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At 26, rookie Pena sees plenty of football in front of him

Undrafted free-agent put college, playing career on hold during mother's illness

8:58 PM, Jul. 6, 2013
Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Gilbert Pena takes a breather during organized team activities June 11 at Clarke Hinkle Field.
Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Gilbert Pena takes a breather during organized team activities June 11 at Clarke Hinkle Field.
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The call came later than expected. Not that Gilbert Pena minded.

It was the third day of the NFL draft in April when Pena and his mother, Susan Cruz, watched from her New York home, waiting for a team - any team - to call his name.

Four years earlier, this was the same house Pena helped keep afloat following his mother's diagnosis of thyroid cancer. In that moment, Pena dropped everything, including going off to college to play football, to provide for a mother who once held three jobs to support him and his two older sisters. ...

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports