As negative and divisive as the internet can sometimes (okay, usually) be, it has a weird way of bringing unlikely people together in even more unlikely ways. For example, you probably didn’t expect to be reading about an ’80s era Green Bay Packer getting a bunch of shit on Twitter for stealing an accomplished alt-comic’s joke, but here we are.
On Monday afternoon, Greg Koch—an offensive tackle who played with the Packers between 1977 and 1985—tweeted the following:
I was living with a girl a while. We worried about different things. One day, I was like, ‘What do u fear the most?’ And she was like, ‘I fear you’ll meet someone else, & you’ll leave me, & I’ll be all alone.’ And she was like, ‘What do u fear the most?’ And I was like, ‘Bears.’
— Greg Koch (@gregkoch1) February 26, 2018
If that joke seems familiar, it’s because it’s not his. Koch, an attorney who currently co-hosts a sports talk radio show in Houston, transcribed and tweeted a joke from Mike Birbiglia’s 2006 album, Two Drink Mike, with no attribution to the comedian. It wasn’t long before dozens of people took notice and called the former lineman out on his taboo act. Of course, more than a few people also made fun of the radio personality’s attempt to pass off a respected comedian and filmmaker’s 12-year-old joke as his own.
Even Birbiglia had something to say.
This is a great joke, Greg. Congrats. https://t.co/ymkWoX89zo
— Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) February 27, 2018
For just an instant, a retired offensive tackle and a popular modern comedian shared a moment (and a joke) that was a rare and unexpected break from the negativity of the internet. Unless Ken Ruettgers lifts a John Mulaney bit or something, this will probably go down as the most significant instance of joke thievery in Green Bay Packers history.