Tom Crabtree: The Fan-Friendly Green Bay Packer

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Tom Crabtree’s green mohawk, as posted on Twitter, after getting over 10,000 followers in April 2011.

“He is notable for the large number of tattoos on his arms.”

This is about all the personal information you’ll get when you look up Tom Crabtree on Wikipedia. He’s the tattooed tight end wearing #83 for the Green Bay Packers, and he was born November 4, 1985, in Columbus, Ohio. An undrafted free agent from Miami University, he made his debut with the Packers in his second year, performing mostly as a blocking tight end, yet also managing to accumulate 4 receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown.

These are the cold, hard facts anyone can find out.

But the “plugged-in” cheeseheads know the real @TCrabtree83 as the most fan-friendly Packer to embrace the Age of Social Media.

Just this past week, Crabtree made an impromptu phone call to Bill Johnson and Jason Wilde on their “Green and Gold Today” talk show (which has been suffering from lockout depression). He appeared as a special guest on the latest episode of Cheeshead Radio, co-hosted by our own “Jersey” Al Bracco. And at 8:00 p.m. CDT on June 8th, he will be hosting a live Book Club discussion on CheeseheadTV to discuss Annie Jacobsen’s newest release, “Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base.”

Of course, aside from his gracious appearances in the world of internet radio and podcasts, Tom Crabtree is most often found “tweeting” his thoughts and interacting with his 11,000+ followers in 140 characters or less.

“I think it’s so cool today, that fans can interact with us like that and talk to celebrities and athletes,” said Crabtree in his “Tuesdays With Wilde” interview last December. “I like to interact with the fans, because I know if I was in their shoes, it’d be cool to talk to the people I look up to.”

Sometimes you will find him talking about movies or TV shows like “The Office” (one of his favorites). Other times you will see him discussing music, such as getting to see Avenged Sevenfold on his recent trip to Rock on the Range in his home city of Columbus.

And when he’s not working out, you can probably find Tom Crabtree playing Call of Duty: Black Ops on his PS3 or Xbox 360.

Finally, there are the random musings he’ll share with his “tweeps“:

  • @TCrabtree83: I have the cutest kid ever. It’s official. End of discussion.
  • @TCrabtree83: By the way my Hershey Bar i made is milk chocolate, pretzel bits, vanilla chips and SPRINKLES!!!! Yes, sprinkles.
  • @TCrabtree83: I also own a book called ‘I Love Ranch Dressing’. No joke.
  • @TCrabtree83: I went from, “hey look at his tattoos.” To, “hey is that guy going to kill me?” in about a week.

When asked about his “fancentricity” on Cheesehead Radio, Tom Crabtree remarked, “I feel blessed to be where I’m at, and I don’t think I’ll ever lose that, [even] if I play one more year, or ten, twelve more years, whatever. I just kind of remember where I came from.”

“I’m a fan of the game, as well,” he went on to say. “I’m proud to be a part of this league. . . . The fans make this thing go just as much as the players. So that’s kind of where I come from when I look at it.”

For fans, it’s refreshing to know professional athletes who are this humble.

Crabtree is definitely what us cheeseheads like to call “Packer people.” Though not flashy or freakishly athletic, his work ethic, down-to-earth personality, and fan friendliness make him a player we all like to root for. And with two new tight ends coming into the fold, there could be some uncertainty about his future with the team. (Though I do believe he’s a strong player who made his mark in Mike McCarthy’s offense.)

The bottom line, however, is that no matter where he goes from here, Tom Crabtree has made some fans for life. Through the world of social networking, he has found a way to give back to those people that support him.

“I definitely think and am thankful for where I’m at and to kind of have the support of a fan base that I do and that the Packers do,” said Crabtree on Cheesehead Radio. “I think we’re just, we’re blessed.”

As are we, Tom. As are we.

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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  • PackersRS

    Crabtree is hilarious, genuine, one of the best guys on twitter.

    But he looks like a maniac with that big smile and the green mohawk.

    And I do not like his taste on music. He’s a metalhead…

    But I’m a fan for life. Will cheer for this guy wherever he goes, if he doesn’t stay with us.

    BTW, re-watching the SB, he mauled James Farrior. It was a blalant hold, but he simply threw the guy on the ground. It was awesome.

    • Chad Toporski

      Your first sentence is spot on.

      I’m not much into his taste of music, either, but I will listen to it when the mood strikes me. Soundgarden and Live are two of my favorites. (Can you tell I grew up in the 90’s?)

      As for the Super Bowl, I thought that was Woodley he mauled, but it could have been Farrior. I’ll have to check again. I watched some of the offensive drives the other night, too, and was continually amazed at how effective it was. Starks ran well that day, despite his very limited touches.

      • PackersRS

        I just re-watched the whole thing and I’m not 100% sure… When I get home I’ll check it out again. There was also an incredible phantom facemask called on him.

        And for the music, the grunge part is good (though I’m more into Pearl Jam and Nirvana than Soundgarden)…

        • Chad Toporski

          It appears we were both wrong. The guy he threw to the ground was #94, Lawrence Timmons.

          I’ve got some Pearl Jam and Nirvana on my iPod, but I think only one album from each (Vitalogy and Nevermind).

          I have to admit, though, my “guilty pleasures” from the 90’s are Third Eye Blind and Crash Test Dummies. I can always throw their albums on no matter what mood I’m in.