January 03, 2018 4 min read

Here in Wisconsin, football season is extremely important, and the Packers are loved by many. As a middle aged woman, busy with work and family, I rarely will sit and watch a game, but my husband is a huge fan and rarely misses one.

For Christmas this year, my daughters, my son's girlfriend, and my mom and I went shopping in a town approximately two hours away. We wanted to have a bigger selection of stores and, we especially wanted to visit a western store for some new boots. After shopping at several stores, we decided to go to the mall. We started in a sporting goods store, and of course the girls found plenty of things to add to their list.

As we were checking out, we noticed two, large guys dressed in Green Bay Packer jerseys, and it appeared people were lining up to see them. Not really being a person that gets too excited about sports heroes, we stood back and took a quick picture from a distance and moved on.

After leaving the store, the girls decided to head off in one direction and my mom decided to sit at a local coffee store and rest a bit. Then it hit me. Maybe I should go back into the store and see what those two gentlemen were doing. Perhaps to see if I could get something for my husband for Christmas.

This is when the true fun began! My oldest daughter had wanted a Jordy Nelson jersey, so I ran and grabbed one of those. Then I thought I would just get my husband a Packer's hat and have the players sign it. It was a perfect plan, or so I thought!

As I went into the special line, the clerk told me they were closing down, but if I hurried, I could be the last one to go through the line. 

Oh, thank goodness! I thought.

I had to pay for the items before meeting the two men, and then the cashier asked me how many autographs I wanted.

I replied, "Well, do you think my daughter would want these two gentlemen to sign her Jordy Nelson jersey, even though they are not Jordy Nelson?"

The cashier felt that my daughter would definitely want it signed. Another young gal, around my daughter's age, also thought I should definitely have them sign it.

I paid for the items and autographs, and then I was up next to see the guys. I handed them the Jordy Nelson jersey and upon getting closer, I recognized the first gentleman as Gilbert Brown.

He looked at the jersey, "You want me to sign a Jordy Nelson jersey when I have all this stuff out here with my name on it?"

I said, "Yes, I think I do. But I am not really sure that my nineteen-year-old daughter would want you to sign it."

He smiled this huge smile and laughed at me with a gentle and kind demeanor about him. Then we all started to laugh.

The other player saw what was happening and he instantly said, "I am NOT signing a Nelson jersey. No way, no way!"

"Okay, okay," I said,"I don't want either of you to sign the jersey. But would you please sign the Packer hat for my husband?"

Gilbert Brown smiled and said that of course he could. The other player, whose identity I was unsure of, said, "Well, I will sign the hat, but I am not signing the jersey."

Laughter again broke out amongst everyone, and I told them both thank you.  Gilbert Brown smiled his big grin and put his hand out to shake mine and said, "What a hoot this has been."

I smiled back, shook his hand, and laughed. "I am so sorry, but thank you for being so fun."

The other gentlemen, did not shake my hand and evidently did not find me too funny.

So I left the store and continued giggling to myself, because, yes, I am the person who would ask a professional athlete to sign another professional athlete's jersey. UGH!

As I was walking around doing some other shopping, I still did not know who the other player was. I was unable to read his signature, but I knew he was number 21. Unable to even tell the story to anyone, I knew I would have to wait until Christmas to discover his identity. I was so excited about this fun gift for my husband and goofy story for my family, I could hardly wait until Christmas morning when they would open their Packer gifts so I could finally tell them what happened.

Finally, Christmas morning arrived. My daughter opened her gift first. She was thrilled to have gotten the jersey that she wanted. Then my husband opened the hat and was amazed that I had actually gotten their actual autographs. I told him he had no idea what I went through to get those autographs and told the story, asking who the other player was.

It turned out that Craig Newsome was number 21 for the Packers. I showed him the picture that I had taken from afar and he confirmed it was definitely Craig Newsome. My husband then confirmed that I probably should not have asked them to sign the Nelson jersey. I laughed. (Well, I didn't know who they were.)

With the upcoming Super Bowl, consider the football fans in your life and then pick out the perfect flag from FlagsRUs.org to help you celebrate their favorite teams when they play. 

I especially love this Packer flag and may have to get it for my Packer fan.


Happy Trail Farms is thankful for kind hearted NFL players, and I may just have to sit down and watch the Super Bowl this year, no matter who is in it.

(By the way, my daughter was happy they did not sign her jersey. Whew!) 


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