Don Beebe a Kaneland High School graduate and Sugar Grove native, had spent seven seasons with Buffalo and Carolina of the NFL before joining the Green Bay Packers for the 1996 season. He had also been to four straight Super Bowls (1990-93), with the Buffalo Bills and had lost all of them. But on Sunday January 26, 1997 he and the Green Bay Packers finally won the Big One by defeating the New England Patriots 35-21 to win Super Bowl XXXI.
"For me that was a really great moment," stated Beebe.
He added he felt as though he had won it for all his former teammates in Buffalo. "Maybe in a little bit of a way," stated Beebe. "I got faxes from them all week: 'Win it for us and for yourself'.
"Sure, they'd want to be sitting where I'm at, because there's nothing like it. There's nothing like it in sports. This is better than winning a gold medal in the Olympics. This is better than the World Series."
Beebe hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for several minutes while basking in the glory of the Packer' victory, which capped a sterling 16-3 season.
"I've been wanting to hold this thing for a long time," he said. "And yes, I'm going to take this thing home. These guys don't know that yet, but it's going to sit on my mantle."
|Don Beebe outruns Minnesota|
|safety Harlan Barnett for an 80|
|yard touchdown reception.|
Even though Beebe didn't catch any passes in his fifth Super Bowl, he said this was by far his best Super Bowl.
"None of the guys in this locker room know what it's like on the other side," Beebe said.
As the seconds ticked down on the Packer's first NFL title in 29 years, Beebe approached quarterback Brett Favre, who had just taken a knee to down the ball for the last time.
"Being out there on the last play, I walked up to Brett after the last snap and I told him, 'I got to have that ball.'"
And Favre said, "Yeah, you deserve it."
"I took the ball and I ran it over to my family and I dedicated it to them. Because I think throughout the years, they hurt for me worse that I hurt for myself."
Beebe said he'd dreamt of this moment for a lifetime and had spent many waking hours wondering what it feels like to be called a champion.
So, with that moment finally here, just what was it like?
Beebe bowed his head and sat in silence for a several seconds.
"It's really though to say," he said, choking back the tears.
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