An unfortunate postscript to what was a brilliant evening for his team, Green Bay Packers’ running back Aaron Jones lost a necklace containing a portion of his father’s ashes in the End Zone grass.
A reporter still at work in the very empty Lambeau Field noticed that at 1:45 AM on Tuesday morning, one of the first team trainers—Bryan “Flea” Engel—was still on the field searching for the necklace.
Jones had a huge game against the Detroit Lions on Monday night when he scored four touchdowns in a 35-17 rout.
He revealed to reporters afterwards that he had lost the necklace which had a football pendant containing some of his father’s ashes. His dad, who was always in the stands when his son played, had died earlier this year at age 56 from complications with COVID-19.
“He’d be happy. He’d be like, ‘If you lose it anywhere, lose it in the end zone,’” Jones quipped while in high spirits during a postgame interview.
The pendant was black, which likely didn’t help in spotting it easily, but nevertheless Mr. Engel ended up finding the football equivalent of a needle in a haystack, bringing the brief ordeal to a heartwarming end.
Jones expressed his gratitude the next day: “Thank you to him. He was out there until 1:45. It shows how much they care about us,” ESPN reported.
“He’s been helping me a lot since my dad passed, so he’s, like, been there for me,” said Jones. “Our support staff is great here. They really care about the people.”
Indeed, they care about their players, as evidenced later in the week when long-time Packers equipment manager Gordon ‘Red’ Batty sewed a small pocket in his jersey—right above where Aaron Jones’ heart will be—to hold the football charm containing the ashes.
Perhaps it’s fitting something like this should happen at Lambeau, home of the only NFL football team in America that is publicly owned by the fans. Green Bay is a tiny city, but even after 13 league championships, including four Super Bowl wins, they’ve never left their home field in favor of the glitz and glamor of a major American metropolis.