UW-Whitewater band director sends Packers’ A.J. Dillon baton following running back’s musical end zone celebration
GREEN BAY, Wis. — When Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon took the football to the end zone at the beginning of the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings and began conducting the stadium in celebration, he likely didn’t expect what would happen next.
The revelry caught the attention of someone who is no stranger to conducting crowds: longtime University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Director of Bands Glenn Hayes.
In an instant, Hayes decided Dillon needed a baton to really sell the celebration, and Hayes had just the one.
“I had the idea and I was in my office Monday and was sorting through some things and recalled the baton… that has green and gold prominently, just by accident, on the handle. I thought, ‘Okay, this one was meant for a Packer, obviously,” he said.
So Hayes packed up the baton and mailed it to Lambeau Field along with a letter, hoping it would bring the running back a smile. By Friday, he knew the answer was yes.
“Best fans in football!” Dillon tweeted. “This is pretty cool, shoutout Mr. Glenn Hayes!” For this gift and message, much appreciated! I’m official now GO PACK GO!”
By Friday night, the tweet had been viewed more than 740,000 times.
Since Dillon posted on social media, Hayes said he has been getting emails from all over the country about the gift.
“I was hoping it would bring a smile to his face,” Hayes said. “Based on the Twitter feed, I think it probably has. I’m glad he appreciates it, and as I said in my letter, I’ve used that at Carnegie Hall; I hope he gets to use it at the most famous football game in the world.”
Now, the next time the Warhawk Marching Band performs in Green Bay, they’ll have a guest maestro to lead them.
RELATED: Packers keep playoff hopes alive by defeating NFC North rival Vikings
Dillon’s fourth-quarter touchdown and the accompanying extra point put the Packers 31 points up over the Vikings. By the time the final whistle blew, the Green and Gold had redeemed their early season loss in Minneapolis with a 41-17 victory to keep their playoff hopes alive.
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