I would never have thought of Wausau, Wisconsin as a hub of gay activity even now. Which makes it all the more plausible that a player from the 1939 team would have considered it a safe place to cruise and possibly encounter a 19 or 20 year old Liberace who did perform there in that year
The Green Bay Packer story was repeated in the 2000 biography "Liberace: An American Boy." According to author Darden Asbury Pyron, who cites Thorson as a source, it occurred at the Wunderbar in Wausau in 1939, which was frequented by men "who weren't the usual after-work, blue-collar crowd." The discovery "lifted a burden of isolation and alienation from his shoulders." The unnamed Packer was "the most intimidating man I'd ever seen," Thorson wrote that Liberace told him. "Every time I looked out in the audience, there he was. One night he asked to drive me home. That's the night I lost my virginity." Thorson also wrote that the football player became Liberace's "first confidant," and that the experience served as a foundation for building a network of gay friends and lovers. Pyron speculates that the fantastic nature of the anecdote may have been a case of Liberace giving his audience — Thorson — "what he thought they wanted to hear." But Pyron said certain elements of the tale are "plausible." Liberace did play Wausau during this period, "which was far enough away from Green Bay to make it...reasonable that an athlete...could risk a gay encounter without too much fear of being discovered."It will be the single most interesting bit of gossip I take from the recent HBO film about his life based on the book by his long-time lover.