There hasn’t been much for Packers fans to be happy about this year. It’s still November and the team is already teetering on the edge of postseason elimination. Mike McCarthy’s job is in jeopardy, injuries are plaguing the organization, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix—possibly the player with the best name in franchise history—was traded to Washington. But when Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst closes a hilariously-named door, he makes sure to open a window. At this particularly bleak time in Packerland, what should be a meaningless late-season practice squad acquisition is the best news fans have seen in quite a while.
Tuesday, the Packers officially signed an offensive tackle to their practice squad. His name? Gerhard de Beer.
The rookie lineman went to Arizona, where he was a huge part of a potent rushing offense. He went undrafted, but was invited to training camp by the Buffalo Bills this summer. When the Bills cut him, he wound up spending some time on the team’s practice squad.
The 6-foot-6, 312-pound lineman is 24 years old. He’s a native of South Africa, and he came to the U.S. to throw discus for the Arizona Wildcats. After experiencing success in track, he reportedly decided to try out for the football team—working his way up from the scout team in 2014 to a role as the team’s starting right tackle by the 2017 season.
Best yet, his last name is “de Beer.”
Those still stinging from the loss of Clinton-Dix or mourning the departure of scraptastic surnames like Aaron Ripkowski and John Kuhn can take comfort in knowing they have a new favorite player to cheer for at the tail end of what looks to be an otherwise fruitless season. It’ll take a few injuries or other unfavorable circumstances to get him on the roster this season, but it’s good to know there’s a capable lineman with the best Packers name since Taco Wallace waiting in the wings.