Friday, May 19, 2006

Dr. Samkon?

As the Packers second minicamp gets underway today -- the extra one permitted by the league because of the team's new coaching staff -- there is a side story. Not about the minicamp itself, but about one of the Pack's shining moments in an otherwise bleak last season: the emergence of unknown running back Samkon Gado. Before also being lost to injury, Gado flashed signs of being a dominating and explosive running back who might have just helped the Pack salvage its season. But after five rookie record-setting rushing games, Gado was also sidelined.

Along with his rehab on the leg injury, it turns out Gado has been interning at a local Green Bay hospital. In a TV segment which aired on WTMJ4 (Milwaukee) last evening, Gado was profiled in his medical intern role. Turns out, he wants to attend medical school when his playing days are done. Not only that, but that he would want to return to his native Nigeria to "give something back." He made the comment that retiring and sitting around just seems selfish to him. Clearly, here is a young man with character. Also, with smarts and apparently -- according to some of the nurses with whom he has been interning -- a great bedside manner. Clearly, the patients enjoyed him...and yes, it didn't take long for them to know he was a Packer...and he seemed as if he enjoyed helping others.

We can only wish Gado the best of everything, beginning with a complete recovery from his leg injury. And, being selfish, as fans we can also hope his entry into med school is delayed by a long and productive career as a member of the Green Bay Packers. Dr. Samkon Gado has a nice ring to it. But so does Packer Samkon Gado.