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Lifelong Green Bay Packers fans drive Davon House 300 miles to OTAs

By The Sports Xchange
Lifelong Green Bay Packers fans drive Davon House 300 miles to OTAs
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) tries to out run Green Bay Packers cornerback Davon House (31). File photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI | License Photo

GREEN BAY -- A grateful Davon House gave a couple of avid Green Bay Packers fans the ride of a lifetime.

That the journey of the seventh-year cornerback hitching a nearly 300-mile ride from Minneapolis happened in the dead of night added to an already bizarre story.

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Brothers Chad and Mike Johnson responded to House's pleas for help on Twitter late Monday night. They drove him back to Green Bay with a few hours to spare before players had to be at Lambeau Field on Tuesday morning for the resumption of organized team activities.

House didn't think he would get back in time after a flight delay made him miss his connecting flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. He didn't arrive at the airport until after 11 p.m. Monday with no more flights heading to Green Bay's small airport for the night.

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"I said to myself, 'I can just pull the (veterans) card (with the team) and say my flight was delayed,'" House said later Tuesday. "(But) I'm not taking any days for granted. I don't want to be that guy."

Instead, House made a social-media connection with the Johnsons, lifelong Packers fans who also are team shareholders and don't live far from the Twin Cities.

"I'll get you to Green Bay man. In one piece even!" Mike Johnson tweeted to a desperate House at about 9:30 p.m. Monday.

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Mike, who lives on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border in Hudson, Wis., picked up House at the airport. Chad, who lives in Eau Claire, Wis., jumped into Mike's Chevy Silverado truck to accompany his brother and their new favorite Packer for the remaining 200 miles to Green Bay.

Though Chad offered House a Packers pillow and blanket to get some shut-eye on the ride back, the indebted, but fatigued player tried to stay awake most of the way.

"Sleep wouldn't be right," House said later. "That would be like me riding in a car picking up (baseball Hall of Famer) Ken Griffey Jr."

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The Johnsons delivered, as they had promised, by getting House back to Green Bay in time. They dropped him off at his vehicle in the Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport parking lot after 3 a.m. Tuesday.

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House then invited the brothers to follow him to Lambeau Field. Though the Johnsons both had jobs to get back to Tuesday morning with another long drive ahead of them, they obliged. House took them into the Packers locker room, showed them the team's four Super Bowl trophies and signed shoes and gloves that he gave to the brothers.

"They were awed and amazed," House said about the brothers' reaction to being at the stadium. "They walked by (quarterback) Aaron's (Rodgers) locker, and they touched his shoulder pads. I didn't let them put them on, though."

Mere hours later, House joined his teammates on the practice field as a full participant.

"I'm tired; I'm tired," House said afterward. "So, it was like 4 1/2 hours (in the vehicle), we talked for a good hour and a half, so a good 2 1/2 hours (of sleep while) driving. ... I probably got home around 4:45 (after being at Lambeau) and then woke up at 7."

Head coach Mike McCarthy credited House for taking it upon himself to find a way back to Green Bay so he wouldn't miss a key installation day as the team's OTAs wind down this week.

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"It tells you about his commitment," McCarthy said. "He knows the importance of (the team's spring work). It's so limited this time of year. And, really, outside of Aaron and maybe a couple of other guys, you don't have veteran players that are pre-CBA (collective bargaining agreement) that clearly understand the importance of nine weeks (of spring workouts), as opposed to when you had 15 weeks."

The Packers re-signed House in the offseason after he had played the last two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Following the release of longtime starter Sam Shields shortly after last season ended, House is in line to go into the upcoming season as Green Bay's top cornerback.

The Packers made cornerback Kevin King their top pick in this year's NFL Draft with the first choice in the second round. However, King hasn't participated in OTAs because classes still were in session at his former school, Washington.

King is expected to be on the field when the Packers hold their three-day minicamp next week, starting Tuesday.

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