For those who have known me for any extended period of time, you know how long I’ve always wanted to become a sports writer. I’ve always been a Green Bay Packers fan but I knew that if I wanted to make that career jump I would have to exercise some kind of objectivity and hopefully I have been somewhat successful.
Right now, however, I’d like to at least somewhat circumvent that objectivity.
As you’re probably aware by now, now former Packers tight end Tom Crabtree signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On the surface, this move should not be that painful for the Packers. Crabtree was mainly a blocking tight end and highlights from 2012 aside, he wasn’t much of a threat in the passing game. This should not be that big of a deal.
That’s at the surface. Deep down, this is painful and in ways I never imagined.
I remember the first time I heard Crabtree’s name—when he scored his first career touchdown against the Eagles in the Wild Card round in the 2011 playoffs. The Packers won that game en route to the Super Bowl XLV title. We didn’t see much else from Crabtree in the rest of that playoff game but he did make many appearances on this thing called Twitter (or “the tweeter” as Mike McCarthy once referred to it as).
This was early 2011. I followed (and still do) quite a few Packers players and enjoyed the banter between the players as well as the interaction with fans. I’d reply every once in a while but never really expected a response due to the massive number of mentions the players had to have been getting.
One day, Crabtree made a joke of some kind. I wish I could remember what it was but I don’t. I replied back with my own wisecrack and Crabtree actually replied. As someone who was aspiring to be a writer and wanted to build a good reputation with the players, this was like Christmas. Crabtree and I exchanged a few more tweets and I really enjoyed the conversation. At that moment he ceased to be a Packer for me and was just a regular guy. I know many others feel the same.