Friday night, Hawk's Bar and Grill on State Street. The first Packers preseason game was on all the TV screens because of course it was. The contest was unremarkable even by exhibition standards. Green Bay was being shut out; by the time my friend and I arrived, the proceedings were well into garbage time and the patrons had stopped paying attention. Then, just before slipping into our final cocktails and the general indifference of the room, we noticed a beautiful thing:
The Packers have a player named...Banjo? I blinked to refocus. That's right, Banjo. As in, fee fie fiddley-i-o, strummin' on the ol'.
And just like that, I had a new favorite Packer. Chris Banjo. I've always been a sucker for cool names; easy that way, you might say.
Unfortunately for me and his other new fanboys, Banjo's bio is paper-thin and his prospects for sticking around could be the same. He's a safety who started for four years at SMU, but things have not gone auspiciously from there. He went undrafted in 2012 and was summarily released after tryouts with the Raiders, Steelers and Jaguars. Green Bay picked up Banjo on July 29, and he did lead the Packers in tackles Friday night, which almost certainly was his brightest NFL moment to date. However, it's not a good sign that (pun alert) he was out there with the other fourth- and fifth-stringers.
Making the team might be a long shot, but hope springs eternal, and as Steve Martin has said, you can't play a sad song on the banjo. I look forward to a future Sunday in which my man intercepts an overthrown deep route and goes the other way while Wayne Larrivee shrieks, "BANJO WITH THE PICK!"
Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, you have to make this happen.