The Green Bay Packers, or The Pack, are a NFL club playing in the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC). They were created in 1919, making them the third-oldest franchise in the league. Earl “Curly” Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun founded the team as an independent. The Packers were named after a meat packing company located in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 1921, they became a part of the American Professional Football Association (APFA) and in 1921 the APFA became the National Football League (NFL).
Green Bay has played in various divisions and conferences, including the Western Division (1933-1949), National Conference (1950-1952) and the Western Conference (1953-1966). In 1967, they became a part of the Central Division of the Western Conference. Then in 1970 they were designated as a Central Division team in the NFC. When the NFL restructured in 2002, the Packers were assigned to the North Division, which is where they currently reside.
Green Bay has won a dozen league championships, including Super Bowl I (1967), Super Bowl II (1968) and Super Bowl XXXI (1997) and nine NFL Championships (1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939, 1944, 1961, 1962, 1965). The team has 13 Division Championships and eight Conference Championships. Division titles include NFL West (1936, 1938, 1939, 1944), NFL Central (1967), NFC Central (1972, 1995, 1996, 1997) and NFC North (2002, 2003, 2004, 2007). Conference titles include NFL Western (1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967) and NFC (1996, 1997).
Green Bay has played in many different venues, including Hagemeister Park (1919-1922), Bellevue Park (1923-1924) and City Stadium in Green Bay (1925-1956). They moved to Lambeau Field, their present home turf, in 1957. They also split their games between Green Bay and Milwaukee from 1933 to 1994. The Milwaukee fields included Borchert Field (1933-1935), Wisconsin State Fair Park (1934-1951) and Marquette Stadium (1936). They played at Milwaukee County Stadium from 1953 to 1994.
The Packers have sent over 25 men to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including coach Vince Lombardi (1959-1967), halfback Paul Hornung (1956-1962 and 1964-1966), coach Earl Lambeau (1919-1949), linebacker Ray Nitschke (1958-1972) and quarterback Bart Starr (1956-1971).
Head coach Vince Lombardi was a demanding perfectionist who rode his players incessantly. Lombardi won five NFL Championships and the first two Super Bowls. He amassed a regular season record of 96-34-6 and was 9-1 in the post-season. The Super Bowl trophy, the most coveted prize in the NFL, is named after him.
Hornung rushed for 3,711-yards, averaging 4.2 yards per carry and making 50 touchdowns. In college, he won the 1956 Heisman Trophy and was selected to the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team. The halfback was caught in a betting scandal that resulted in a two-year suspension. “Curly” Lambeau, the Packers first coach, team owner and player, compiled a coaching record of 229-134-22, guiding the team to six NFL Championships.
Nitschke, a tenacious and tough linebacker, intercepted 25 passes, scoring two touchdowns. He was a seven-time All-Pro and was selected to the 1964 Pro Bowl. He was named to the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team, the NFL 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. Bart Starr threw 152 touchdown passes and totaled 24,718-yards in the air. He was a NFL Champion three-times and a Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection four-times.
The Pack’s fans are often called “Cheese Heads” because of the cheese industry in Wisconsin, and the club’s fight song is “Go! You Packers! Go!” The Packers are unusual in that they are owned by the Green Bay Packers, Inc., which has 111,967 stockholders. Their chairman is Mark Murphy, who has been the CEO since 2007, and the club’s GM is Ted Thompson. He’s been with the team since 2005. Mike McCarthy, who was formerly Green Bay’s offensive coordinator, was named head coach in 2006.