Poole receives key to Green Bay

Updated: January 4, 2004, 11:41 PM ET
Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Never has an opponent gotten such royal treatment at Lambeau Field as Arizona Cardinals wideout Nathan Poole received Sunday.

Nathan Poole

"This is great. I've never been treated like this anywhere," Poole said Sunday night after taking in the Green Bay Packers' 33-27 overtime win against Seattle.

Poole was responsible for the Packers reaching the postseason in the first place. He caught the winning touchdown pass as time ran out in Arizona last week to defeat Minnesota 18-17, giving the Packers the NFC North title and eliminating the Vikings.

Poole and his wife Neville attended the game Sunday as guests of mayor Jim Schmitt, who gave him a key to the city.

The Pooles took in the first half from his 50-yard line seats about 35 rows up but with the wind chill index in single digits, they accepted an offer to watch the rest of the game from a luxury suite.

Poole wore his Cardinals cap and fans recognized him right away as he walked through the parking lot on the way to the stadium.

"They all offered me cheese," Poole said. "It was great. When I walked in, they were saying, 'That's the guy who caught the TD!' And when we sat down, one guy said, 'Nathan, thank you!' And the stadium just went crazy, cheering."

When he left the stadium, fans were chanting, "Poole! Poole! Poole."

As snow fell and fans whooped and hollered, Poole took a moment to look around the emptying stadium one last time to soak in the ramifications of his big catch. "I gave the Packers a second chance," Poole said. "And they made the most of it."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press