Muhlbach spreads Green Bay cheer to Lions luminaries

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Lions long snapper Don Muhlbach experienced more losses in Green Bay than any other player on the current roster.

Long snapper Don Muhlbach sent texts to former teammates, including kicker Jason Hanson, to share the jubilation of finally beating the Packers at Lambeau Field after 24 years.

And shortly after the Lions won at Lambeau Field for the first time in his career, Muhlbach reached out to a man who was on the team for 22 of the 24 consecutive losses in Wisconsin, longtime kicker Jason Hanson.

Muhlbach, who's been with the Lions since 2004, said he texted Hanson from the Lambeau Field parking lot after the game, writing something like, "Finally got it done."

"Congrats, long time coming," Hanson responded, according to Muhlbach.

Obviously, the win in Green Bay last week won't play a role in the Lions' next game against the Oakland Raiders at Ford Field Sunday (1 p.m., FOX), it provided a special moment for several of the players, past and present, who had experienced only losing at Lambeau Field. The Lions hadn't won there since 1991.

Muhlbach and wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who's nine years in Detroit are second only to the long snapper, shared an emotional moment after the game, though neither quite broke down in tears.

"It was an incredibly emotional win," Johnson said. "Don's been here 12 years, and he's never won there. This is my ninth year and we finally got one, so it was huge. Not just for me, it was a lot of people in the organization that have been here in a long time that haven't experienced that win up there."

Muhlbach, 34, said he felt bad for some of the other longtime Lions who didn't get to experience a road win over the division rival, guys like Hanson, center Dominic Raiola and left tackle Jeff Backus.

"Those guys didn't get to feel that there," he said.

Muhlbach did, however, have a chance to share the moment with his father, who made the trip north from Texas.

"He was very happy in his nosebleed seats," Muhlbach said.

And now, the next generation of Lions players won't have to go through the torture of such an embarrassing streak because of the win.

After the team arrived back in Detroit, Muhlbach gave rookie fullback Michael Burton a ride home. Burton is among the players who weren't born the last time the Lions won in Green Bay.

Even though the younger players didn't know much about the streak, Burton said it was "very special" to have a role in breaking it.

"We were just going up there to win a football game," he said.