Sydney Speaks! Players we all can appreciate

For the fans, like myself, Sunday's game could be the last time we see some of our favorite Packers walk through the tunnel and run onto the Frozen Tundra, and what a sad day it could be. Not only for them, the players, but us, the fans. Players that we have learned to watch with passion who have made us more than just fans. We have engulfed our lives around these players looking up to them as role models, heroes or gods.

If this is a last walk for some of them we will miss them, and here's why:

William Henderson ... is a class act. He has been a standup guy ever since he first was drafted. And, yes, I have a special place in my heart for him because I was the guy that fought for him to come here. He wasn't even on the Packers draft board until I talked or convinced Mike Holmgren and Ron Wolf to take a chance on this guy. I believed in who he would be then and we all are lucky that we've got to witness one of the greatest football players to play this game.

Even better, in a day and age where we have to sign contracts because no one keeps their words or they play football because of the money, William Henderson plays the game because he loves the game and it means something to him. He hates to lose and takes it personal when he does. This season has to be killing him, but he never has pointed fingers he has always taken it on himself by saying "what could he have done better?" That's leadership. Even when they have been trying to replace him for years, first with Nick Luchey, then reducing his role by giving time to Vonta Leach, has anyone heard him complain? Look at special teams who do you see running down on kickoff coverage and making plays? William Henderson. Also ask yourself when he catches the ball in the flat how many times have you seen the first guy tackle him? Almost never because it doesn't happen.

Mr. Henderson, and I will call him that because he has earned all of our respect, has blocked for Edgar Bennett, Dorsey Levens and Ahman Green, paving the way for them to rush for more than 1,000 yards. He does all the dirty work with a smile on his face. I know what he went through as a young man. He has had a determination to make something of his life and to make the life of his family members better, which has driven him to surpass even his own dreams. That's what a role model is!!!!!

All the talk lately has been about whether Brett Favre will retire and what type of response the crowd will give him. To be honest with you, I don't really care because whether he stays or goes he will get enough fanfare and attention. What about the other guys that have bled for this organization? I don't want them to get lost in the shuffle. THEY DESERVE BETTER AND MORE!!!!!!!!!!

Another player that may walk through the tunnel for the last time is Ryan Longwell. Regardless of how you feel about his performance this year he has been Mr. Automatic for so many years. We all want to give Brett a break and make excuses for his play, but what about Ryan? Has a new holder affected him? Maybe, probably. Either way this could be his last walk through the tunnel. Ask yourself how many games has he won? I understand in his case if it's his last walk it's about the money. Whether it is or not, as Packer fans, we must acknowledge that we saw what might be the greatest kicker in Packer history, so appreciate it.

As Packer fans watch this game on Sunday, realize that we all have been pretty lucky to have witness some great careers, whether they are over or not or they move on. William Henderson, Ryan Longwell, I for one hope that you are wearing the Green and Gold next year because if you don't it won't seem right. Especially William Henderson. He has embodied what the Green Bay Packers are supposed to be all about - pride, integrity, honor and sacrificing for the greater good and putting yourself second so that the team and the community WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!


Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. If you have a question for Harry, e-mail it to managing editor Todd Korth at, and he will forward it to him.

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