The Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears rivalry has had plenty of ridiculous moments and memorable ones throughout the years. In the Packers’ down years in the 1970s and 1980s, however, they lost to Chicago far more often than they won, save for a brief stretch in the early 80s in which they won four of five games between the two franchises.
The first of that stretch was the season-opening game in 1980, when Packers kicker Chester Marcol did this:
Even as a Packers fan born after this play took place, I remember hearing about it and seeing replays of it growing up, and it has taken a special place of honor in the hearts of Packers fans of all generations. However, that play and Marcol’s career as a whole have a very dark side.
Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports has been telling a number of stories about the NFL lately, mainly featuring unusual or surprising revelations. On Friday afternoon, he posted an article in part about this play, but mainly about Marcol’s career, which was derailed by cocaine and alcohol addictions. Those issues ended up getting him cut from the Packers not long after he made the play you see above.
Here’s a brief excerpt from Edholm’s piece:
(Marcol’s) heart raced underneath his perspiration-soaked uniform as he led the team in prayer. But part of that — and what also made it his darkest moment — might also have been because of the cocaine Marcol had snorted at halftime.
No one yet knew it, but Marcol was becoming addicted to the drug he had tried for the first time just a few weeks prior. So much so that he felt the need to use it during a game.
This piece is definitely a must-read for Packers fans. For those who want some more context about Marcol himself and his struggles, his autobiography “Alive and Kicking” is available on Amazon or other bookstores. Edholm notes, Marcol’s story has a positive ending, so click the link above to read more about the Polish Prince and how he overcome his demons.