Anthony Shadid, the Pulitzer Prize winning foreign correspondent who died Thursday in Syria, was a huge Packers fan. He loved celebrating the success of Greg Jennings, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Shadid - A Packers fan gone far too soon

We’ve all heard about Packers fans going great lengths to watch the team, or who make the long trek to Lambeau Field – but there is none who have had more of a love of the team than Anthony Shadid.

The 43-year-old journalist died Thursday in Syria of an apparent asthma attack. The foreign correspondent was doing what he did best, covering the war torn area of the world that defined “Night Draws Near,”  the book that earned him the 2004 Pulitzer Prize.

But no matter how far away Shadid roamed from the United States and especially the state of Wisconsin where he earned his degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Shadid was never far from the Green Bay Packers.

He described in a story he wrote last year for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the lengths he has gone to either listen to or watch Packers games over the years, demonstrating his love for a team that has captured the hearts and imaginations of so many across the globe.

Here is how he described his efforts: “In 1995, I was sent to Cairo as a foreign correspondent. 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.”

As Packers fans, we mourn his loss and pray for his family.

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.

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