Packers coach Vince Lombardi called him the best player he ever coached and he played in 188 straight games, a record at the time. But now Forrest Gregg, 78, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – a condition that has left the iron man with symptoms that include hand tremors, stooped posture, a shortened stride and a softened voice.
Many remember Gregg as the hardened soul who was a part of the championship offensive lines that protected Bart Starr and blew holes open for Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung. He also coached the Packers in the 80s and was always known as a tough man. His distaste of opposing teams, especially the Chicago Bears and their coach, Mike Ditka, are legendary.
It’s difficult to think of the man in a ravaged state, but he is getting older.Though not able to confirm it, doctors believe the neurological disease could be a result of the many concussions he suffered as a player at Southern Methodist University and his years as a player from 1956-71 with the Packers and Cowboys.
He was diagnosed in October with the disease after being referred by Dr. Rajeev Kumar, a Parkinson’s expert and director of the Colorado Neurological Institute’s Movement Disorders Center in Denver.