The passing of the torch in the NFL can be cruel and never ceases. I’m referring to players: old and established giving way to players in their prime, all being chased by the up-and-coming new faces.
In Green Bay we have the example of future Packers Hall-of-Famer Donald Driver having ceded territory the last two years to the likes of Jordy Nelson and James Jones. Now fresh faces like Tori Gurley, Diondre Borel, Shakey Smithson, Dale Moss are all trying to get noticed.
I was reminded of this last evening, as I sat (and stood) in my local musical venue watching the still-amazing 75-year old Buddy Guy (video below) fill the air with powerful blues riffs and entertain a crowd like few others can.
Opening for Guy was Jonny Lang, a former child guitar-playing prodigy (now 31) who had his first album released at the age of 14 and was a Grammy-nominated artist at the age of 16. Guy was one of the people responsible for discovering and pushing Lang towards success.
Towards the end of Guy’s show, Lang naturally came out to jam with Guy and they tore the house down (or so we thought). That was until Guy brought out a new guitar-playing prodigy he had first discovered at the age of 7! Now 13, this young boy came onstage looking as uncomfortable as you might expect from a 13 year old, then proceeded to sound like a guitar God from the 60′s. he jammed the blues with Guy and Lang, then veered off into some Hendrix and finished up with some Eric Clapton (Cream-era).
Guy looked on with as wide a smile I’ve seen this side of Donald Driver, mesmerized himself by the talent of this young kid. Lang was smiling, but looked a little uneasy, as perhaps he saw his status as a modern-day blues virtuoso soon to be eclipsed by some teenager.
And that’s where I make a connection to the NFL and the Packers. Donald Driver is Buddy Guy, the aging veteran who just wants to keep playing and displaying his talent. Guy said to his fans last night, “I don’t come out here and play for Buddy Guy anymore, I come out for you.”