Behind Ted Thompson's mask

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

Make sure you check out this profile of Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson. ESPN.com’s Liz Merrill spent the past few weeks trying to paint a fuller picture of a central figure in Sunday’s showdown at Lambeau Field.

Here’s an excerpt:

No, Ted Thompson is not a social butterfly. He has never been married, but came close twice. "It probably has something to do with the fact that maybe I couldn't find anybody to marry me," Thompson deadpans.

He doesn't hit the town at night and mingle, but his inner circle is powerful and undyingly loyal. Two of his closest friends are current GMs in the NFL. One of them, Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt, asked Thompson to be the godfather of his two children.

Every summer, Thompson puts away his Rolodex and heads to Goliad, Texas, to stay at Bum Phillips' horse ranch. He mows and does odd chores for the man who gave him a chance with the Houston Oilers after Thompson wasn't picked in 17 rounds of the 1975 draft. They'll sit and talk until the sun drifts into the south Texas night. Phillips still refers to Thompson, 56, as a kid.

"If I had to trust somebody with my life," Phillips says, "he'd be one of them that I'd pick."