Green Bay Packers center Josh Myers takes a break from reliving playoff loss to help out in the community
GREEN BAY - “The closer you get, the harder it gets to lose.”
Green Bay Packers rookie center Josh Myers has been close before in championship games. It’s why he could deliver the above statement with such assuredness. While at Ohio State, Myers’ Buckeyes made it to the College Football Playoff semifinals and the national championship his two years as a starter, losing both times.
“Unfortunately I’ve experienced that a few times so I’m looking forward to going the whole way next year,” Myers said.
It was Tuesday afternoon, three days after the Packers fell to the San Francisco 49ers, 13-10, in the NFC divisional playoffs. Myers stood in Howe Elementary School in downtown Green Bay. He’d just completed a round of deliveries, during which he helped Jewelers Mutual Group provide school supplies to kindergarten and first graders through the “Kids In Need Foundation, Halftime” program.
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From room to room, Myers entered to applause and cheers from excited young fans, then had no choice but to laugh when their unfiltered minds would ask why the Packers lost. It could have been a stark and sobering reminder to a season cut short when the Super Bowl had been in sight. After all, Myers had only just forced himself to watch the tape.
“It was just tough,” Myers said. “What I had thought had happened, I think did. We got behind the sticks and gave ourselves third and long and they have such a good pass rush. Not even just their D-line, their linebackers have really good pass rushers too. So we just put ourselves in kind of a tough position and didn’t do ourselves any favors. Yeah, it was a hard one to watch, but had to.”
As tough as it was though, reliving the loss, Tuesday made a lot of things better. For one of the first times all season, Myers was able to step out of Lambeau Field and into the community.
“It helps a ton," he said. "That game is probably gonna sit with me a long time and to be able to come out here and do this kind of stuff eases the sting a little bit.”
The four classrooms visited saw Myers and Tyler Krowiorz, Director of Marketing for Jewelers Mutual, open boxes of pencils and pencil bags and any other school supply an elementary school child could need for a semester, both in the building and from home. The foundation’s program will deliver supplies to 7,200 students in 300 classrooms across the country. In Green Bay, having Myers on hand was important, according to Krowiorz.
“The kids have had a lot of pressure on them, as well as the teachers, over the last two years,” Krowiorz said. “It’s been a very difficult time for the kids and teachers to focus, so if anyone deserves to have highlights throughout their day, especially in the doldrums of winter now that the Packers' season is over, it’s these kids and these teachers. So we just wanted to bring a nice surprise to them today, on top of the supplies they’re getting, to be able to meet a Packers player and ask him some questions.”
From the little girl who clung to Myers' hand and wouldn’t let go, to the shy little boy who moved from his teacher's lap and scooted closer to Myers the more he spoke about the Packers, the rookie lineman was able to see up close one of the things he feels makes Green Bay special.
“The community is a huge part of that (tradition). That’s what makes it what it is. Such a fun fan base to play for and they always have our backs so much,” Myers said. “It’s always fun to get out in the community, give back and get to see people. That’s kinda what makes where you live home to me. So getting to be out there and getting to meet the kids and feel more apart of the community is really cool.”