Oh, where have you gone Percy Snow? Has it really been 13 years?
It seems like just yesterday Percy Snow fell off that Moped and was never heard from again.
I remember the first year the Chiefs came to River Falls. We used to have a parade back then. The police would shut down Main Street and the players would ride through town on top of the city's five fire trucks, tossing buttons to the kids.
I was just a misguided, care-free college student back then, and showed up for that first parade wearing a Green Bay Packer Jersey. I must have taken a dozen buttons to the head. Those things sail pretty good when thrown by a 260-pound linebacker from a full wind-up from the top of a fire truck.
By 1993, Joe Montana's first year with the Chiefs, we did away with the parade and the players arrived as they do now
on buses. But I figured the least I could do was give the team and its future Hall of Fame quarterback a fitting welcome. So I stood in the middle of Main Street holding a tag-board sign with the words
"Welcome to Packer Country" written on it in green and gold, wearing my Packer jersey.
I didn't even get a honk.
But about 30 minutes later I ventured into Mel's Midtowner, and lo and behold who do I see sitting at a table in the back? Joe Montana and Dave Krieg.
Krieg spotted me and waved me over. "I'm a Packer fan too," the Schofield, Wis. native said. "Me too," Montana chimed in. "Except for Reggie White."
Next thing I know I'm sitting at Mel's wearing a Green Bay Packer jersey with a rolled up piece of tag board under the table with the words "Welcome to Packer Country" written on it tipping back a few cold ones with the Chief's first and second string quarterbacks.
All the regulars at Mel's were impressed.
After a half-hour or so, my new friends and I wandered across the street to Bo's N Mine. You should have seen the faces on the regulars there when I came strolling in with my Packer jersey alongside Montana and Krieg.
The buzz really started going around the bar when we were joined a little later by Tracy Simien and Derrick Thomas. We had a good-ol time, talking about everything from Krieg's fondness for the Packers while growing up in Schofield to Montana's run-ins with Reggie White to where to find good cheese curds in town.
When the players had to leave to join their teammates for dinner, I brazenly asked if they would do me the honor of autographing my piece of tag board with the words "Welcome to Packer Country" written on it in green and gold.
"Sure," Krieg said. And Montana and Simien both agreed. But Thomas looked at me like I was a dead skunk in the middle of the road.
"Aw, go ahead," Montana said.
So Thomas picked up the pen and reluctantly signed my piece of tag board with the words "Welcome to Packer Country" written on it in green and gold.
I still have that piece of tag board. It's right next to my Jerry Koosman autographed baseball in my office.
I have Percy Snow's autograph too. Got him right before he fell off that Moped.