Cedric BensonSometimes it is best to be both lucky AND good, because you might wind up in football heaven.

Anyone who paid attention to the NFL the last few years knows that Cedric Benson is good, but he can be forgiven for not feeling lucky.

After arriving with great fanfare as a top draft pick of the Bears they had too many starting backs and Benson was gone after four so-so years.

He was a 1,000-yard rusher for three years with the Bengals until they decided to do without him.

What's a hard-nosed between-the-tackles runner to do?

Fortunately the football gods smiled on Cedric Benson and lifted him up and put him down on hallowed ground, the sacred tundra trod by Lombardi and named after Lambeau, Titletown, land of 13 NFL championships.

Welcome to Green Bay, football heaven.

This has always been a special place for embracing professional athletes that become Green Bay Packers, the one very big fish in the smallest pond in American professional sports.

Some athletes came here in the latter halves of their careers and won championships, like Reggie White, Sean Jones, Andre Rison and Don Beebe in Super Bowl XXXI.

This could be a match made in heaven. The Packers have been looking for an answer at running back to make their formidable passing attack more unpredictable and thus more effective, and to have a rushing attack to close out games when they lead.

Bensen joins a team featuring the league's best passer, so Benson does not have to be featured and that may be the best situation for him.

Benson got a taste of the fun he can have in the Packers' offense in his preseason debut Thursday, rushing six times for 38 yards and catching a 10-yard pass against his old team the Bengals. After the game he commented:

"It's a passing offense, so it creates a lot of seams for a running back," Benson said. "I'm like a kid in the candy store. All I have to do is press the hole and let the linemen get their head on one side and explode through the hole on the backside."

Somewhere up there, as they say, St. Vincent of TitleTown smiles and picks up the chalk, concentrates for a moment, then with swift sure chalkmarks draws up a play for this kid Benson, who might just be a ballplayer, to run to daylight.

Somewhere down here, as they say, Mike McCarthy stirs in his sleep, and in a couple hours he will awake but won't remember the dream, the yelling man with the glasses going over a play over and over and over, but he will have an idea to tweak one of his plays for Benson.

Welcome to Green Bay, where the football magic happens.