GREEN BAY — After Za’Darius Smith revealed “We love Eileen” on his T-shirt following a sack last Sunday in the Packers loss to San Francisco, social media was abuzz trying to figure out the story behind the mystery woman.
It was definitely important to Smith. “Did they show it on TV?” he asked reporters after the game.
It turns out there are a few twists and turns to the story of how Eileen’s name ended up on national TV.
It begins with Ben Booker, Eileen’s son, who works in the locker room for the Packers.
In an interview with Green Bay’s ABC affiliate, WBAY, Booker said even though he’s from California, he’s been a Packers fan his whole life. That’s because his mother and her sister grew up in Packers’ country and went to high school in Green Bay.
However Booker said the moment on TV would never have happened if it wasn’t for Smith’s endless support after the Packers’ star defender found out that Ben’s mom had been diagnosed with an incurable, rare form of bone marrow cancer in September.
Eileen was diagnosed with multiple myeloma which causes cancer cells to pool in the bone marrow, impacting health blood cells.
“I talked to him and I was like we should do something for it,” Smith said. “That will be my sack celebration with a shout out. He (Ben) came up with the idea of the shirt and it all came through.”
Watch the full story HERE.