A professional American football team, the Green Bay Packers, is the third-oldest franchise in the National Football League, established in 1919. What makes them unique is the fact that they are the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the US. The Packers are the members of the NFC, North Division.
What makes them additionally stand out is their small hometown, Green Bay, Wisconsin. The team probably has the most loyal fan base in the league. Getting season tickets for the Packers is unimaginably tricky — most people have been on the waiting list for 40 years.
The team has won four Super Bowls, the last one in 2010.
Interesting Facts About Packers’ Early Days
What you probably didn’t know about the Green Bay Packers is that they are the last “small-town” team. “Small-town teams” were present when the NFL was founded in the early 1920s and 1930s. The Packers initially competed against other semi-pro clubs from the Midwest. Later, they joined the American Professional Football Association — the predecessor of today’s NFL.
The first stadium where the Packers played home games was City Stadium, from 1925 to 1956. In the 1950s, the stadium was considered outdated and was remodeled by 1957. It got its current name after one of the team’s founders — Curly Lambeau.
Lambeau Field was renovated eight more times, the last time in 2003. It currently has the capacity to seat 72,928 spectators. That still may not be enough considering the ongoing ticket demand.
One of many fascinating Packers’ traditions started in 1993 when LeRoy Butler scored a touchdown and jumped into the end zone stands. It’s not clear how this got the name “Lambeau Leap,” but it was popularized in the 1990s. The NFL allowed the leaping to continue even after they banned excessive celebrations in 2000. It’s one of the most loving traditions since fans get to be an active part of it.
More About Packers’ History
What started as an insult after a loss from the Chicago Bears turned into a profitable business and a proud nickname. After the 1985 Superbowl, the Bears started calling the Packers “cheeseheads” in an attempt to mock them and Wisconsin that had a long history of cheese production.
However, in 1987 a man named Ralph Bruno went to a game with a cheese foam hat. The Packers’ fans loved the idea, which resulted in Bruno manufacturing cheese hats and cheese related products.
Vince Lombardi is probably the most notable coach in the history of the NFL. He was the Green Bay Packers’ head coach for seven seasons, from 1961 to 1967. Lombardi managed to lead the Packers to five NFL championships during his time. Also, he led the Packers to their two first Super Bowl titles. The Super Bowl trophy has been carrying his name since 1970 — the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The trophy is remade every year and awarded to the champions.
A game between the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys took place on December 31st, 1967, on the Packers’ home turf. The temperature was -15 °F with strong, sharp winds that dubbed the game Ice Bowl. The Lambeau Field is also known as the Frozen Tundra because of the low temperatures during winter. Before the 1967 season, they installed underground electric heating cables. However, the system did not work properly.
Some stories led people to believe the Packers intentionally messed with the system overnight, which worked to their advantage. They won the game against the Cowboys. However, no foul play was proven. The system was replaced in 1997 with a system of pipes filled with a solution including antifreeze, and then again in 2006.