Category Archives: History

Articles about the Green Bay Packers Football team – History

4

August

Surviving Sunday: News, Notes and Analysis from Packers Training Camp

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Another week of Packers training camp is in the books. Is it Sept. 8 yet?

Finley pipes down
I’ve never been one of those people who gets all bent out of shape whenever Jermichael Finley says something that stirs the pot — I’ll take honesty and candor over canned cliches any day. But it looks like Finley is at least trying the cliche route…for now. Will a boring Finley in front of the microphones lead to a more exciting Finley on the football field? I don’t think one has anything to do with the other. If Finley becomes a force at tight end, it won’t be because he zipped his lips during training camp. Besides, if he does finally break out, people would probably be more tolerant of whatever does come out of his mouth.

Hawk OK with pay cut
Calling it “more of an ego thing than anything that guys can’t get over,” LB A.J. Hawk spoke about taking a pay cut this offseason in order to stay with the Packers. After the slash in pay, Hawk is due to make $10.6 million over the final three years of his deal. That sounds like more than enough money for a guy who rarely makes impactful plays. It’s good to hear Hawk speak openly about taking a cut and being a team guy, but deep down, even he has to know that there probably wasn’t another team out there that would be willing to pay him over $10 million. It’s still a great deal for Hawk, and the Packers obviously think it’s a fair price for a LB that hasn’t made many flash plays, but is healthy and ready to go every Sunday.

Bakhtiari making a move
We’ve been hearing nothing but good things about David Bakhtiari. There are even rumblings that he might end up winning the starting right tackle job. The rookie from Colorado appears to be plenty athletic to be the kind of pass protector the Packers like. And with Marshall Newhouse being, well, Marshall Newhouse, and Don Barclay horsing around at backup center, perhaps the window is open for the rookie to win the job. But remember: We haven’t made it to the first exhibition game yet. All rookies are getting loved up right now because they’re new, they’re fresh, their ceilings are perceived to be high and we don’t know their shortcomings yet.

30

July

New from Sports Illustrated – Packers: Green, Gold and Glory

Packers: Green, Gold and Glory - Sports Illustrated

Packers: Green, Gold and Glory – Sports Illustrated

This just-released book about the Green Bay Packers gets off to a great start before you even open it. Gracing the front cover is what I consider the most iconic photograph of the Packers ever taken – Jerry Kramer and Forest Gregg carrying Vince Lombardi off the field after defeating the Raiders in Super Bowl II. What makes the picture even more poignant is that the players knew this would be their last game with Lombardi as coach. What they didn’t know, was that in less than three years, Lombardi would be out of their lives forever.

This book is a celebration of the perhaps the most storied franchise in football history, and fittingly makes liberal use of  some classic Sports Illustrated (SI) stories to tell the tale of “The People’s Champions,” the Green Bay Packers.

The book begins with a historical look back at the team and it’s fans, as seen through they eyes of those fans, some of whom are third or fourth generation Packers fans. We then get a photographic look at some particularly rabid Packer fans, many decked out in their unique and outrageous Green and Gold get-ups. Each tell a brief story about their love of the Packers.

Having covered the folks in the stands, the book shifts it’s focus to the playing field and  the players they are cheering for. There are profiles and stunning photographs of 33 players who can best be described as, “Packers Royalty.” From Curly Lambeau to Aaron Rodgers, the best of the best are described with interesting anecdotes from their careers.

Next comes the meat of the book: a 70-page look at the Packers 13 championship game wins, from their 21-6 defeat of the Boston Redskins in 1936 to the Super Bowl XLV win over the Steelers. There are plenty of interesting facts and stories you probably haven’t heard before and candid photographs that bring you back to that moment in time.

The book concludes with a focus on SI’s coverage of the Packers over the years. Five classic stories, including two from the sixties glory days, are presented to you as the Editor’s “favorites.”

The book is edited by Bill Syken,  former editor of Sports Illustrated. With 176 pages and over 200 photographs, it’s a must-have in any Packer fan’s collection.

23

July

Packers have had the Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair of Quarterbacks in Last 17 Seasons

Aaron Rodgers has held the championship belt as the NFL’s best QB since 2010. Brett Favre held it from 1995-98.

Next time you complain about Aaron Rodgers holding the ball too long or grimace at the memory of a Brett Favre interception, remember this: The Packers have had the best quarterback in the NFL for seven of the past 17 seasons.

That’s the conclusion Grantland’s Bill Barnwell reached, anyway, after a comprehensive study breaking down the NFL QB championship belt holder since 1959.

Yes, Barnwell’s findings are subjective, but even if his logic is a little flawed, it’s still damn impressive just how good the quarterback play has been in Green Bay over the last 17 seasons.

Barnwell goes on to highlight how a quarterback’s reign at the top typically doesn’t last very long. No QB has spent more than four seasons with the QB championship belt. Rodgers has been the best since 2010. He’ll turn 30 this season and the next crop of young quarterbacks are rapidly advancing as top contenders to take his title.

Of course, if Rodgers’ reign does end, it doesn’t mean he’ll turn into a jobber. There’s nothing wrong with being the Intercontinental Champ or even a tag team title holder. Rodgers would still be more than capable of winning the cage match known as the Super Bowl and bringing another team championship belt back to Green Bay.

Kurt Warner ended Favre’s four-season reign from 1995-98. Favre, Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana and Petyon Manning were the only QBs to wear the belt for four straight seasons.

Yes, I’m still going to holler at my TV when Rodgers ignores a wide open receiver underneath and heaves a pass 50 yards downfield that falls incomplete. I’ll still curse some of Favre’s silly interceptions and his divorce from the Packers.

But deep down, I’ll know that the Packers have been lucky enough to have both the Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair of quarterbacks over the last 17 seasons. Two all-time greats. Two memorable characters. Two world champions.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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18

June

Is Aaron Rodgers Getting Too Old For the Green Bay Packers?

Football is a young man’s sport and even more so with the Green Bay Packers.  Since the introduction of Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy as the Packers general manager and head coach respectively, the Packers has consistently fielded one of the youngest rosters in the league.  In particular, Ted Thompson’s acumen for finding talented college players coupled with his penchant for ignoring free agency usually means there are a lot of players with little or no previous experience in the NFL.  The Packers have also been ruthless with aging veterans, where seemingly no player is safe; Charles Woodson, Cullen Jenkins, Chad Clifton, Marco Rivera, Mike Wahle, Darren Sharper were big name players all dumped to the curbside in favor of younger, cheaper options.

There is one exception of course and that’s the quarterback; while Ted Thompson probably believes he can replace just about every player on his roster with someone younger who can be equally talented (and overall he’s been right), even Ted Thompson realizes that quarterbacks are a different breed and the best are diamonds in the rough.  Aaron Rodgers is one of those quarterbacks and Ted Thompson made is clear that he’s not going to be replaced anytime soon by making him the highest paid player in the history of the NFL.

However, while Rodgers is here to stay for the long haul, the same can’t be said for the rest of the roster.  And as Rodgers continues to get older while the rest of the team gets younger, it’s naturally going to cause some issues.  One famous example was with Brett Favre and Randy Moss.  As told by Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post, in 2007 both the Packers and Patriots were interested in trading for Randy Moss, who had languished for 2 years with the Oakland Raiders.  At the end of the day, New England made the better deal and Moss was a Patriot.  Brett Favre was “livid” not only because he had long admired Moss while he was a Vikings but also because the Packers philosophy of building for the future did not work for Favre; Brandt mentions he told Favre he felt Greg Jennings would be a star in a couple years (which ultimately turned out to be true), but Favre countered that he didn’t have a couple years to wait (which also turned out to be ultimately be true).  In the end, Favre knew he only had a couple good years of football left and felt like the Packers were shortchanging him when instead they should have been giving him more ammo for one last push for a Super Bowl.  Obviously in retrospect, Ted Thompson was right to build the future (Aaron Rodgers), but had Rodgers not panned out, Favre would have been correct where sacrificing some of the future for the present would have been the better option.

16

June

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Profootballtalk.com asked fans to vote on their Packers Mt. Rushmore this week and it created some interesting debate on Twitter and talk radio.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, the Packers Mt. Rushmore needs to consist of four people. It can be players, coaches, executives or whomever that you feel is one of the four most important people in Packers history.

This is a tough one. If there was an actual Packers Mt. Rushmore, it would need to go on the side of a very large mountain because four people is much too small.

As much as I love guys like Ron Wolf and Bob Harlan and acknowledge that the Packers might not be around without folks like them, I don’t know if I can put executives on a Mt. Rushmore. Isn’t putting executives on a Packers Mt. Rushmore kind of like putting Abe Lincoln’s chief of staff on the actual Mt. Rushmore instead of Abe Lincoln himself?

I’m also not sure coaches belong on a Mt. Rushmore. But that means leaving off Vince Lombardi and Curly Lambeau, which is just asinine.

If I knew that people wouldn’t burn down my house for leaving Lombardi and Lambeau off, I’d probably put Don Hutson, Bart Starr, Reggie White and Brett Favre on my Packers Mt. Rushmore. When the people arrived with torches and pitchforks to take care of me after leaving off Lombardi and Lambeau, I’d remove Hutson and White for the two legendary coaches.

Football will always be about the players to me. You absolutely have to have a good front office and coaching staff to make everything work, and I’ll say it again that the Packers are not the Packers without the executives and coaches I’ve already mentioned (along with many others).

But in the end, you have to wear a jersey and helmet instead of as suit and tie to make my Packers Mt. Rushmore.

Let us know who makes your Packers Mt. Rushmore in the comments section.

(And don’t yell at me too much for leaving Lombardi and Lambeau off my pre-torches and pitchforks Packers Mt. Rushmore.)

Packers News, Notes and Links

12

June

A.J. Hawk, Dave Robinson honored at Lee Remmel banquet

Former Packers LB Dave Robinson

Former Packers LB Dave Robinson

At the 14th Lee Remmel Sports Awards Banquet on June 11–what would have been Vince Lombardi’s 100th birthday–Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk and Lombardi-era star Dave Robinson each received an award for their achievements on and off the field.

Hawk was the recipient of the Professional Achievement Award. Since being selected No. 5 overall by the Packers in 2006, Hawk has proven to be a reliable piece of the defense, playing in 110 of a possible 112 regular season games in seven seasons.

“From the very first step off the plane, we realized that there’s something special here,” Hawk said. “Something is different, and it’s so unique.”

Off the field, Hawk has remained active in the community, serving as the spokesman for the Wisconsin Special Olympics. Hawk has also supported the Donald Driver Foundation, the Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer, the Greg Jennings Foundation, the Al Harris Outreach Program, and the 2nd & 7 Foundation, which is fellow Ohio State alum Mike Vrabel’s charity.

“I love being able to play football here, and I hope to do it for as long as possible,” Hawk said. “I hope to bring many more Super Bowls back to Green Bay. I got one, but sitting next to a guy like Dave, that’s nothing. He laughs at that.”

Hawk was a starter on the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV championship team, whereas Robinson started for the Packers in Super Bowls I and II, which capped off an historic run of three consecutive World Championships.

While accepting the Distinguished Service Award, Robinson reminisced about the 1966 NFL Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys. With a berth in Super Bowl I on the line and facing a fourth-and-goal late in the fourth quarter, Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith was in Robinson’s grasp before his desperation pass was intercepted by Tom Brown. The Packers ran the clock out and won 34-27, punching their ticket to the first ever Super Bowl.

“Without that game, the Lombardi Trophy may very well be called the Landry Trophy,” Robinson said. “And that just makes me sick.”

In Robinson’s ten years in Green Bay, the Packers never lost to the Cowboys, with the exception of one exhibition game in Dallas. Robinson, a member of the 1960s All-Decade team, still questions the Cowboys’ “America’s Team” label.

7

June

It’s Time To Bury The Brett Favre Hatchet Once And For All

If Aaron Rodgers can let what happened with Brett Favre go, so should the fans.

The schism that once existed between Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers continues to shrink.

Perhaps it may have finally vanished.

In an interview with Joe Buscaglia of 550 WGR Radio in Buffalo, Favre made his strongest remarks to date that he is ready to return to the Packers family.  When asked if he had any regrets about how his departure from Green Bay went down, Favre replied with the following:

“It’s the way it is. It is what it is. It’s over and done with. I was at fault. I feel that both sides had a part in it. If you could go back would I or them have done things differently? I’m sure both sides would. But you can’t.”

This is one of, if not the very first times Favre has actually admitting to some kind of wrongdoing in his 2008 standoff and eventual separation with the Packers.  These perhaps are the words many fans have been waiting to hear out of the former quarterback before they would be willing to once again embrace Favre as one of their own.

He also said that he and current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers “have a good relationship.”  That’s quite a change from when the Packers were preparing for Super Bowl XLV and Rodgers said he didn’t have a relationship with Favre.  The joint presentation the two quarterbacks made at the NFL Honors show in February obviously got the ball rolling.

Favre also acknowledged that he has had discussions with Packers president Mark Murphy and also recognized that Murphy walked into a “hornet’s nest” when he took over as president and CEO for Bob Harlan. He also said he played for a lot of great coaches “that branched out” and mentioned Mike McCarthy as being among them.

Packers fans know Favre better than anyone.  The phrase “I am sorry” has never been in his repertoire. Most can probably count on one hand the amount of times Favre has admitted to fault on anything, whether on the football field or in life.  The Favre heard in the interview sounded like an older and wiser gunslinger.