For the second move of the seemingly long and uneventful offseason, the Packers acquired guard/center Duke Preston. You might already know a little about this guy – he’s built like a tank (6’5, 326), versatile on the line and McCarthy thinks “he's more of an athlete.” (Glad to hear we’re finally getting the athletes.) But I wanted to get beyond his American beauhunk frame and delve a little into the personal side of Mr. Duke. Like, what’s his favorite color? Mac or PC? Has he ever had a bratwurst? If he could only have one superpower, what would it be and why? You know, the usual.
I’m assuming Duke’s been pretty busy with the offseason workouts and cruising College Ave. in Appleton because he hasn’t responded to my emails yet. That’s OK because I was still able to pluck a few nuggets from the world wide interweb.
His full name is Raymond Newton Preston III (“Duke” was definitely the right call.) He’s a San Diego native, who lettered all four years in football and baseball – even was all-academic, which had to please Packer management. Duke’s dad actually played 9 years in the NFL with the Chargers. Here’s his 1980 Topps rookie card, currently selling for around $10 in mint condition on ebay – that tells you he was a decent player.
While pursuing his speech communications degree at Illinois, Duke played behind an all-American center in Luke Butkus. Luke never panned out as a pro and is a Bears O-line coach now. And if “Butkus” sounds familiar – and of course it does – it’s because Luke is the nephew of Mr. Dick himself. And everyone remembers Dick Butkus as the amiable owner of Klawicki’s, the apartment diner in the hit series “My Two Dads.” According to IMDB and vague memories from the late 80s, Dick left the show after three years (undisclosed reasons) and the show got canned soon after, meaning the Butkus was undoubtedly the show’s ubiquitious impetus. But I’m getting sidetracked here.
So how much of an impact is Duke Preston going to have on the Packers? No clue. But I can tell you he is one of the best golfers in the NFL, his favorite athlete ever in the world was Muhammed Ali, and he frequently dreams about going to school naked. (note: I could not confirm the dreams part, but hasn’t everyone had that dream at one point?) Everybody say, “Hi, Duke!”