Remmel honored

for the Leader

APPLETON Shawano native Lee Remmel was honored Tuesday night with the annual Red Smith Award at the 35th Annual Red Smith Sports Award Banquet.

Remmel said the award ranks right at the top of honors he's received, right up there with being inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame in 1996.

"It's pretty humbling to be included on a list that includes such names as Robin Yount, Paul Molitor and Johnny "Blood" McNally," said Remmel, who has served in the front office of the Green Bay Packers for 27 years, the last 10 as executive director of public relations.

Before that Remmel was a sports writer and columnist for the Green Bay Press-Gazette for nearly 30 years.

When Remmel started at the weekly Shawano paper while in high school, he was paid 75 cents for each article he wrote. Later he wrote a column for which he was paid 50 cents per column.

Remmel knew Red Smith personally and covered his career while at the Press-Gazette.

"I've had two jobs in my life," he added, "and I've enjoyed both of them thoroughly."

Asked if he contemplated retirement, he said, "I don't think about it. I just take it year to year. It's the only way to do it."

This year he will be working at the Super Bowl for the NFL. He has covered every Super Bowl in some capacity during his career. He has also covered the Packers during every regime of coaches.

Speaking about the new Packer coach Mike Sherman, he said, "He's very intelligent, well organized, determined and a no nonsense' kind of a coach. He's also an excellent communicator. I think he will do very well and I'm very excited about him coming to Green Bay."

Larry McCarren, who presented Remmel's award at the banquet, said it was never a problem for a member of the media to call Lee anytime of the day or night, because "he's been there.

"During his career, Lee always has worked in the background," McCarren said, "but tonight he's in the foreground.

In accepting the award, Remmel said he was very honored. He noted he could not play high school sports due to brain surgery he had his freshman year at Shawano High School.

"My main claim to fame at Shawano High was during my sophomore year when some friends and I tipped over 29 outdoor privies on Halloween," he said. "I think that is still an interscholastic record!"

As far as his career, Lee said "I've just worked hard doing what I love to do. I wouldn't change a thing."

Former Minnesota Twins outfield Kirby Puckett was also presented with the Annual Miller "Nice Guy" Award. ESPN baseball broadcaster Jon Miller was the guest speaker for the evening.

Past recipients of the Red Smith Award have included Ray Nitschke, Warren Spahn, Jerry Kramer and Paul Hornung.

The awards are presented annually in memory of the late Richard (Red) Smith. Smith was a native of Combine Locks and was one of the few athletes who starred in the majors in both professional baseball and foot and later coached in the major leagues in both sports.

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By Jim Leuenberger
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