Monday, January 28, 2008

Kampman to receive Red Smith Award

By Brad Zimanek

January 6, 2008

Green Bay Packers defensive end Aaron Kampman could have a busy week on the horizon.

Kampman will receive the Red Smith Award during the 43rd annual Red Smith Banquet on Jan. 15 in Appleton.

If the Packers win their NFC divisional playoff game, Kampman will also be preparing with his teammates for the NFC Championship game to be played Jan. 20.

"I looked at that," Kampman said. "It's quite an honor so, hopefully, we'll make it work if that happens."

At first, Kampman did not know exactly what the award meant.

"I have to be very honest with you, I didn't know very much about it," Kampman said. "As I've been filled in, I get more and more humbled by the fact that I've been selected for that award. It should be a very nice night and I've heard a lot of positive things about it."

The award is presented annually to the individual who has contributed or continues to contribute to sports either on or off the field throughout the state of Wisconsin.

Winners include former Packers greats Ray Nitschke (1981), Max McGee (1985), Paul Hornung (1987), Willie Davis (1990), Jerry Kramer (1993) and LeRoy Butler (2003) among others. Other state sports figures who have been honored include Andy North (1983), Don Nelson (1988), Robin Yount (1996), Paul Molitor (1999), Herb Kohler (2004) and Barry Alvarez (2006).

"It's a distinguished list," Kampman said.

Kampman's role in the community is nearly as extensive as his being named to back-to-back Pro Bowls as a player.

Last January, he and his wife, Linde, spent two weeks with the Gospel of Asia Christian ministry. He also previously traveled overseas with the Christian organization Unlimited Potential Incorporated. He has worked with the Packers' All-Pro Dad event in 2006 and volunteers extensively with the Green Bay Community Church youth group.

"I've done a lot of different things, speaking to different groups and just seeing what God is doing in different areas," Kampman said. "I enjoy speaking to kids. I have a degree in elementary education and just the opportunity to be an influence in people's lives, because regardless of what people think — right, wrong or indifferent — that's the responsibility you have."

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