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GREEN BAY - The best friend of a defense can sometimes be the team's punter.
The Packers defense's best friend in some critical late-season games is also proving to be a friend to many in need in some of the poorest parts of the planet.
Packers punter Tim Masthay was snapped up by the Colts after graduating from the University of Kentucky in 2009, but he was cut in training camp.
What followed were five months of uncertainty as a free agent.
"I was just sort of working out at a gym, and I was also part-time tutoring student-athletes," said Masthay.
He got a call from Green Bay and was signed in January.
Masthay says life has really changed in the last year.
"I've been grinding away since then."
What you likely do not know is that the five months of free agency were a rare time for this jock who played football, soccer, baseball and basketball during high school.
"When I got released by Indianapolis, I realized, 'Man, this is the first time in my life that I haven't been in organized sports. That was kind of a tough pill to swallow."
Masthay says he's thankful for what he calls a blessed life, so he gives back.
He's gone on a service trip to Ghana, and helped with Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army.
"My faith in Jesus Christ influences it, so I'm always drawn to organizations that are mission-oriented," said Masthay.
That translates to Masthay's life style, too.
His iPod is loaded with Christian artists and sermons, but his service work may not be done yet.
He says he and his wife would love to do the Peace Corps.
"That has been something that's been in my heart since early in my college career, so I'll be a Green Bay Packer as long as the team has us, and if we get an opportunity to serve in the Peace Corps, that will be great."
Other fun facts: Masthay doesn't do junk food and he's still figuring out Twitter, so he says you shouldn't be offended if he can't figure out how to write you back.
He also has a local tie: 2 of his grandparents and his mom were born in metro Milwaukee.