There are times in life when you are humbled by what you don’t know. I thought I knew about the history of the Green Bay Packers. I thought I had an idea about the history of this great franchise. But I was wrong. This franchise has such a great amount of history, such a great amount of hall of fame players and coaches, and an amazing fan base that I am just humbled.
The Green Bay Packers, the franchise located in the smallest market in the NFL, has its hands in the history of this great league, from the number of titles it has won (Green Bay is known as Title Town for a reason), to the fact that the Super Bowl trophy is named after the Packers coach who won the first two Super Bowls, Vince Lombardi. This account of the history of the Green Bay Packers doesn’t do it justice at all.
Below you can read more about the team and listen to the podcast episode.
Football Is Family (Packer History)
Green Bay Packer History
The Packers were founded on August 11-14, 1919 in the editorial rooms of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. The Indian Packing Company of Green Bay sponsored the team for the first two seasons (hence the name Packers).
On Nov. 27, 1921, the Packers/Bears series (the longest in the NFL) began with the Packers losing to the then Chicago Staleys (later Bears), 20-0. Many, many more games have been played in this series from that point on.
On August 27, 1921, the American Professional Football Association grants Green Bay a team. In 1922, the Green Bay team was deeply in debt. Local football fans from the Elks Club started selling stock to save the team. This is why the Green Bay Packers are the only publically owned NFL team in the league. Every year, the “owners” of the team meet at the stadium to talk about the state of the franchise (said to be worth over 2 billion dollars- not too bad).
It is soon after this that the Packers started to win title after title. 1929, 1930, 1931. Three titles in a row. And the rich keep getting richer. In 1935, the Packers sign Don Huston, who set so many receiving records in his career that it would take several decades before anyone gets close to breaking them. In 1936 and 1939, the Packers win their 4th and 5th titles, followed by their 6th title in 1944.
During this run of greatness, there was one constant- Curly Lambeau. He coached the team from 1921-1949. His 209 wins are the record for a Packer coach. He is loved so much in Green Bay that the stadium where the Packers now play was renamed in Lambeau’s honor in 1965. In 1959, the Packers make another great hire. This is the year they make Vince Lombardi both head coach and general manager. This is when the Packers start winning once again.
NFL championships- 1961, 1962, 1966, 1967. In 1967, the Packers beat the Cowboys in the game that is now known as the Ice Bowl. It was also during this time that the AFL/NFL start playing each other in what would later be known as the Super Bowl. The Packers would win Super Bowl 1 and 2. As a result, the Super Bowl trophy is known as the Lombardi Trophy, named after the coach who won the first two.
After Lombardi left the Packers, they went through a few years of mediocrity.
That was until three great signings took place. In 1992, the Packers hire Mike Holmgren. Also in 1992, Ron Wolf, the gm for the Packers, traded a first-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons for a guy named Brett Favre. Then, in 1993, the Packers signed the most sought after free agent of that year (and maybe all-time), Reggie White. All these great moves came together in 1997 when the Packers beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI, and they made it to Super Bowl XXXII, where they lost to the Denver Broncos.
The Packers would make it back to the Super Bowl in 2011, where they beat the Pittsburg Steelers. They are constant threats to win the Super Bowl due to the great player moves and constant great quarterback play. Fun fact- the Lambeau Leap was invented in 1993 by LeRoy Butler in a game against the Raiders. The Packers boast 26 Hall of Famers, and a record (as of 2019) of 754 wins, 574 losses, and 38 ties in the regular season, and 35 wins and 23 losses in the playoffs.