5th grader gets Packers autograph for brave try at juggling on live TV

Anna, a 5th-grader with the strength to try juggling on live TV after being taught the skill by a Packers lineman. Image by Green Bay Packers/TODAY'S TMJ4

5th grader gets Packers autograph for brave try at juggling on live TV

By Jay Sorgi. CREATED Sep 17, 2013

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it." - Nelson Mandela

A girl who proudly shows off her love of the Green Bay Packers showed that courage and valor are a more important virtue than skill.

Anna, a 5th-grader whose favorite subject is math, appeared at Packers Live which airs on TODAY'S TMJ4 and NBC26 and participated in "Earn Your Autograph."

Packers guard T.J. Lang was his guest, and tried to teach her how to juggle three tennis balls.

"I made the mistake of letting Larry (McCarren) see me juggle, so he asked me to share my skill with you guys tonight," said Lang.

"It's something I started doing when I was a kid...it helps with hand-eye coordination.  In the weight room, we have these big 10-pound weights that you juggle, and it really gets your forearms firing."

No, he was not going to subject Anna to juggling 10-pound balls.

Tennis balls were enough.

"You have to hold two of the balls in your right hand.  You want to throw the front one first, as you throw that, you throw the second one underneath, and you keep kind of going.  It's tough, but we'll see if you get the hang of it."

First, Lang demonstrated the skill to perfection with three tennis balls to a grand applause at the Lambeau Field Atrium.

Then, he handed the balls to an understandably nervous Anna.

Larry set the bar at the courage to try rather than the mastery of the skill.

"If you do your best, the football gods will say you get an autographed football," said Larry.

Initially, Anna threw both balls from her right hand into the ground, and she couldn't simutaneously catch both and shift the ball in the left hand toward the air.

"Hey, good enough," Lang said with an understanding laugh while the crowd still gave Anna applause.

Larry asked Anna to try with two.

It didn't work, but the brave if semi-flustered Anna still got applause simply for her courage to come on live TV and make the effort.

Larry then got her to juggle with one ball.  She was successful there.

The crowd roared, and T.J. put his John Hancock on the football for the young and brave Packers fan.