A Quote to Start Things Off

"Passive Aggressive. It works for my mother, it works for Duolingo" Luis Von Ahn , co-founder of Duolingo from his TED talk, How to make learning as addictive as social media.

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Pictures of Memories I

Pictures of Memories I
Snow kidding! These "kids" now range from 17 to 23

Sunday, November 5, 2023

60 Years in 60 Days: 1977

 1977: The Year I Led The Packers in Sacks

I was not always the physical specimen that blogs before you. In Jr. High, I was a 6'1 stick figure of a kid whose social awkwardness was matched only by his lack of physical coordination. I was in Jr. high in the 70's when bullying was not only not frowned upon but was an elective in many school districts.  I was teased quite a bit for many things but in the Fall of 1977 and 1978 I got teased on Monday's for what someone else did on Sunday.  That someone just happened to share my name.

Football in the 1970's was a pretty big thing. The biggest football rivalry in my area was that of the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers.  In 1977 Walter Payton the Bears running Back was having a breakout year and was voted MVP of the league by the Associated Press. Payton led the Bears to a 9-5 record that year and their first playoff appearance in my lifetime. The Pack went 4-10 but had one player with a familiar name who helped lead the defense.

His name was familiar to me at least, as his name was Dave Roller.  And as Robin  might say Holy John Jacob Jingelheimer Schmidt Batman, that's my name too



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When some of my fellow students at Elk Grove Jr. High heard my name on their televisions on Sunday afternoons, they would let me know about it on Mondays.  It was always funny to them how different a professional football player and  a gawky kid could be even if they had the same name.  It wasn't  a big deal but it did become a bit of a ritual in the Falls of 78 and 79.  There were always a couple of kids in my math class who would comment about how well I played the day before. 

In reality Roller played pretty well for the Packers.  He led them in 1977 with 8 sacks was once carried off by the fans after a Packer victory and I believe was one of the first players in the NFL to celebrate after a tackle with a sack dance.  

I have never met the former NFL player who shares a name with me and my father.  In Jr. High it was just one of many things to be teased about.  But when I think about it now, it's cool to share with your name with someone who achieved excellence in their field.  Even if it's just Lambeau Field. 


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