Brown Deer, Wisconsin native and ComedySportz alum Gareth Reynolds is best known as the co-host of The Dollop, a popular American history podcast that’s landed him a book deal and has brought him to perform in places like Iceland, Australia, throughout Europe, and all corners of the United States. On top of being a world-renowned podcast personality, as well as a writer (Arrested Development, You’re The Worst), actor (New Girl, The Goldbergs, Maron), and avidly touring stand-up comedian, Reynolds is also a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers.
Though he’s famous for his lack of historical knowledge, Packers history is one topic Reynolds knows quite well. Prior to The Dollop’s live shows at Barrymore Theatre in Madison on Friday, October 18 and at Turner Hall on Sunday, October 20, we asked Reynolds to tell us about his five favorite players in Green Bay Packers history. He didn’t disappoint! Before his duo of homecoming performances (where he won’t know anything about the topic until it’s being discussed on stage), take a look a Reynolds’ thorough rundown of his favorite players from his favorite franchise of all time.
5. Sterling Sharpe
He’s the first player I really remember when I was a kid. Sharpe. My brother called it early with him: “This dude will be amazing.” I was on board immediately. It took fans a minute to see it. I remember my brother taking me to Kohl’s to find his jersey and they didn’t have it! Well, they did shortly after that because he became a killer. He was just so smooth. And this was when the Packers sucked. They were awful but there was this one guy who was like an ember to our future fire. And once number four came into the league, Sharpe went to another level. He was the first—sadly not the last—Packer in my life that we lost to a neck injury. Or maybe it was spine. But whatever, it was tough. When I think of my first Packer memories, they involve Sharpe.
4. Desmond Howard
That million dollar smile that bailed us out of Super Bowl XXXI! He was just so fucking fast. I remember that year for many reasons, but Howard was just such a game-changer. We spent years getting comfy with Favre. Eventually, we had faith in him. But once Favre got settled, Howard was there to raise the heart rate at every return. He was awesome. It made special teams the best part of the game, which is hard to fathom: looking forward to the kicking parts. We’ve never had another one like Howard. Also is he not aging? He still looks 28 on College Game Day. I feel like he eats Botox or something.
3. Brett Favre
The best. I mean, really, it’s obvious. I watch old Favre highlights—don’t judge me—often. It’s weird because I still don’t know if anyone looks like him. Some say [Baker] Mayfield, but Favre really is one of a kind. Green Bay should have won three [titles] with him, but the one we got was great. The only reason he is below number 12 in my opinion is because of the ending. You know…when he Fredo’d. I was one of those crazy people who was like “We need to Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Brett Favre from our heads!” when he went to the Vikings. And it was hard for a while, but my anger has faded in the past few years. I’ve gotten older, he’s gotten older. But I love the guy. Favre was my childhood QB. His recklessness was not good for me to see as a kid. I was like “If you don’t listen and just try sort of, you’ll be amazing!”
2. Aaron Rodgers
He is a statistic anomaly and he grows sweet ‘staches. It’s neck and neck between he and Favre for me, but I take Rodgers because he’s broken my heart less. He should also have more rings, but he ain’t done yet! Rodgers just has accuracy that’s sent from above. Like me with puns. He does things I don’t think any other QB in the league can do. I remember his first—maybe second—year playing and he hurt his shoulder during the game. He stayed on the field even though his arm was shot. He threw one more pass against the Buccaneers that day to Greg Jennings. It fell incomplete…wait, no it didn’t. Jennings caught it! It was such a threaded needle of a pass it looked like Greg Jennings dropped it. It was wild and went for a TD. Rodgers came out right after and was done for the game. But I was watching like “If this guy can do that hurt, other teams should be worried.” Twelve has been a blast to watch, and we are lucky to get more.
1. John Jurkovic
Weird number one, right? Well…his real first name is Ivan. Does that help? No? Okay. Well, John—IVAN—was a defensive tackle. He wasn’t the fastest, he wasn’t the brightest, he wasn’t the best…but he was the greatest. He was an Illinois guy, but he played his ass off for the Pack. My friends and I loved him. He was the prefect Packer. Crazy Polish name and a huge gap in his teeth. That’s still not why he’s number one. The reason why he is the top dog on my list is because when I was 16, myself and three friends went to a hotel banquet room to meet our hero. We finished smoking our Marlboro Mediums and waited in line.
Once we got up there, one of my friends said “I love you, Jurko.” And some guy with Jurko said, “Yeah, but you can’t have his Bud Light”—as was the ad campaign at the time. That prompted my friend Kevin to say, “Jurk doesn’t drink Bud Light, he drinks Blatz, right Jurko?” And John—Ivan—Jurkovic looked up from whatever he was signing and said with a tiny grin, “Warm Blatz.” That’s why he is number one. Also, I was wearing an inflatable beer helmet at the time.
GO PACK GO!