Category Archives: Packers Hall of Fame

23

January

Long-time Packers Radio Announcer Jim Irwin Dies at 77

For a younger generation of Green Bay Packers fans, Wayne Larrivee is the only man they know as the voice of Packers.

For everyone else, Jim Irwin is the play-by-play broadcaster who, from 1969 to 1998, helped place the Packers Radio Network among the best in the NFL.

And after a year-long battle with kidney cancer, the Hall of Fame announcer died Sunday at the age of 77.

His voice extended throughout Wisconsin, as Irwin was also the play-by-play for University of Wisconsin football and Milwaukee Bucks basketball.  But it was the voice he provided for Packers games that will be forever remembered for generations of Packers fans, both in good times and bad.

Irwin became the Packers play-by-play man after six years as a color commentator. From 1975 to ’98, Irwin became the voice that Packers fans routinely chose over television broadcasts. Teamed with personalties such as Lionel Aldridge, Max McGee and Larry McCarren, Irwin was the man that called so many memorable moments in Wisconsin history before retiring in 1998.

He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2003.

Here is his Super Bowl XXXI call of Brett Favre’s first touchdown pass to Andre Rison:

“Back to throw goes Brett.  Here they come.  He’s got time.  He’s throwing it downfield.  He’s got a man wide open!  It is going to be a touchdown to Andre Rison!”

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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6

November

Win Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field Game Tickets Here…

Win Packers Tickets

The Packers Hall of Fame is sponsoring a contest where you could win 2 tickets to Packers home games against the Vikings or the Lions. Also included is one night’s Hotel accommodations and two tickets to the Packers Hall of Fame.

There is no cost to enter – just go to the contest page on the Packers Hall of Fame Web Site and enter. One entry per person, but be sure to tell your friends and family about this contest. Spread the word…

 

When asked for who referred you, put in my name and email:

Jersey Al

jerseyalgbp “at” gmail dot com

 

GOOD LUCK!

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Follow Jersey Al:


                    Add to Circleson Google+

Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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7

August

Long Overdue: A Twentysomething’s First Ever Green Bay Packers Practice

For a Wisconsin boy, not previously experiencing what I experienced this past Thursday borders on criminal.

It’s something I always wanted to do, but for whatever reason (work and before that, getting ready for school as well as myA Packers Fan at His First Packers Practice. parents both working) I never got around to doing it.  This year however, after an extended NFL lockout, I decided I needed to do this……just a month shy of my 28th birthday.

I decided to attend a Green Bay Packers training camp practice.

I have outgrown the age where Packers players could ride my bike. Well, I don’t even have a bike but if I did I’d still be over the age limit.   So instead I packed up the car and decided to make the trip to Green Bay alone for Thursday night practice.

It was a trip that almost never even left the driveway.

As I sat down in my 2005 Cavalier, I tried to start the car only to be greeted by chugging and sputtering.  I thought to myself, “This can’t be happening.  You are going to your first Packer practice about 20 years overdue and your car decides to take a dump. Unreal.”

However, much like the 2010 Packers, a little adversity was not going to get in the way of my ultimate goal.  I was going to be there for 7:00 practice if I had to hitchhike my way there.

Thankfully, the repair shop had a loaner, a 2001 Buick Regal with 150,000 miles on it that I could use until Monday when my car would be repaired. Sold.

At about 3:30, I arrived at Lambeau Field.  With some time to kill before gates to practice opened, I decided to go through the Packers Hall of Fame and browse the Pro Shop.  If there is anyone reading this that has not yet been to Lambeau since the renovations, you need to get your tail to Green Bay.  There is so much history in that building you get chills.  I go through it a lot and never tire of it.

Anyway, I head over to Ray Nitschke Field around 5:10 and see a lot of people already lined up at the gate.  My first thought was that these people must be starved for football due to the long lockout, but then a reality check hit me.  This is Green Bay, Titletown USA. What I’m witnessing is normal. It’s cool to see this many people turn out for a practice.

13

July

It’s Time to Right this Wrong – Jerry Kramer Belongs in the NFL Hall of Fame

JERRY KRAMER, G, GREEN BAY PACKERS

Career Highlights:

Played 11 Seasons for the Green Bay Packers, 1958-1968

Played in 4 League Championship games and two Super Bowls

Earned 5 Championship rings.

5-Time All-Pro and 3 Pro Bowls

 

The Case for Jerry Kramer:

A fourth round draft pick in 1958, (selected after Jim Taylor and Ray Nitschke), Kramer earned a starting job immediately. As a rookie, the 6′ 3″, 250-lb Kramer quickly gained the reputation as a tenacious player that could hold his own against the best defensive tackles. In 1959, a fiery new coach came to town and soon recognized Kramer’s talent. Years later, Vince Lombardi would say of Kramer, “He didn’t know how good he was…”

Lombardi helped develop Jerry Kramer into an All-Pro NFL guard.  Kramer became the key blocker to the success of the famous Green Bay Packer sweep. Along with fellow guard Fuzzy Thurston, it was Kramer’s job to provide the inside “seal” Vince Lombardi famously talked about, keeping pursuing linebackers or defensive backs away from Jim Taylor and Paul Horning.

While Hall-of-Fame membership has eluded Jerry Kramer, fame itself has not. In the historic Ice Bowl game against the Dallas Cowboys, Kramer threw the most famous and recounted block in the history of the NFL, giving Bart Starr just enough room to score the winning TD. Kramer also appeared in one of the most famous Sports Illustrated covers ever, the classic photograph of Kramer carrying Vince Lombardi off the field after the Packers’ Super Bowl II victory.

Kramer was famous for his physical ailments, injuries and multiple operations. Kramer underwent 22 surgeries in 11 seasons, his many  scars earning him the nickname “Zipper”. Despite all of these obstacles, Kramer made it onto the field to play in 129 regular season games in his 11 years. As Bart Starr once said, “When Jerry wasn’t on his deathbed, he was making life miserable for defensive tackles.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Kramer also filled in as the Packers’ placekicker for two seasons. His three field goals helped the Packers win the 1962 championship game against the New York Giants, 16-7. He tallied 65 points in 1962 and was the team’s leading scorer the following season with 91 points.

19

June

The Complete History of Green Bay Packers in Professional Wrestling: Chapter 1 — The Football and Wrestling Connection

That's Packers great Reggie White wrestling Steve McMichael in WCW.

This is chapter 1 in a series examining the history of the NFL, the Green Bay Packers and professional wrestling. The introduction to the series can be read here.

In 1986, Vince McMahon, Jr. was in the middle of transforming the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) from a regional promotion in the northeast to a national powerhouse that would eventually wipe out every other wrestling territory in the United States. McMahon used his deep pockets to lure away top wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper from rival promotions. He also used his marketing and promotional skills to develop many of his wrestlers into larger than life characters with mainstream appeal.

But McMahon was not satisfied with running a successful wrestling promotion. He wanted to create an entertainment empire that happened to involve wrestling. He wanted the WWF to be viewed on the same level as a major movie studio that produced blockbuster films, or a record label with bands that released No. 1 hits.

To achieve this, McMahon knew he needed more than top-level wrestling talent. He needed something that could make wrestling “cool,” something that would appeal to a younger generation and people who normally did not pay attention to wrestling.

The Rock ‘n Wrestling connection was born.

Wrestling Becomes Cool
McMahon partnered with MTV in the mid-80s to reach the younger and hipper audience he was targeting. He also brought in rock singers and celebrities like Cyndi Lauper to broaden the WWF’s brand beyond the scope of traditional professional wrestling.

To be fair, McMahon was not the first promoter to incorporate celebrities and musical acts into the wrestling world. To sell tickets for larger-scale events, wrestling promoters occasionally brought in musicians to perform after matches or local celebrities to make some sort of appearance. But nobody did it like McMahon.

McMahon used celebrities to build the WWF for the long term. In addition to selling tickets, McMahon wanted the celebrities he used to establish the WWF as mainstream entertainment. He had a vision of where he wanted to take the WWF, and he recognized that celebrities could help get him there.

The WWF’s flirtation with celebrities came to a head at the first Wrestlemania, held at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 31, 1985. Celebrities like Lauper, Mr. T, Liberace, Muhammad Ali and Billy Martin helped Wrestlemania reach over a million people through closed-circuit television and establish the WWF as “hip” and “cool.”

16

June

Aaron Rodgers’ Road To Canton: Off To A “Super” Start

It seems that like no matter what Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers does in his career, someone has a question about him.

First, there was the question of whether he was athletic enough to succeed as a starter in the NFL. That was answered in 2008.

Then there were the doubts of whether or not he could lead the Packers to the postseason. He checked that one off in 2009.

Next it became whether or not Rodgers could win a playoff game and truly replace Brett Favre in the hearts and minds of Packers fans. He finally sealed the deal on that one with a Super Bowl title in 2010 (although the hearts and minds of many were already won by the start of 2010).

Now there is another question involving Rodgers, but I don’t think he would mind this one being asked around too much especially this early in his career:

“Is Aaron Rodgers on the path to enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?”

Before we can even begin to answer that question, there should be one huge disclaimer attached: Rodgers has played six NFL seasons and has seen enough meaningful action in three of them.  Hall of Fame enshrinement is judged upon a player’s entire career so to prognosticate Rodgers’ chances after three seasons as a starter is a little preposterous.

All that said, we can look at some trends from these past three seasons and try to play the role of Nostradamus in gauging how Rodgers will finish his career.

If you count just 2008-2010, Rodgers is averaging 4,131 yards per season with 29 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions plus four rushing touchdowns.  If Rodgers is somehow able to maintain that average for 11 more years when he turns 38, he would finish his career with 58,164 yards, 406 TD passes, 142 interceptions, and 57 rushing touchdowns.

Those numbers would definitely be Hall of Fame worthy, but it’s likely that pace will drop off a bit.  For one, every quarterback experiences an “off year.” Even Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have down years.  While they’re not horrible, they are lower than what they average each season.   The law of averages is sometimes simply too much to overcome.

22

April

Packers Hall of Fame Announces Donation of Rare Don Hutson Recordings

April 22, 20101 Green Bay, Wis. – Don Hutson, a Green Bay Packer Hall of Famer who played for the Packers from 1935 to 1945, hosted a radio program in the late 1940s. Selected recordings of this program are now part of the Packers Hall of Fame archives of Packers history.

Don Hutson’s nephew, Steve Hutson of Mequon, WI, donated the unusual vinyl-coated aluminum records that are 16 inches in diameter and play from the center to the outside. The Packers Hall of Fame audio engineer needed to purchase a custom-made turntable in order to play them and convert the recordings to digital MP3 files. There are three records, including one of Don Hutson’s audition for the radio show.

Tom Murphy, the Packers Hall of Fame archivist, said “these records are a great addition to our archive of physical items — but to also have these recordings in digital format really makes this donation special. We can make clips available to our members via our new online digital archive (packershalloffame.com/access-pass) and we can offer them to fans as a digital download (packershalloffame.com/online-store).

Steve Hutson said “Lee Remmel previously suggested the Hall of Fame might be able to do something with these records. It’s wonderful that my uncle’s commentary about Packers football in 1949 has been digitized and can now be heard by Packer fans throughout the world.”

The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, Inc. was established in 1967 as a non-profit corporation, independent of the Green Bay Packers, with the mission to preserve and protect the history of the Packers. The physical location is housed in a spectacular 25,000-square foot facility in the Lambeau Field Atrium and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with variable hours on game days and holidays (call 920-569-7512 for more information). The Packers Hall of Fame digital archive was established in 2011 to provide an online resource of Packers history. Fans can learn more at packershalloffame.com The Hall raises funds to support its mission through events and donations. The annual Golf Classic is set for Monday, July 11, 2011, at The Bull in Sheboygan Falls, Wis. The annual Induction Banquet will be held on July 23, 2011 at the Lambeau Field Atrium in Green Bay, Wis. Both events are currently sold out. Contributions to the Packers Hall of Fame — either financial or in the form of historic Packers memorabilia — may quality as a tax-deductible gift.