Packers Tailgate Tour visits kids at Marshfield Medical Center

Published: Apr. 9, 2019 at 9:38 PM CDT
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After stopping at Marshfield-area schools earlier in the day, the Packers Tailgate Tour made a stop at Marshfield Medical center, to brighten some kids’ days.

Aaron Kampman, former Packers defensive end, said: "When you see them, you know with just a 10-month-old little girl, and to see her smiling, talking to her mom, that's neat stuff."

Six former Packers players on the tour were happy to spread some cheer. For retired offensive lineman Earl Dotson, it hits especially close to home.

"In our family, we've dealt with that (childhood illness) before, so I know what these families are going through,” said Dotson. “Like I said, to see kids so innocent dealing with stuff like this, it breaks your heart man."

Fatherhood has changed the perspective these former players have on these visits. For retired linebacker Nick Barnett, one of the advantages is knowing how to relate better than ever.

"I'm a very interactive father. So I'm all about the Fortnite life, the YouTube life, like I know everything right,” said Barnett. “I'm on my kids, like ‘alright I'm your friend, I'm your dad, but I'm going to know everything that you're into."

You may think that former Super Bowl champions who have been to the peak of pro football are the ones inspiring the kids in the hospital, the players say it's the opposite, because nothing they’ve dealt with on or off the gridiron compares to what these children are dealing with.

"You know we're blessed to come into this opportunity, and be inspired honestly,” said Barnett. “You know you look at things a lot differently when you leave places like this."

Dotson echoed that sentiment: "To be honest with you, we don't have to tell these kids nothing, we can learn from these kids. They go through all this, IVs hooked up, and they still can smile."

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