Packers great Antonio Freeman back in Wisconsin this week: What's he up to these days?

GREEN BAY (WITI) -- It's well known that former Packers players are still revered in Wisconsin and beyond by their many fans. That includes Antonio Freeman, who believes that playing for the Packers was one of the greatest gifts of his life.

Whether returning a punt 76 yards for a touchdown -- as he did in the 1995 playoffs or making a tough catch over the middle, or making Green Bay's version of the immaculate reception to beat the Vikings on Monday Night Football in November of 2000, former Packers receiver Antonio Freeman has always made an impact.

That's what he was doing at the Chenequa Country Club in Hartland on Monday, July 21st -- as a celebrity guest at the Aurora Golf Classic to benefit Aurora's Visiting Nurses Association.

"I was very blessed to do what I did for my life and for the people of Wisconsin and all over the world, so any time I can give back, it always warms my heart. It makes my mom happy, and any time I can make my mom happy -- that's one of the most important things -- and I just want to set a good example for my kids and let them know no matter what, no matter what plateaus you reach in life, you can't be too big," Freeman said.

Freeman's nine-year-old son Alex was born after his father retired from football -- but he knows what he accomplished.

"I'm very proud of him," Alex Freeman said.

"What did you tell me -- you're gonna do what?" Antonio Freeman asked his son.

"I'm gonna be good in school, and then I'll be the same athlete that you were," Alex Freeman said.

"You'll be better, I hope. Parents always want their kids to be better," Antonio Freeman said.

There is no question Alex has a good example to follow.

In his seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Freeman played in two Super Bowls -- winning one. He was an All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in 1998, and he's a Packers Hall of Famer.

After all these years, Number 86 misses his former teammates and the camaraderie they shared.

"That locker room was my life. I had 53 brothers in there. The coaches were like parents and uncles in there and things like that, so that locker room was our playhouse. It allowed us to be who we are and it allowed us to be great. We loved each other. We helped each other -- and I miss that. I don't miss the hits going over the middle so much," Freeman said.

Taking those hits over the middle has given Freeman an appreciation for trying to make the game safer. He sits on a safety panel chaired by NFL Hall of Famers John Madden and Ronnie Lott.

"We have to take care of the players -- not only while we're playing the game, because so many of us suffer after the game is over -- bone and ligament and head damage. From the ground up, we've just been trying to protect the players and protect the game and keep the game exiting," Freeman said.

Now 42, Freeman looks great, but he paid the price for playing a violent game. Still, the Baltimore native would never trade one moment of his time with the Packers and Packers Nation.

"I tell my friends all the time -- I said it's been 10 years since I've done anything for the Green Bay Packers and yet that's one of the great things about the whole state of Wisconsin -- whether it's Madison, Milwaukee or Green Bay -- whenever they recognize me, they still make me feel at home and they still give me that superstar status," Freeman said.

Freeman is doing pre and post game television work for the Ravens in his native Baltimore -- but he says he's trying to work his way back to Wisconsin to cover the team that he loves.