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Smith Column: Not about me for Packers' Donald Lee

February 6, 2011

Sports Editor

It's not going to be very hard at all to pull for the Green Bay Packers in today's Super Bowl.
That's not because there's a dislike for Pittsburgh Steelers because they have a great organization with a storied tradition, but seeing the Packers do well has everything to do with Donald Lee.
The former Maben High School player who went on to play college football at Mississippi State participates on football's biggest stage when Green Bay takes on Pittsburgh at Cowboys Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m.
Lee carries the Oktibbeha County banner into the Super Bowl that players like Jerry Rice and Kirby Jackson did before him.
Here's hoping you took the time to read and enjoyed Lee's story in the pages of today's Starkville Daily News. Our staff spent some time over the last couple of weeks visiting with Lee, his high school coach Kenny Williamson and college coach Jackie Sherrill.
Williamson and Sherrill both spoke highly of Lee's character and work ethic.
Throughout his career, Lee was never a player who demanded the spotlight.
At Maben, Lee shared the field with two pretty good players in quarterback Patrick Burchfield and running back Randy Bell.
Even though he made some nifty plays while at MSU, Lee didn't produce huge receiving numbers as a tight end. Sherrill wasn't the type of coach who thought it was necessary to throw much to the tight end.
Lee got enough exposure with the Bulldogs to get a chance to play in the National Football League.
After playing two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Lee was traded to the Packers.
Lee's best season in Green Bay came in 2007 when he had 48 catches for 575 yards and six touchdowns.
When he caught a winning touchdown pass for the Packers against the Chicago Bears in December, Lee took satisfaction in contributing to such a big victory against a rival.
However, it really doesn't matter to Lee if he gets one, two or any catches in a game. He exhibits an unselfish attitude that's commendable.
"You've just got to remember that everybody has a job to do," Lee said. "When it's your turn to do the job, you step up in a big way to get it done."
Williamson said Lee understands he's never going to be a franchise player at Green Bay, but accepts his role and does it well.
Whether or not Lee becomes a huge factor for the Packers in today's game against the Steelers, the ring still fits if Green Bay wins.

Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.

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