Goodbye, Dad


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Life isn’t fair sometimes. In fact, it rarely ever is. Unfortunately, I found out in the worst way this week.

Rewind to one year ago today.

The Green Bay Packers lost an NFC Championship Game to the Tampa Bay Buccanneers.

I said as the game ended, it was the worst day of my life. I followed that up by saying I realize how truly blessed I am that I can say the worst day of my life was over something as silly as a football game.

Fast forward to this year, and it gets much worse.

I get a call from my mom in a panic saying my dad was unresponsive and they were taking him to the hospital.

That’s really all she could get out as I rushed out of work in a frenzy. I was an hour away and only thinking about getting home to be with my family.

By the time I got to the hospital I saw my brother and aunt Becky.

I remembered Brett Favre telling the story about how he heard about his father’s passing in 2003. Favre said he answered the phone and knew it was that his dad was dead.

I screamed. I yelled. I begged for them to tell me what I was thinking wasn’t real.

They couldn’t, and my whole world shattered in a matter of minutes.

My dad was everything to me.

We didn’t always get along the best. Two stubborn German men will certainly butt heads at times, but he was a superhero.

So while I know you guys come to Game On Wisconsin to read about the Packers, I wanted to give you a glimpse into the type of man my dad was, because it’s a tribute that he deserves.

My earliest football memories come from my dad. My dad is not the reason that I am the Packers fan that I am today.

He was always a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan. Something 4-year-old me could not understand as the Packers were thumping the Eagles 39-13 on a Monday Night Football matchup in 1996.

It was around then I decided I was a Packers fan. They wore green and had a guy that wore #4 that was very easy for me to fall in love with.

The Super Bowl that season, featured that same Packers team. You remember Super Bowl XXXI I am sure.

My dad swore he was rooting for the Patriots, but I remember him cracking a smile as the Packers kneeled out the clock one final time. It wasn’t his team, but it was his boy’s team. He was happy for his boy.

While football is the love of my life, where we bonded the most was on the baseball diamond.

My dad was my coach from the time I was 12 until I was 14. Even when he wasn’t my coach in high school, it was always him that I looked to the most. He was an incredible baseball mind. I still learned things from him about the game until his final day.

He wasn’t the conventional coach. Ask any of my friends that played with me. Most kids get a calm down type of speech on the mound.

My speeches were more like, “get your ass out of this inning, I’m fucking hungry.” That was my dad. Funny all the time. No moment ever too serious for him.

I remember when I was in high school. My dad missed a lot of my games because he worked so many hours to put me through private school along with my brother.

We had a game where the stars aligned, and we were able to play at Roy Gayle. Roy Gayle is the diamond that I grew up at, and ultimately coached with him.

Before I got to coach with him though, I got to play in front of him on that diamond.

How did I do that day? I went through a double header with two home runs, two doubles and gunned a kid out at second base trying to steal on me.

I was so proud. Not because of anything that I accomplished, but because he was there to see it. I always wanted the feeling like I made him proud. That day I knew I did.

When I was done playing, we started coaching.

We, along with my brother, built a fucking empire. There are so many great players that came through our program. We won six out of seven league titles before it was time to take on the greatest job of all.

For me, it was being a dad. For him, it was being a papa.

The love my dad has for my daughter was unlike anything I had ever seen. My big bad dad was a teddy bear when it came to his BEW Bear.

When I told him about Game On Wisconsin, he was more than supportive. He always called me “writer boy.”

I know he wanted nothing more for me than to realize my dreams. To turn this into something. To become the go-to for Green Bay Packers coverage.

My dad didn’t give two shits how the Packers did on Sundays, but you bet your ass he listened to every single podcast I was ever on. He listened to every show. He read every article.

Why? Because that’s what a good dad does.

Now, I feel so many emotions. I feel angry. I feel sad. I feel disappointed. I feel robbed. I only got 30 years, and he had so much more to teach me. Little Blake only got 2 years, and may not remember him. That might be what breaks my heart the most. She loved her papa more than anyone, and she was the apple of his eye.

The hardest part is trying to figure out how to move on, because my dad was Superman.

Superman isn’t supposed to die.

Thankfully, I believe that he lives on. Both inside of me, and in a better place.

From this day forward – I promise that to you.


What more can I say? You gave me everything. You taught me everything. You were my go-to-guy.

I am thrilled you got to see your Eagles win a Super Bowl. I’m happy you got to meet Blake and be a papa.

Most of all – I’m thankful of all the dads in the world, God chose you for me.

I’ll miss talking ball with you. I’ll miss playing Metal Gear Solid with you. I’ll miss the dumb jokes and picking on mom.

Most of all, I’ll miss the pride in your eyes whenever I did something. You always made me feel more accomplished. My accomplishments meant more when you acknowledged them.

Thank you for your support. Thank you for always sacrificing. Thank you for working a million hours just to give me what I wanted.

Thank you. For everything.




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Duke Backus

A great tribute to your Father, well said.Thank you for sharing my friend, you’ll be in my prayers.


Very very nice.

Sarah Seaberg

This is a perfect tribute to a true legend. Love you buddy. Praying for your and the fam.

Coach Ponds

Well said Jacob, WELL SAID… Prayers to your family..


What a beautiful tribute to your Dad, Jacob. His family meant everything to him and he meant the world to us. We are going to miss him so, so much. 😢

Jan Ross

Much love to you and your family Jacob. My heart hurts for you and Adam, I know how much Rick meant to both of you. Stay strong for your mom and know your friends are praying for you.


Said from the heart. Great piece. Too young to lose your father.

Barbara Huber

Tears are rolling as I read this Jacob. I love this tribute. Praying for you and your family.

Rori Regan Buckner

What a wonderful tribute! Your dad was an amazing man! And raised two amazing sons! ❤️I am so very grateful both of my boys had the blessing to know your dad and learn from him. The relationship that you, your brother and your dad had with the boys on the Outlaws baseball team is unforgettable and forever a blessing. We love you! Send tons of prayers for comfort and peace❤️

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