Frederick Charles "Fuzzy" Thurston (December 29, 1933 – December 14, 2014) was an American football guard in the National Football League who played for the Baltimore Colts and Green Bay Packers. Thurston played collegiate ball for Valparaiso University before being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 5th round of the 1956 NFL Draft. Thurston was signed to a basketball scholarship at Valparaiso and didn't begin playing collegiate football until his junior season (1954); he led the Crusaders to an Indiana Collegiate Conference title and was twice selected All-American. He was also named All-Conference for the 1954 and 1955 seasons, while being named the Conference's Top Lineman in 1955.
He was a key member of the Packers' offensive line during the team's glory years under coach Vince Lombardi, when they won five NFL Championships including the first two Super Bowls. Often paired with fellow guard Jerry Kramer, he led the Packers' vaunted Lombardi power sweep running attack. Thurston was named to the 1961 and 1962 All-Pro teams. Prior to joining the Packers, Thurston played the 1958 season with the NFL champion Baltimore Colts. Along with two former Packer teammates—Herb Adderley and Forrest Gregg—Thurston is one of only three players in pro football history to play on six World Championship teams. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in January 1975.
Thurston was well known for his response to a sportswriter's question about how he prepared for the famous Ice Bowl game, where the gametime temperature was 13 degrees below zero. Thurston responded that he drank "about 10 vodkas" in order to stay warm. Thurston remained popular in Wisconsin after his playing days and could often be found at Fuzzy's, a bar he owned not far from Lambeau Field.
Thurston was elected to the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1982, and the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. He was the first athlete ever to be voted in by the people of Wisconsin, even though the Hall had been founded in 1951.
Thurston died on December 14, 2014 at the age of 80 after several years of declining health. He had Alzheimer's disease and cancer.
By Dean Hanley
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