2012 was a tough year for Mason Crosby. The Packers’ kicker converted just 63% of his kicks in his worst season as a pro.
The last two years have made those 2012 struggles look like a walk in the park.
In 2019, Crosby’s wife, Molly, was diagnosed with lung cancer. His sister-in-law, Brittany, lost her battle with ovarian cancer the very same year. Last year undoubtedly tested Mason’s faith.
“If anything, it’s strengthened it,” Crosby told WTMJ’s Greg Matzek in an exclusive interview as a part of WTMJ 2021. “The amount of people that stepped up through challenging times when we needed them the most is just overwhelming. It helps me to try to be a better friend and a better person, myself, so I’m in that position whenever someone calls or needs help in a tough situation.”
Molly has recovered and is doing well, but 2020 has brought its own set of challenges to the Crosby family.
The couple has five children, all under the age of 10.
Teaching from home during the pandemic has been a learning experience, but Mason is inspired by the resiliency of his kids.
“It’s kind of a beautiful thing to see these young kids adapt and adjust and kind of figure things out on the fly. As adults, we could learn a lot from these young kids.”
Oh yeah, and then, there’s football.
When he reported for training camp this summer, Crosby was as surprised as anyone that he ended up on the Packers’ COVID-19 list. He tested positive for the virus. As he’s done with other challenges in life, Crosby tried to find the positive.
“For the week that I was in isolation, I was able to really kind of look in and kind of have a restart into the season for myself. I’m thankful for that…just that time to kind of reflect, and prepare my mind for this kind of crazy season that we’re in right now.”
That crazy season is off to a tremendous start for Crosby and the Packers. The team is 4 and 0, and Crosby has just one blemish on his record: a missed extra point against Atlanta.
“To be able to come out and have the start that we’ve had thus far is just exceptional and says a lot about what we have in this building.”
Crosby is optimistic about what the rest of the season holds, even as COVID-19 has shifted the NFL’s schedule.
“We can’t eliminate risk…but we can mitigate it as much as possible. That’s honestly the goal, and all we can hope to do.”
Crosby and the Packers are back in action Sunday, visiting Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You can hear the game on 620 WTMJ.