Anthony Shadid was a Packers fan to the end

Reuters

The journalism world is mourning Anthony Shadid, the Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent who died in Syria Thursday of an apparent asthma attack at the age of 43. Shadid devoted his life to covering war-torn areas of the globe, but no matter where he roamed, he remained a loyal fan of his beloved Green Bay Packers.

Last year, just before the Packers won the Super Bowl, Shadid penned a piece for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the lengths he had gone to to remain in touch with his favorite team in all corners of the world.

“In 1995, I was sent to Cairo as a foreign correspondent,” Shadid wrote. “The only satellite phones then were the size of steamer trunks, and I couldn’t manage to take that home with me. So any time the Packers played a night game – those games, for some reason, broadcast on expensive satellite channels available in five-star hotels in the Middle East – I plopped down a few hundred dollars for a room at the Marriott. It was still too little Packers for me.”

Shadid, whose book Night Draws Near is the best thing I’ve read about the Iraq war, was resourceful enough to stay on top of NFL news in any situation, and he called tickets to a game the best perk of being a Pulitzer Prize winner.

“Budgetary constraints aside, I listened to every game in Baghdad,” Shadid wrote. “When I won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004, my editor at the Post, Phil Bennett, gave me front-row tickets to a game with the Washington Redskins. Forget the Pulitzer! I’m going to the game! I could have written another book if I had somehow managed not to spend countless hours reading about the Packers online.”

Shadid is survived by his foreign-born wife, Nada, who had never heard of the Packers before meeting him but became a fan, and their two children.

26 responses to “Anthony Shadid was a Packers fan to the end

  1. I love hearing stories like this. Born and raised a Raiders fan, and ever since I’ve gone off to college the Raiders are the only thing my dad and I ever want to talk about. The team has become an extension of my family — in a way.

    For some people, sports is more than a game. It defines who you are. He was a Packers fan before a writer. I’m a Raiders fan before a son. It’s just how it is.

  2. Of course the tragic death of a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist will only get about 5 minutes of coverage in the media. They don’t want to distract from the week long ratings bonanza of a has been crackhead singer who probably died at her own hands. Shadid sounds like he lived an interesting and influential life that people need to hear more about. RIP Mr Shadid.

  3. Capslockkey- that was fantastic and oh so true. Ratings are all they care about. The media tells you the stories that they are most likely to profit from. It’s a joke really.

  4. capslockkey says:
    Feb 17, 2012 12:44 PM
    Of course the tragic death of a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist will only get about 5 minutes of coverage in the media. They don’t want to distract from the week long ratings bonanza of a has been crackhead singer who probably died at her own hands. Shadid sounds like he lived an interesting and influential life that people need to hear more about. RIP Mr Shadid.
    ———

    1. The media has been on this story. Can’t help it if you can’t read.

    2. Your knock on Whitney Houston belittles everything else you wrote.

    3. Sometimes, less is more, Champ.

  5. Guess he liked living in Syria better than here! In the middle of a civil war or the “Arab Spring” as the left calls it.

  6. Anyone can put some foam cheese on their head or paint their face. Very few can claim to follow their team even in the face of war. Hats off to him. 43. So sad.

  7. 1. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Feb 17, 2012 12:59 PM
    Any word on who is getting his Packer stock certificates?

    —-

    Why don’t you show some respect?

  8. This is a very sad day for a number of reasons. First, he was a phenomenal journalist. I live in the city he’s from (suburban Oklahoma City), and his passing has barely been a blip on the local news scene, mainly because this is a very, very red state and Shadid wrote for the very disliked NYT and was based in Iraq – despite the fact that his family is extremely involved in local politics, medicine, and law, and is very well regarded. As a Packer fan myself, I’ve had a few situations where I’ve had to do the same in foreign countries to avoid missing games, and it’s good to know that there is someone so much smarter than I, so much more accomplished, that had the same level of passionate devotion. Shadid’s loss is huge for the journalism world, and for the 90% of Americans from any political affiliation who think for themselves and appreciate honest, straight forward coverage that provides the insights and facts necessary for everyone to form their own opinions. Most of all, a very proud and tight-knit family loses a son, grandson, nephew, dad, husband, brother, and cousin. RIP Anthony.

  9. To young to lose a man who was a true professional in a field where these kind of men are rare.

    RIP and thoughts to his family.

  10. R.I.P. Mr. Shadid. Packers gave him a great final ride the last year and a half. I love life here on this earth, but I’m going to be pretty happy in my afterlife if I get to go to the same place as Coach Lombardi, Curly Lambeau, Ray Nitschke, and Reggie White.

    Besides winning in the present, nothing better than talking about all the winning done in the past. (Vikings fans often make a joke about that, but guys, if your team actually accomplished some winning in its past, you’d understand).

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