The Packers made the playoffs this season for the eighth time in a decade, giving fans something to cheer after a year which has sucked much of the joy from football, and from life.
Whatever goes on in the wider world, football fans can always find solace in their team, even amongst the disappointment of an NFC Championship loss.
History is littered with examples of the Packers giving fans something to cheer about, lifting them in times of strife and creating memories for a lifetime.
Super Bowl I
Imagine, a world with no Super Bowl. Up until 1965, that was the situation in the United States, with the 1966 season the first to host the biggest sporting event on the planet, albeit under another name. It was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, and it featured the Packers against the Chiefs. Bart Starr lived up to his name to star, and became MVP, giving Vince Lombardi the honor of being the first-ever coach to win the Super Bowl. It may seem a lifetime ago now, but your Granddad will likely hark back to this moment as one of the greatest in Packers history. That said, Lombardi went and won it again the following season after winning the infamous Ice Bowl game. That saw him lending his name to the trophy as the first winner, and double winner, in Super Bowl history.
Super Bowl XXXI
The culmination of the 1996 football season saw the Packers line up against the Patriots at the Louisiana Superdome. Almost 30 years had passed since the Packers last won the Super Bowl, but after signing Brett Favre in 1992 they hit an upward trajectory. He led the team to victory in Super Bowl XXI, meaning the Lombardi Trophy returned to its spiritual home. Whilst Favre has gone on to feature in the Hall of Fame, MVP was Desmond Howard, marking a successful single season with the Packers.
Super Bowl XLV
14 years later, the Steelers stood between the Packers and a fourth Super Bowl victory. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers helped drive Mike McCarthy’s team to a 25-31 victory in an exciting encounter at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The 2010 win is still the Packers only Super Bowl win this century, but as Bwin explains, since the year 2000 they have reached the NFC championship game on a further four occasions. The culmination of the 2020 season means that is now five, one ahead of the Patriots.
Away from the joy of Super Bowl wins, one lovely moment in the 2004 wild card game still puts a smile on Packers’ fan’s faces. Former Packers quarterback Matt Hasselbeck shouted that he wanted the ball, and was going to score after winning the overtime toss. “We want the ball, and we are going to score,” he said and was instantly disappointed. Hasselbeck dropped back, but the pass was intercepted by Harris, who returned it for a memorable 52-yard touchdown to seal the game, 27-33 for the Packers.