from Green Bay comes as little surprise. The Packers invested a draft pick on Oklahoma fullback Aaron Ripkowski a year ago with the express purpose of succeeding Kuhn in the upcoming season. Still, Kuhn's experience and willingness to play on special teams made him an attractive free agent to other teams.
Perhaps the most recognizable fullback in the NFL, Kuhn has spent nine of his 10 seasons in Green Bay after entering the league as an undrafted free agent from Shippensburg. Kuhn spent his early years participating mostly on special teams, but became the Packers' featured fullback around the time Aaron Rodgers replaced Brett Favre under center.]
The Packers are one of the few teams in the NFL that still use a true fullback, and Kuhn was a fan favorite. Folks loved his grit and willingness to do anything -- block, special teams, blitz pickup, whatever -- that the team asked of him. Anytime he got on the field on offense during home games, the Lambeau crowd in unison always cried out, "Kuuuuuuuuuhn." It sounded like they were booing, but nobody on the Packers was fooled. Lambeau loves John Kuhn:
Kuhn — or, as Packers fans know him, Kuuuuuuhn — was a Pro Bowler in each of his past two seasons but had yet to find a team as a free agent this offseason. He will turn 34 years old next month.
I'm glad Kuhn gets to continue his NFL journey, and I understand that he couldn't do it as a Packer. It's a business, and Packers GM Ted Thompson likes to draft and develop, meaning Ripkowski taking over was inevitable, and sooner more likely than later. Still, I'll miss Kuhn and wish him well with the Saints. This is a terrible video, but you can hear the crowd's cry of "Kuuuuuuuhn:"

Hell, you can hear them yelling "Kuuuuuhn" in Chicago:

And in New York:

I love that guy.

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