This must be what Don Horn felt like.
The Packers’ first round draft pick in 1967, Horn watched the final days of the Lombardi/Starr era in Green Bay before they retired.
How fortunate he must’ve felt to get an up-close look at some of the greatest to ever do it.
I don’t have to tell you that we treat those names, Lombardi and Starr, with great reverence in this state.
There’s one guy that gets treated the exact same way around here.
That’s Gene Mueller.
I’ve only known Gene for three years.
I’ve had the great privilege of being able to work with him for two.
Gene’s impact on broadcasting in this state is immeasurable.
You, his fans, are probably more qualified to speak about that than I am.
That doesn’t mean I don’t recognize it.
The man is a unicorn in what he’s able to convey on the air, and holy cow, do I feel fortunate to be able to sit and be a sponge for three and a half hours a day.
But the way he treats people away from the mic is what really makes him special.
As a twenty-something transplant that’s adopted this wonderful state as my home, there were times when I probably didn’t show Gene the reverence he deserved. Youthful ignorance, I guess.
And still, he’s been patient with me. Helpful. Inclusive. Kind.
Heck, a couple of times a year, he just leaves a twelver of my favorite beer on my desk at 3 in the morning just because.
It happened earlier this week.
He’s that kind of dude.
I’m proud to call him a friend.
So, Gene, congratulations on your retirement and thank you.
I feel so lucky to have had a front row seat to watch one of the greatest do what he does best.