Fred Thurston

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Fred "Fuzzy" Thurston
No. 64, 63
Position: Guard
Personal information
Date of birth: (1933-12-29)December 29, 1933
Place of birth: Altoona, Wisconsin, U.S.
Date of death: December 14, 2014(2014-12-14) (aged 80)
Place of death: Green Bay, Wisconsin, U.S.
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 247 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school: Altoona (WI)
College: Valparaiso
NFL draft: 1956 / Round: 5 / Pick: 54
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games: 116

Frederick Charles "Fuzzy" Thurston (December 29, 1933 – December 14, 2014) was an American football guard in the National Football League who played for the Baltimore Colts for a season and nine years with the Green Bay Packers.[1][2]

Born and raised in western Wisconsin, Thurston accepted a basketball scholarship at Valparaiso in northwest Indiana, and didn't begin play collegiate football for the Crusaders until his junior season (1954). He led Valparaiso to an Indiana Collegiate Conference title and was twice selected All-American. Thurston was also named All-Conference for the 1954 and 1955 seasons,[3] while being named the Conference's Top Lineman in 1955.[4] He was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round of the 1956 NFL draft.[5]

He was a key member of the Packers' offensive line during the team's glory years under coach Vince Lombardi, when they won five NFL Championships and the first two Super Bowls. Often paired with fellow guard Jerry Kramer, he led the Packers' vaunted Lombardi power sweep running attack. Thurston was named to the 1961 and 1962 All-Pro teams. Prior to joining the Packers, Thurston played the 1958 season with the NFL champion Baltimore Colts. Along with two former Packer teammates—Herb Adderley and Forrest Gregg—Thurston is one of only three players in pro football history to play on six World Championship teams. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in January 1975.[6]

Thurston was well known for his response to a sportswriter's question about how he prepared for the famous Ice Bowl game, where the gametime temperature was 13 degrees below zero. Thurston responded that he drank "about 10 vodkas" in order to stay warm.[7] Thurston remained popular in Wisconsin after his playing days and could often be found at Fuzzy's, a bar he owned not far from Lambeau Field.[8]

Thurston was elected to the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1982,[9] and the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. He was the first athlete ever to be voted in by the people of Wisconsin, even though the Hall had been founded in 1951.

Thurston died at age 80 in Green Bay, after several years of declining health,[10] battling Alzheimer's disease and cancer.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hendricks, Martin (December 16, 2014). "Packers teammates mourn Fuzzy Thurston". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved January 11, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Packers.com – Fred Thurston". Packers.com. Archived from the original on October 18, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ http://www.valpoathletics.com/athletics/halloffame/1997-98/2897/fred-fuzzy-thurston/
  4. ^ http://www.indiana-football.org/?q=node/669
  5. ^ "Fuzzy Thurston Statistics". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved February 1, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Fred Thurston". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 1, 2010. 
  7. ^ Ward, Doug. "Lambeau or Bust: NFL Experience Incomplete Without a Trip to Green Bay". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 1, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Former Green Bay Packers G Fuzzy Thurston's Super Bowl II ring being sold to settle $1.7M tax debt". Green Bay Gazette. June 24, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  9. ^ http://www.indiana-football.org/?q=node/669
  10. ^ Megan Pospychala. "Packers legend 'Fuzzy' Thurston dies", Fox 6 News, December 14, 2014.
  11. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/16/sports/football/fuzzy-thurston-an-ex-packer-dies-at-80-was-a-big-broom-in-the-great-sweep-play.html?_r=0

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