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December

An In-Depth Look at the Packers’ Don Barclay and Wrestling Jobbers

Don Barclay

Don Barclay, the Packers wrestling jobber.

There’s been some scuttle about the Packers moving T.J. Lang back to left guard and trying undrafted rookie Don Barclay at right tackle.

(Editor’s Note: This article was actually written before this week’s game against the Vikings but never appeared due to a scheduling issue.)

Lang has floundered since moving to tackle after Bryan Bulaga got hurt. Evan Dietrich-Smith hasn’t fared much better filling Lang’s slot at guard. Lang played well before the move, so perhaps moving him back to guard would solidify that spot and the Packers could focus most of their attention on helping Barclay.

Right now, it seems like the Packers have to worry about helping Lang, Dietrich-Smith and sometimes Marshall Newhouse. That’s not going to fly for much longer.

Anyway, I was going to do a post debating the pros and cons of trying Barclay at tackle, but writing about backup offensive lineman is boring.

Instead, I decided to write about my second favorite thing in the whole wide world (behind the Packers, of course): 1980s and 90s professional wrestling.

What’s a Jobber?
Those of you who listen to the radio show Green and Gold Today know that co-host Bill Johnson refers to Barclay as “everyone’s favorite wrestling jobber.” For those of you that don’t know what a wrestling jobber is, what is wrong with you? Actually, you should probably be proud of yourself if you don’t know what a wrestling jobber is.

Back in the 80s and early 90s, wrestling on TV often featured a well-known wrestler beating up a scrub in a match that lasted minute or two. It usually took the well-known wrestler longer to make his ring entrance than it took for him to win the actual match.

These scrubs were known as jobbers. The only purpose jobbers served was to get destroyed by the big-name guys. Doesn’t sound like a very glamourous way to earn a couple extra bucks, does it?

Jobbers were either too small or slightly overweight and were always dorky looking. They resembled insurance salesman or truck drivers more than jacked up professional wrestlers. On the surface, jobbers sound like complete wastes of space. But they served a purpose.

Jobbers existed to make the popular wrestlers look good. Every time people saw Jake “the Snake” Roberts DDT some poor jobber, pin him, then throw a gigantic snake on the poor guy, it made Roberts look good and enhanced the overall wrestling product.

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July

The Complete History of Green Bay Packers in Professional Wrestling: Chapter 3 — Dick “the Bruiser” Afflis

Da Crusher from Milwaukee and Dick the Bruiser, a former Packer, dominated wrestling's tag team division for over 10 years.

We continue our “Sunday Storytime” with chapter 3 in a series examining the history of the NFL, the Green Bay Packers and professional wrestling. The introduction to the series can be read here. Chapter 1 can be read here and Chapter 2  can be read here.

Remember when pro wrestlers had barrel chests and round bellies instead of bulging biceps and chiseled physiques? Remember when wrestlers looked like larger and meaner versions of your dad’s drinking buddies? Remember when old ladies used to sit in the front row at wrestling events and swing their purses at the bad guys?

If you do, then you also probably remember Dick the Bruiser. Dick the Bruiser’s wrestling career began in the mid 50s and lasted until the late 80s. He won multiple titles in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) and the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and started his own promotion in Indianapolis called the World Wrestling Association.

The Bruiser used his wrestling career to become a cross-media star and local celebrity in the Indianapolis area. But the first step on his rise to fame came with the Green Bay Packers.

Scary, Heroic and Goofy
Dick the Bruiser was born William Richard Afflis and played on the Packers offensive and defensive lines from 1951-54. Titletown was a ways off in Green Bay’s future as the Packers went 15-32-1 in Afflis’s 48 games. This group of Packers were more interested in drinking beer than winning. And Afflis fit right in.

The 6-foot, 251-pounder left Purdue after clobbering his line coach with his helmet and was kicked out of Miami after bookmaking allegations. He lasted a couple of weeks at Notre Dame and Alabama before settling at Nevada-Reno. The Packers drafted him in the 16th round (somewhere along the way, he also officially changed his first name to Dick).

Afflis was a decent lineman, but most people remember him more for his colorful personality than his on-field play. Some Afflis stories are scary, some are heroic, and some are goofy. All of them are entertaining.