Longwell Retires as a Packer

By Leslie Spoon

Published 08/13 2013 06:30PM

Updated 08/14 2013 09:48AM

Former kicker Ryan Longwell officially hung up his cleats today, choosing to retire as
a member of the Green and Gold.

“Great to be a Green Bay Packer again and for the long haul, to be a packer is pretty
special to us,” Longwell said.

Longwell began his career in San Francisco in 1997 as a non-drafted free agent. The
49ers cut him in July and a day later he got a call from the reigning Super
Bowl champs. With less than two months to beat out 3rd round draft choice Brett
Conway, Longwell made a promise as he boarded the plane to Green Bay.

“The last thing I told my dad was I'm going to be the kicker on Monday night,  I don't know how but I'm going to do it. And
the first game was against the Bears. I remember seeing the 38-yarder fly through
the goal posts on the first drive and thinking no matter what happens from here
I'm good.”

Longwell grew up real fast -- the very next week in the rain in Philly, he missed a
field goal to win the game with 15 seconds to go, snapping a 9-game win-streak.

“I'm running on, Brett's running off the field and he said be careful its getting
really slick and I'm thinking alright, but I went through my same exact routine
and I did end up slipping a little bit,  but in the big picture that slip may have
bought me 15 more years in the NFL.”

Good players learn from success and failure.  Longwell
also learned how to choose his words carefully. He once made a remark during an
interview that rubbed people the wrong way.  

“A stupid comment by a kid about Applebee’s gets people not liking you and rightfully
so... and what was meant to be kind of an off the cuff joke was taken out of

After nine years in Green Bay, Longwell's career took him to Minnesota, yet when it
was time to retire, he wanted to do so with the Packers. Longwell's good friend
Brett Favre also played for Green Bay's arch rival and fans are wondering when
#4 will make his trek back to Tiltetown.

“I feel like it will happen soon. I feel like everyone's in a good place about it
and like I said, I think time heals everything and I think it’s his desire to
be here,” Longwell weighed in.

Only time will tell... and today it was Longwell's time to get his just dues.


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