Saturday, April 17, 2010

Former Packer set to enter National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

Here's a story you aren't gonna hear every day: a former starting offensive tackle from the Packers is about to be inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame this weekend. To borrow a phrase, who knew?

Does the name Alan Veingrad ring a bell? Veingrad was an undrafted free agent pick up by the Pack back in 1986 out of East Texas State. He started every game for the Packers during the 1986-1990 period except for five games in 1987. Veingrad moved on to the Dallas Cowboys as a Plan B free agent for the 1991 season, where he helped Emmitt Smith win the NFL rushing title that year, and helped the 'Boys win it all in Super Bowl XXVII in 1992.

As Packer fans no doubt are aware, the late 1980s period wasn't exactly one of the best for the team; the Packers recorded only one winning season during Veingrad's stay in Green Bay. That obviously had little to do with his play, however, as demonstrated by what happened when he arrived in Dallas.

But moving along...

On today's Only a Game radio show on NPR, there is a segment on Veingrad. Here's the teaser copy: "Some ex-NFL players stay in the league as coaches and administrators after they retire. Some become 'expert analysts' on TV and radio. But others, like Alan Veingrad, find a different way to spend their time. After playing offensive lineman during the late 80’s and early 90’s, he turned to Orthodox Judaism, became a motivational speaker, and is now set to be inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Only A Game’s Jon Kalish reports."

You can listen to the entire Only a Game show by following the link above, but you can go directly to the clip about Veingrad here. And if you want to check out Veingrad's own website, you can do so here. He's been doing great things and it's nice to see someone with that Green Bay connection -- even if it was 20+ years ago -- achieve such wide recognition.

Very cool, Mr. Veingrad. Very cool, indeed. Congratulations! Mazel tov!