In memory of Bill Snyder, Hartland, WI:

Dad didn’t just care about the Packers. There were a lot of things that got him cheering. But when the Packers were at their best, their absolute best, he was the happiest I ever saw him.

When my dad unexpectedly passed away on Feb. 7, I found myself mentally rewinding through the memories, thinking of his happiest days. Which often involved us watching the Pack. And it doesn’t get much more euphoric than January 26, 1997.

Super Bowl XXXI. The Packers’ second play from scrimmage. An audible. Then a 54-yard bomb, Brett Favre to Andre Rison. Touchdown.

As Rison streaked across the goal line, I heard a crash, and looked over to see that my dad had jumped out of his chair, down to his knees, and was screaming towards the heavens.

I was only 17 at the time, and didn’t quite get the big deal; but years later I realized: he had waited decades, believing in this team, and it had all finally paid off in an explosive opening drive.

It may have been the happiest I ever saw my dad. And it certainly solidified the Packers’ place in my heart. I have no doubt I’ll be a lifelong fan in large part thanks to that 1997 bullet. And I’ll be forever grateful to Brett Favre for bringing back the glory that dad had so long waited for.

Thank you Brett. I’ll think of you, and my father, with every Packers playoff game for the rest of my life.

—Steve Snyder

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