Aaron Kampman Pro Bowl Diary - Part II


Mar 27, 2006
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In his fifth season with the Green Bay Packers, defensive end Aaron Kampman finally shook the label of a try-hard overachiever and was recognized as an elite athlete and performer at his position, earning his first bid to the Pro Bowl.

Coming off a lucrative contract extension he signed prior to the 2006 season, Kampman went out and earned every penny, leading the NFC with 15 1/2 sacks, the third-highest single-season total in franchise history. He also recorded a career-high 113 tackles, a franchise record for a defensive lineman.

Kampman, who is joined by teammate Donald Driver in Hawaii, will play in the Pro Bowl for the first time on Saturday night, and he'll be chronicling his trip in this exclusive online diary for Packers.com.

Kickoff for the 2007 Pro Bowl will be 1 p.m. Hawaii time, 5 p.m. CT on CBS.

Here is the second installment:

First of all, I have to say Hawaii is definitely a welcome break from the bitter cold of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Right now it's cloudy to partly cloudy, probably low 80s, maybe a little cooler than that. When we flew out here Monday, I walked from parking my car into the airport and I couldn't feel my ears. It was pretty cold.

We actually had a tough time getting out here. Our flight was canceled from Green Bay to Chicago. They said it was a mechanical problem, maybe related to the cold, I don't know. We ended up getting re-routed down to Atlanta and then over to Honolulu, so it was a long day for our boys, but they did a pretty good job. It worked out as a real blessing. We ended up all getting to sit by one another, which was truly amazing because they just kind of randomly put us on this plane.

By the time we got out here and got to bed, it was around 4 a.m. Wisconsin time. We were supposed to be here at 7 p.m. for a team meeting, so we missed that. But I got a chance to talk to Donald Driver and he filled me in on what went on.

It sounds like he's having a nice time. He and Betina and his mom and the kids are all out here, and I'm sure we'll catch up with them on the beach.

So far, the schedule is pretty relaxed. We are basically busy with practices and meetings until about noon or so, and sometimes it ends a little before that, then the rest of the day is pretty much ours.

The practices are nothing like what any of us are used to. Let's just say if that was how we practiced during the season, we'd all have plenty of energy because we didn't expend a whole lot of it. It was a pretty relaxed atmosphere, a lot of walk-throughs and jog-throughs. It's more for the offense to get their timing down. Defensively it's not real complicated schematically. We just figure out where to line up and play from there. We went through a walk-through, did a stretch period, a very brief individual time with our defensive line coach, and a very brief segment of team practice. All in all, it probably took an hour.

There's a number of guys where this is their first time at the Pro Bowl. For some it's kind of old hat -- been there, done that. But the one thing I've noticed so far is everyone is real, real nice and everyone wants to have a good time. We've all got so much in common as far as the different rigors that go on in a season, and obviously we can all talk about that. There's a lot of common ground.

Our coaches are the New Orleans Saints' coaches, and they got up and said our goal here is to have fun, more fun than a lot of fun, and then in the fourth quarter to win it. So this is definitely going to be a nice time.

After practice on Tuesday, my wife and I and my mom and dad drove by Pearl Harbor, and then we took a scenic drive through some of the mountain country. We hit the beach later in the day and then got a nice dinner. Nothing too spectacular, just having a nice time relaxing with family. It was a good day.

The kids are enjoying it, too. My youngest is nine months. I don't think he really cares whether we're here, there or anywhere, he just has a good time. My oldest wants to play on the beach, so he's taking his naps to save up his energy for that. We'll certainly enjoy that together.

It's a real honor and a blessing to be out here, and I want to thank the fans for their efforts, because I know they were a part of the voting process and all that. So thank you, and I know it's going to be a good week.

Kampman's diary will continue throughout the week on Packers.com.

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