July 27, 2013

Titletown, Meet Ryan.

By: Ryan Jensen

I remember the first time my father took me to training camp. It was prior to the 1996-1997 season, and the Packers had been projected to reach Super Bowl XXXI. I was just a young 8-year-old kid who loved playing football, but it would be this year that I would passionately watch the green and gold dominate opponents week in and week out. For every game, I would sit down with a pen and paper and record passing, rushing, receiving, kicking and scoring statistics for the Green Bay Packers, despite the fact that the newspaper would print them all the next day.

I was enamored with the culture of Green Bay, but there was one player that I looked up to more than the others. As a young wide receiver for my junior tackle football team, I was determined to be the fastest player on the team. I quickly identified with the Packers' speedster, Don Beebe, after seeing him turn quick passes into long touchdowns by outrunning every defender on the field. After just two years with the Packers, Beebe retired and I no longer wanted to be a receiver. I made the switch to quarterback when I was 10 and tried to model my play after Brett Favre. As you would expect, I threw my fair share of interceptions and met my quota of lost fumbles, but also played the game with passion until the speed and size of the game had passed me up at Millikin University, a Division-III program in Decatur, IL. At 5'10'' and 160 lbs, even the kicker had me beat on size.

So I moved past playing football and began focusing on my personal future as well as the Packers. Today, I am 25 years old. I work with children with autism, and I love what I do. I haven't missed a Packer game since 2009 (and that wasn't by choice). I have been to 5 games in my lifetime, and the Packers are 3-2 in those games. I'm on a 2-game winning streak, however, and I plan on watching that streak extend to 3 this year up in Lambeau. I am excited to dissect the strengths and weaknesses of the 2013 Packers as we head into training camp, and I am thankful for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

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