A day after John Kuhn announced he was retiring as a Packer, he tearfully remembered his career at a press conference at Lambeau Field on Thursday. Kuhn played for 3 teams in his 12 seasons in the NFL, but it’s as a Packer that he wanted to finish, and in the Green Bay area that he wanted his family to stay.
“I’m just happy I got to turn the page on my last chapter the way I’d always hoped I would, by retiring a Green Bay Packer,” Kuhn said.
Kuhn was so popular while playing for the Green and Gold that fans gave him his own chant, shouting “Kuuuuuhn” when he made a big play.
After receiving no Division I scholarship offers out of high school, and being undrafted out of college, Kuhn worked hard to eventually carve out a career that included 3 Pro Bowl selections and being a key component of the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV championship.
While Kuhn also played for the Saints and Steelers, he says he felt a unique bond with Packers fans and the Green Bay community.
“It’s a tremendously supportive fan base,” Kuhn said. “They’re loyal. They don’t bail on you. They’re serious, dedicated fans for life.”
The feeling is mutual. Packers fans love Kuhn, and that he chose to retire a Packer.
“It tells me that he’s learned from other people’s mistakes like Bryce Paup, that left here and then wished (they) never would have,” said fan Bryan Johannes. “It’s a great place to retire… He’s a great ballplayer, and we’re happy he chose us to retire here.”
“He’s wise,” said fan Ken Wagnitz, laughing. “And obviously he enjoyed his time here, and we enjoyed having him here.”
Kuhn’s fans also include Packers CEO and President Mark Murphy.
Murphy said Kuhn was “just a smart player who was always in the right place at the right time, (a) leader on the field and in the locker room and also obviously a great community contributor off the field.”
Kuhn’s community contributions include his work with the House of Hope, an emergency shelter for young mothers and children.
“It seems like a good fit for our community that we have John Kuhn retiring here,” said Shannon Wienandt, the House of Hope’s director. “The Packers… I can’t think of any better place for him to do that, and I’m really excited that he and (his wife) Lindsey will continue to be part of our community.”
Kuhn says his philanthropy and community engagement in the Green Bay area will continue as he and his family are here to stay.
“The community of Green Bay is fantastic,” Kuhn said. “They love their neighbors and they want to contribute in any way that they can, and we’re one of them now, so we want to do the same.”