Whenever the Packers’ fullback, John Kuhn touches the ball, Packer fans around the world erupt with yells of “KUUUUUUUUUUHN!” that could often get mistaken for boos, but in fact, it’s almost the exact opposite message.
Packer fans are hugely supportive of John Kuhn. He’s like a cult hero in a weird way, but why is that? I mean, the guy only gets a couple touches per game, sometimes not at all. On the year, he has 8 rushing attempts for 13 yards and 10 receptions for 47 yards, according to ESPN.
That’s hardly enough to inspire such a following, especially when most star backs are doing twice or three times that every game, let alone all season.
But for some reason, Kuhn’s different.
For the Packers, he’s mostly carried the ball in dire situations such as goaline carries and short 3rd-down conversions and he’s good at pushing through to get those conversions and TDs (when the Pack played the Giants last season, Kuhn had three touchdowns), but is that actually the reason why we all love him so much?
Maybe, but I think it goes further.
I think John Kuhn’s somewhat of an underdog. He was on the Steelers practice squad when they won Super Bowl XL in 2006, so he has a ring for that, but the next year, he was cut from the team after running the ball twice.
After going back and forth with maybe going into arena leagues and a whole lot of uncertainty, Kuhn was signed to the Packers in 2008 literally THE DAY after being cut from the Steelers and he’s been a huge asset to the team without even touching the ball a lot.
Kuhn’s a ridiculously good blocker and a huge reason why Aaron Rodgers has been as successful as a quarterback, but unfortunately the guy doing the blocking doesn’t always get the credit they deserve, not to mention, Kuhn’s also been a huge factor in special teams, which also sometimes gets overlooked.
So he’s not of questionable value to the team in the slightest, which is reflected in that fact that according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, when Kuhn resigned with the Packers this summer for a 3-year contract, his agent said he’d be “one of the highest-paid fullbacks in the league.”
But there’s still a major factor at play that makes us scream “KUUUUUUUHN!” when he touches the ball (or especially when he carries it into the endzone) and perpetually root for the guy and that’s because deep down, I think we see a small part of ourselves in Kuhn. I know that sounds melodramatically sentimental (not to mentioned horribly cliched), but it’s kind of true, isn’t it?
Kuhn’s representative of the sort of blue collar, hometown kid that’s surprisingly valued by Wisconsinites and other Packer fans. Everyone wants to root for him because they want to root for themselves. You want to cheer on the guy that you didn’t think could do it, because he’s winning fights on your behalf, almost. You want to believe in something.
Scoring a touchdown is a huge rush and every time Kuhn scores a touchdown, our hearts leap with a similar rush. And that’s what makes watching the guy do well something special that we all can believe in and scream “KUUUUUUUUUHN!” to the rafters in unison because of.