|Green Bay Packers|
The Green Bay Packers are an American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the National Football League (NFL) as part of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the NFC North division. Established in 1919, the Packers have played home games at Lambeau Field since 1957.
The Packers are the last vestige of "small town teams" that were once common in the NFL during the 1920s and 1930s. Founded in 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, the Packers competed as a semi-professional football team against clubs from around Wisconsin and the Midwest. They joined the American Professional Football Association (APFA) in 1921, the forerunner to what is known today as the NFL. Today, the Packers are the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, and oldest team-name still in use in the NFL, both by its nickname and by virtue of remaining in its original city.
The Packers have won 13 league championships (more than any other team in the NFL) including nine NFL Championships prior to the Super Bowl era and four Super Bowl victories during the seasons of 1966 (Super Bowl I), 1967 (Super Bowl II), 1996 (Super Bowl XXXI), and 2010 (Super Bowl XLV). The team has a historic rivalry against the Chicago Bears, whom they have played in over 180 games. The Packers also share a fierce rivalry with the Detroit Lions, who have been rivals since the 1930s, and the Minnesota Vikings who also reside in the NFC North.
The most significant attribute is that, despite Green Bay being the smallest market among NFL franchises, the Packers are literally owned by its fans, as the team is the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the United States. Presently, 112,158 people (representing 4,750,937 shares) can lay claim to a franchise ownership interest.
The Green Bay Packers were founded on August 11, 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun. Lambeau solicited funds for uniforms from his employer, the Indian Packing Company. He was given $500 for uniforms and equipment, on the condition that the team be named for its sponsor. In turn, Lambeau and Calhoun called the club "Packers". Today, "Green Bay Packers" is the oldest team-name still in use in the NFL, both by its nickname and by virtue of remaining in its original city.
On August 27, 1921, the Packers were granted a franchise in the new national pro football league that had been formed the previous year. Financial troubles plagued the team and the franchise was forfeited within the year, before Lambeau found new financial backers and regained the franchise the next year. These backers, known as the "Hungry Five", formed the Green Bay Football Corporation.
The Green Bay Packers have won 13 league championships (more than any other team in the NFL) including nine NFL Championships prior to the Super Bowl era and four Super Bowl victories during the seasons of 1966 (Super Bowl I), 1967 (Super Bowl II), 1996 (Super Bowl XXXI), and 2010 (Super Bowl XLV).
Super Bowl I
|Super Bowl I|
- Main article: Super Bowl I
During the 1966 season, the NFL and AFL agreed to merge, thus beginning what would become the Super Bowl-era. Behind the leadership of head coach Vince Lombardi, the Packers finished with an NFL-best 12-2 record. In the NFL Championship game against the Dallas Cowboys, with the Packers leading 34–27, the Cowboys had the ball on the Packers' two-yard line, threatening to tie the ballgame. But on fourth and goal, the Packers' Tom Brown intercepted Don Meredith's pass in the end zone to preserve their victory against Dallas.
The Packers went on to win Super Bowl I over the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10. Max McGee caught seven passes, including a 37-yarder to score the first-ever Super Bowl touchdown. Green Bay broke things open in the second half with three touchdowns. Bart Starr was named Super Bowl MVP, completing 16 of 23 passes for 250 yards and two touchdown passes.
Super Bowl II
|Super Bowl II|
- Main article: Super Bowl II
The 1967 season proved to be the final one for Vince Lombardi as the Packers' head coach. They defeated the Los Angeles Rams in the Western Conference Championship game 28-7 to avenge a regular season loss (the only playoff game played at Milwaukee County Stadium). The NFL Championship game, a rematch of the 1966 contest against the Dallas Cowboys, is better known as the Ice Bowl, due to the brutally cold conditions at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. In the coldest NFL game ever played, Bart Starr's touchdown on a quarterback sneak brought the Packers a 21–17 victory and their third straight NFL Championship, a feat no other team has matched.
The Packers repeated as Super Bowl champions, beating the Oakland Raiders, 33-14. Don Chandler put the Packers on the board with a pair of field goals, then Bart Starr hit Boyd Dowler for a 62-yard score to put the Packers up 13-0. Herb Adderley made the first defensive touchdown with a 60-yard interception touchdown return. Starr was named Super Bowl MVP for the second consecutive year, completing 13 of 24 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown pass while also running for 14 yards.
Super Bowl XXXI
|Super Bowl XXXI|
- Main article: Super Bowl XXXI
The 1996 season saw the Green Bay Packers return to glory for its first championship in close to 30 years. Packers quarterback Brett Favre was named NFL MVP for a second straight season and defensive end Reggie White led the league's top defense, helping the Packers finish the regular season 13-3. In the playoffs, the Packers used home-field advantage to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 35-14 in the "Mud Bowl", then the second-year Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship Game, 30-13.
The Packers went on to win Super Bowl XXXI over the New England Patriots, 35-21. Favre threw a pair of touchdown bombs, which included a 54-yarder to Andre Rison then an 81-yard score to Antonio Freeman. After New England had drawn the Patriots to within six points, Desmond Howard returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score that reversed momentum and carried the Packers to victory. Howard became the first and only special teams player to be honored as Super Bowl MVP, obtaining 244 total return yards. The Packers defense had four interceptions and Reggie White set a Super Bowl mark with three sacks.
Super Bowl XLV
|Super Bowl XLV|
- Main article: Super Bowl XLV
After finishing the regular season with a 10-6 record, the Packers clinched the #6 seed in the NFC playoffs. The Packers would go on the road, first defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, 21-16, then blew out the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons, 48-21, to reach the NFC Championship Game where they played the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, marking only the second playoff meeting between the two storied rivals (the other game being a 33-14 Bears victory in 1941). The Packers defeated the Bears, 21–14, to advance to Super Bowl XLV.
With Cowboys Stadium as the backdrop, the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers at Super Bowl XLV to win Green Bay's 13th world championship and fourth Super Bowl. Behind the arm of Aaron Rodgers, scoring opened with a 29-yard touchdown strike to Jordy Nelson. On Pittsburgh's ensuing drive, safety Nick Collins returned a 37-yard interception for a touchdown. Rodgers would throw two more touchdown passes to Greg Jennings, and the defense forced Pittsburgh to go four-and-out on its final drive to win the title, 31-25. Aaron Rodgers was named Super Bowl MVP, completing 24 of 39 passes for 304 yards and three touchdown passes.
- Green Bay Packers Official Club Homepage
- Green Bay Packers at the National Football League Official Homepage
- Green Bay Packers at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online Website
- Green Bay Packers at the Green Bay Press-Gazette Online Website