Category Archives: History

Articles about the Green Bay Packers Football team – History

17

July

Packers Video: Green Bay Packers 101

Every Green Bay Packers fan has faced this question at one point or another:

“Why the Packers?”

The fan then gives their reason for their apparent insanity.  It could be the team’s tradition or it could be a family tradition or a Wisconsin birthright for those born in the Dairy State.  Each fan has their own unique story as to how and why they became and still remain a Packers fan.

In rare circumstances, you may find yourself at a loss for words (because the Packers are so darn awesome) or you might have difficulty explaining your fandom to someone who prefers a much more visual medium.

If that’s the case here is WatchMojo.com’s Greatest Sports Franchises series on THE greatest sports franchise, the Green Bay Packers.  It serves as a great “Packers 101″ for anyone who knows little to nothing about the team’s history.

Those poor uneducated souls.

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke

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14

July

Keep Building the Hall of Fame Movement for Packers Guard Jerry Kramer: We Cannot be Ignored

Jerry Kramer was a key member of Vince Lombardi's dominant teams of the 1960s. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Jerry Kramer was a key member of Vince Lombardi’s dominant teams of the 1960s. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Packers guard Jerry Kramer last played a down of professional football in 1968. He became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 1974 and he immediately became a finalist.

Kramer has been a Hall of Fame finalist ten times, with his most recent near-induction coming in 1997. Unfortunately, that’s as close as he’s ever come. That is travesty. He needs to be enshrined.

Packers fans everywhere know his story. We know his credentials and share in his frustration of being shunned by the Hall of Fame. But, Packers fans aren’t ones to sit idle and stew over it. We take up action.

Support for Kramer’s bid to the Hall of Fame arises every now and then. However, we are in the building stages of another movement, and it’s one that could be great. It could be the one that finally turns the tide and gets Kramer the award he overwhelmingly deserves.

Previous campaigns for Kramer were conducted before the explosion of the internet and social media. This current movement in 2014 has the potential to go viral. If it does, his case can no longer be swept under the carpet of time.

I’m not sure why, but this campaign feels different. It feels like it has more growing momentum and the ability to really generate some noise. What’s most impressive is that this most recent one an organic, grassroots movement and is starting to get noticed. It’s catching on and gaining more steam.

But, now is not the time to relax and hope the noise has been made. It’s time to ramp up the efforts even more. People are starting to notice, and you could say that we’re just getting started.

Behind much of the movement is Jerry’s daughter Alicia, who has invested an incredible amount of energy bringing attention to her father’s accomplishments and highlighting his case for the Hall of Fame.

 

 

This summer, our own Jersey Al, with the help of Jerry Kramer and our sponsor Waukesha Sports Cards, promoted awareness by encouraging fans to write to Hall of Fame voters on behalf of Kramer’s behalf. Every time someone contacted a voter, they were entered in a drawing to win an autographed football by Kramer.

7

July

Open Letter to NFL Hall of Fame Seniors Committee: Vote in Packers Guard Jerry Kramer

Jerry Kramer was a key member of Vince Lombardi's dominant teams of the 1960s. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Jerry Kramer was a key member of Vince Lombardi’s dominant teams of the 1960s. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Dear NFL Hall of Fame Seniors Committee:

As custodians of the NFL of yesteryear, you are charged with recognizing the remarkable players of a different era. I commend the job you have done as the Pro Football Hall of Fame is well represented with many deserving players from decades long ago. It is a highly subjective and difficult task that you have gotten right so many times.

However, there is one glaring omission in the hallowed hall. Guard Jerry Kramer, a cornerstone of the Packers dynasty of the 1960s, has not been selected.

His resume speaks for itself and is definitely worthy of enshrinement. Over the years, I have read possible reasons and excuses for why he has not yet been selected.

I will address these criticisms in hopes of garnering your attention and consideration. Jerry Kramer is deserving of enshrinement, and his last chances rest in your hands.

Hall of Fame Credentials

Jerry Kramer played right guard for the Packers from 1958-1968. He was highly skilled in run blocking for Hall of Fame running backs Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor, as well as pass blocking for Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr. Kramer was integral to the legendary “Packers Sweep” that won an unprecedented five NFL championships in seven years.

His famous coach, Vince Lombardi, repeatedly said the sweep was the play they must make work, and must make work again and again. Kramer was a large reason this play swept the Packers into history. You can hardly find a diagram or picture of the sweep without seeing Kramer lead the way. Kramer has been described as the best pulling guard in the NFL during his time, and perhaps in the history of the league.

All those sentiments were validated when Kramer was named as the only guard to the NFL 50th Anniversary Team in 1969. However, he’s the only member of that honorary team not inducted into the Hall of Fame. That alone speaks volumes of an injustice.

Football is ultimately a team game. Without stellar blocking up front, there’s no way a team wins a single championship, let alone five in seven years, including a never-duplicated three in a row.

Career Honors:

8

June

Help Make Jerry Kramer a Hall of Famer and Win His One of a Kind Autographed Football

Jerry Kramer Autographed Football

Jerry Kramer Autographed Football

It’s that time of year when the Hall of Fame Seniors Committee starts considering candidates for nomination. As Packers fans, we all know about the travesty that is Jerry Kramer, he who was voted one of the best players of the NFL’s first 50 years, not being in the Hall of Fame.

As I’ve written before, it’s a wrong that needs to be righted.

It’s also a crusade we’ve taken up before, helping his daughter, Alicia in her efforts to persuade the Hall of Fame committee members. While success has eluded us, it’s not something we’re planning on giving up on.

We are calling on all of Packer Nation to join in on this effort, and to give you all a little extra incentive, anyone who helps is eligible to win this fabulous one of a kind autographed football by the man himself, Jerry Kramer. The football has been generously donated to the cause by our sponsor, Waukesha Sports Cards. Check their web site for a great collection of Packers memorabilia.

Here are the details:

How to help and  be eligible to win this football:

At this link, you’ll find a list of the Hall of Fame Voters, their email addresses, twitter accounts and mailing addresses. Right now, focus should be on the Senior Committee members (in bold).

We want you to contact the voters in a respectful, friendly manner. Don’t be aggressive or overly dramatic. I will provide some examples at the end of this post to use as templates for your own words or just edit and send.

For every communication you send, you will receive points. Each point will count as an entry in the contest.

1 point – send a tweet to a Hall of Fame Voter (Special focus on Senior Committee members at this time). You MUST include the hashtag #Kramer4HOF.

1 point - Share our Facebook post with your friends (see it below).

5 points – send an email to a Hall of Fame Voter (Special focus on Senior Committee members at this time). You MUST CC: AllGreenBayPackers@gmail.com.

10 points – mail a letter to a Hall of Fame Voter (Special focus on Senior Committee members at this time). You MUST take a picture of your addressed AND stamped envelope and email the pic to AllGreenBayPackers@gmail.com.

14

April

Historical Perspective: Vince Lombardi’s Offense Was More Complex Than You Think

Vince Lombardi ran a precision offense that may be remembered incorrectly within his legend.

Vince Lombardi ran a precision offense that may be remembered somewhat incorrectly within his legend.

Former Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi is arguably the greatest coach in the history of the NFL. However, I believe that his legacy is actually underrepresented in the annals of fame.

Lombardi is often credited for having his teams seek perfection. As part of this perfection, the legend suggests that his offensive playbook was more simple than his peers. But, since his players ran the smaller offensive category to perfection, it was the winning formula en route to five NFL championships over a seven-year stretch.

The legend perpetuates the notion that the Packers Power Sweep was the main driving force for the 1960s dynasty. They swept their way into the history books.

Pundits today also continue their accounts by suggesting that the modern game has surpassed Lombardi and he wouldn’t be able to compete with the contemporary sophistication.

Granted, Lombardi’s offense wasn’t as open as Tom Landry’s multiple-shift and intricate “System” at the time, but it was much more complex than history seems be crediting him.

I have always been a great fan and student of Lombardi’s playbook. It started when I was a young child and was given a copy of his posthumous book “Vince Lombardi on Football,” edited by George L. Flynn. Throughout the book, Lombardi painstakingly teaches the reader, down to the finest detail, the mechanisms of executing his football plays.

Allow me to highlight some of Lombardi’s offensive philosophies and play calls to demonstrate that his offense was quite contemporary and multiple for the time, and to also showcase how some of his staples are still present in today’s modern NFL.

Exhibit A: The Passing Tree

Sid Gillman is often called the “father of the modern passing game.” He was among the first to standardize receiver routes and attach them to precision timing. The routes were perfectly constructed to match the quarterback’s drop back with the break of the receivers to mesh in a completion.

He was one of the reasons the AFL exploded on the scene with wide-open passing attacks. The game would never be the same after his imprint.

Before Gillman, oftentimes receivers only ran a few routes to match their skill set and simply would try to “get open” and then look for the ball.

13

December

Packers Periscope: Week 15 at Dallas Cowboys

The Past: In reality, the Packers and Cowboys aren’t all that different; both are storied franchises whose heydays came after hiring relatively unknown New York Giants coordinators.  Both had a renaissance of sorts in the 80s and 90s; Jimmy Johnson, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin for the Cowboys and Mike Holmgren, Brett Favre, Reggie White and Desmond Howard for the Packers both lead their respective teams back into relevance.  Both have been successful franchises in the last couple years; obviously Green Bay boasts a Super Bowl over the last couple of years that the Cowboys have no answer for but to call the franchise “unsuccessful” would be glossing over a decent team who are still the highest grossing franchise in the league.

While the Packers and Cowboys have only played each other 24 times in NFL history; perhaps the most historic game of all time occurred in New Years eve, 1967 where the temperature dropped -15F and an unassuming quarterback from Alabama drafted in the 17th round quarterback sneaked his way into the hearts of Packers nation and became a legend.

The Cowboys would probably like to forget the last time they played the Packers, a 45-7 demolition at Lambeau Field that would ultimately lead to the firing of then head coach Wade Phillips, which was punctualized by several coaching mistakes which ultimately lead to a bad call on a fumble returned for a special teams touchdown being unchallenged because the Cowboys had already wasted all their timeouts.  After that, the entire team simply gave up and let the Packers had their way with the Cowboys; Clay Matthews recorded sack/interception returned for a touchdown while James Jones logged 123 yards and a touchdown on 8 receptions.

The Present: Both the Packers and Cowboys are at a crossroads of sorts for their playoff hopes.  Frankly neither should really be in the discussion; the Packers are a completely different team without starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Cowboys have been wildly inconsistent, almost beating the Peyton Manning lead Denver Broncos but getting blown out by the Bears last week with a backup quarterback that’s just been benched for Jay Cutler.  Still the Packers are 6-6-1 and have a shot to get into the playoffs (especially if the Lions continue to play poorly) while the Cowboys are 7-6 and again are one game out from 1st place in the NFC East.  However in a league of parity, both teams with essentially .500 records are still in the playoff hunts with a reasonable chance of actually getting in says platitudes about how a team’s fortunes can change in a matter of moments.

5

December

Hall of Famer Dave Robinson chats with ALLGBP.com

Dave Robinson joined ALLGBP for a phone interview. Photo courtesy Packers.com.Dave Robinson joined ALLGBP for a phone interview. Photo courtesy Packers.com.

Dave Robinson joined ALLGBP for a phone interview. Photo courtesy Packers.com.

Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Packers linebacker Dave Robinson joined me for a phone interview Dec. 4. Needless to say, the 72-year-old Robinson had some great stories and a first-hand account of the Vince Lombardi-era Packers.

“He used to say there were players in the league that were bigger than us, stronger than us, faster than us, could jump higher,” Robinson said of Lombardi. “But we had that certain something, he said, that he saw that made you a Green Bay Packer. He took that little something and nurtured it.”

Robinson pointed out that people seem to lose sight of the fact that Lombardi was the also team’s general manager during his legendary run in Green Bay.

“On our defense, 10 of the 11 people  on our defense Vince Lombardi had acquired as the general manager,” Robinson said. “He was a big offensive coach, but he was sharp enough to acquire 10 of 11 (on defense). The only one he didn’t acquire was Ray Nitschke.”

Of course, Lombardi was the one who took Nitschke and turned him into a starter upon his arrival.

Robinson will be honored today (Dec. 4) in his hometown Moorestown, N.J. as part of the “Hometown Hall of Famer” banquet, presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company. He spoke of his time growing up in New Jersey, going to college and meeting Joe Paterno at Penn State and, of course, the current Packers and the Aaron Rodgers situation.

Check out the whole interview below. Dave made it very worth your 15 minutes.

 

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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