Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers

Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers

(Mark Herreid / Shutterstock.com)

The Green Bay Packers were formed in 1919 and are the third oldest franchise in the NFL. Playing at the Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the Packers compete in the National Football League’s (NFL) National Football Conference (NFC) North division. Unlike any other major league professional sports team in the United States, it is non-profit and community owned.

The Green Bay Packers are one of the most successful franchises ever to play in the NFL, winning 13 league championships, which is more than any other franchise. They also have four Super Bowl victories to their name and are a regular fixture in the playoffs, having reached them every year without fail since 2009.

The Packers have several rivalries with other franchises but it is best known for its rivalry with the Chicago Bears, which is one of the oldest in NFL history and stretches back to 1921.

Fast Facts

  • Full Name: Green Bay Packers
  • Conference: NFC
  • Division: North
  • Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Stadium Name: Lambeau Field
  • Year Established: 1919
  • Owner: Green Bay Packers Inc.
  • Head Coach: Mike McCarthy
  • Manager: Ted Thompson
  • Nickname: The Green and Gold
  • Mascot: None
  • Team Colours: Dark green, gold, white

History

Team huddle

Mark Herreid / Shutterstock.com

The Green Bay Packers were founded in 1919 by Earl “Curly” Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun. Former high school football rivals, they were originally funded by the Indian Packing Company, the Green Bay Packers being given their franchise in 1921. Unfortunately, the early years were plagued with financial problems but financial backers rescued the team who formed the Green Bay Football Corporation, a publicly owned non-profit corporation, which still remains today.

Despite their turbulent financial start, the Green Bay Packers won three consecutive championships from 1929-1931 and featured line-ups full of future Hall of Famers, such as Cal Hubbard and John “Blood” McNally. Further championships were won in 1936, 1939 and 1944 but Lambeau decided to step away from his coaching duties in 1949 and the team struggled for most of the 1950s, posting a losing record seven times throughout the decade.

The 1960s, however, were a different story and were a successful period for the Packers. Under the legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, the Packers were bursting with talent and won six championships in 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966 and 1967. They defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the inaugural Super Bowl on January 15, 1967 and successfully defended their title against the Oakland Raiders next season beating them 33-14.

Vince Lombardi left the Packers after this victory and it heralded a reduction in the team’s form for a number of seasons, the Packers appearing in only two playoffs between 1968 and 1992. Thanks to the appointment of Mike Holmgren as head coach in 1992 who brought in new players such as quarterback Brett Favre, there was an upturn in form for the Packers during the 90s. From 1993, the Packers reached the playoffs for the next six seasons and reached their third Super Bowl in 1997, defeating the New England Patriots 35-21. Reaching the Super Bowl again the year after, unfortunately they were not able to defend their title and they lost to the Denver Broncos 31-24.

Despite Holmgren leaving after this defeat for a job with the Seattle Seahawks, the Packers remained a force to be reckoned with, winning the NFC North championship in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, as well as the NFC Championship in 2010. They also posted their fifth Super Bowl appearance in the 2010 season beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 at the Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas.

Today, despite being from the NFL’s smallest city, they remain one of the most popular and most successful franchises in NFL history.

Super Bowl Appearances

2010 Super Bowl XLV Green Bay Packers 31 - Pittsburgh Steelers 25

Played at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 26, 2011, Super Bowl XLV saw the Green Bay Packers win their fourth Super Bowl beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. The game was watched by over 103,000 in the stadium and over 110 million viewers, making it the most watched TV program in American history.

1997 Super Bowl XXXII Green Bay Packers 24 - Denver Broncos 31

Played on January 25, 1998 at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Super Bowl XXXII was the Green Bay Packers’ fourth Super Bowl appearance, having won all three of their previous Super Bowl games. However, despite coming into the game as favourites, the Packers were defeated by the Denver Broncos 31-24 in front of over 68,000 spectators and an estimated 90 million TV viewers.

1996 Super Bowl XXXI New England Patriots 21 - Green Bay Packers 35

Super Bowl XXXI was the Green Bay Packers’ third Super Bowl appearance and it saw them play the New England Patriots at the Louisana Superdome in New Orleans on January 26, 1997. After a close first quarter, it saw the Packers run away with it in the second quarter, eventually beating the Patriots 35-21 giving the Packers their third Super Bowl victory. With a stadium attendance of over 72,000, an estimated 87 million people watched the game on TV and were treated to a halftime show that featured The Blues Brothers, ZZ Top, and the iconic James Brown.

1967 Super Bowl II Green Bay Packers 33 - Oakland Raiders 14

Retroactively known as Super Bowl II, this game saw the AFL champions the Oakland Raiders take on the Packers, champions of the NFL. Played at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida in January 14 1968, 75,546 people packed the stadium to watch the Packers successfully defend their title by beating the Raiders 33-14 with the Packers’ quarterback Bart Starr being named Most Valuable Player.

1966 Super Bowl I Kansas City Chiefs 10 - Green Bay Packers 35

Retroactively known as Super Bowl I, the game between AFL champions the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL champions the Green Bay Packers was originally known as the AFL-NFL World Championship game. Played on January 15, 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it saw the Packers beat the Chiefs 35-10. Before the game, there was considerable rivalry between the two leagues and whilst the first half of the game was competitive, by the second half the Packers began to assert their authority eventually winning 35-10. The game was watched by an estimated total viewing audience of 51 million.

Stadium

Lambeau Field

Lambeau Field (Keith Homan / Shutterstock.com)

The Green Bay Packers have played at Lambeau Field since 1957 when it was originally known as City Stadium. It was renamed in 1965 in memory of the Packers founder, player and coach, Curly Lambeau. It is located at 1265 Lombardi Avenue in Green Bay, the street address being changed from Highland Avenue to Lombardi Avenue in honour of former head coach, Vince Lombardi.

The stadium has a capacity of 81,435 and has a record attendance of 79,704. The pitch surface, like most other NFL playing fields, consists of Kentucky bluegrass although this has been reinforced with Desso Grassmaster since 2007. The stadium has been subject to constant renovations over the years with the most recent being in 2013, which saw an extra 7000 seats added, making it the largest venue in Wisconsin.

Lambeau Field is the oldest continually operated stadium in the NFL and unlike many other NFL stadiums has not been host to a great number of music concerts, the last of which being Kenney Chesney in 1985.

Famous Players

Bart Starr

Bart Starr led the Green Bay Packers to five league championships and to two Super Bowl victories in 1966 and 1967. Starting out at the University of Alabama, he was drafted in the 17th round by the Packers and became their star quarterback. An iconic leader and clever tactician, he is one of the greatest ever quarterbacks to play the game. His 1964-65 record of 294 passes without interception stood for over 25 years until 1991.

Aaron Rodgers

After a long apprenticeship under the Brett Favre, which saw him hardly play a game, Rodgers came to the fore in the 2008 season when Favre left to go to the New York Jets. He quickly proved himself and soon awarded with a six year, $65 million contract. In 2011, he recorded one of the finest quarterback seasons of all time with 45 touchdowns, 4643 passing yards and a passer rating of 122.5 – an NFL record.

Brett Favre

From Kiln, Mississippi, Favre was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1991. Unfortunately, he fell out of favour with the Falcons coaches and was soon transferred to the Green Bay Packers the following year. Beginning as a backup quarterback, he started for an injured teammate in the 1992 season and from then never relinquished the position. With multiple records, he remains one of the best quarterbacks to play the game and one of the most popular players ever to play for the Green Bay Packers.

Did You Know?

  • The Green Bay Packers are the NFL’s only non-profit, community owned team.
  • The waiting time for a Green Bay Packers season ticket is an estimated 40 years.
  • In 1919, the Green Bay Packers won ten out of their eleven games. Their only loss was to a team called the Beloit Fairies.
  • With a population of just 100,000, the Green Bay Packers are located in the smallest media market of any NFL, MLB or NBA franchise. Despite this, the games are regularly sold out.