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Green Bay Packers 1919 to Date
NFC Championship Game Photo By Joe Paolella
The Green Bay Packers are a Football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Green Bay is the second-oldest franchise in the NFL
The Packers are the last vestige of "small town teams" that were once common in the NFL during the 1920s and 1930s. Founded in 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau (hence the name Lambeau Field on which the team plays) and George Whitney Calhoun, the Green Bay Packers can trace their lineage to other semi-professional teams in Green Bay dating back to 1896. In 1919 and 1920 the Packers competed as a semi-professional football team against clubs from around Wisconsin and the Midwest.
They joined the American Professional Football Association (APFA) in 1921, the forerunner to what is known today as the National Football League (NFL). The Packers are the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the United States.
The Green Bay Packers have won twelve league championships (more than any other team in the NFL) including nine NFL Championships prior to the Super Bowl (Super Bowl I), 1968 (Super Bowl II) and 1996 (Super Bowl XXXI). The team has historic rivalries with the Chicago Bears, whom they have played in over 180 games, and the Detroit Lions, whom they have played since the 1930s.
The Packers also share a fierce blood rivalry with the Minnesota Vikings, who also reside in the NFC North along with the Packers, Bears and Lions in what is known as the "Black and Blue Division" due to the intensity of the rivalry between the four teams. The Dallas Cowboys have historically been known as the Packers' largest playoff rivals after the Packers defeated them in the famous Ice Bowl
Beginning with the 1992 season, the Packers had 13 non-losing seasons in a row (their worst record being 8–8 in 1999), two Super Bowl appearances, and one Super Bowl win (Super Bowl XXXI). They returned to playoff form with winning campaigns in 2007 (13–3), winning the NFC Championship game to advance to Super Bowl XLV in 2010 (10-6) under current head coach Mike McCarthy.
The Green Bay Packers were founded on August 11, 1919 by former high-school football rivals Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun. Lambeau solicited funds for uniforms from his employer, the Indian Packing Company. He was given $500 for uniforms and equipment, on the condition that the team be named for its sponsor. Today "Green Bay Packers" is the oldest team-name still in use in the NFL, both by its nickname and by virtue of remaining in its original city.
On August 27, 1921, the Packers were granted a franchise in the new national pro football league that had been formed the previous year. Financial troubles plagued the team and the franchise was forfeited within the year, before Lambeau found new financial backers and regained the franchise the next year. These backers, known as the "Hungry five", formed the Green Bay Football Corporation.
Record 12 NFL World Championships
League annals show 12 World Championships, the most in the NFL (the next closest team is the Chicago Bears, with nine). The first three were decided by league standing, the next six by the NFL Title Game, and the final three by Super Bowl victories. The Packers are also the only team to win three consecutive NFL titles, having accomplished this twice (1929-30-31 under Lambeau and 1965-66-67 under Vince Lombardi).
1929–1931: Lambeau's Team Arrives
After a near-miss in 1927, Lambeau's squad claimed the Packers' first NFL title in 1929 with an undefeated 12–0–1 campaign, behind a stifling defense which registered eight shutouts. Green Bay would repeat as league champions in 1930 and 1931, bettering teams from New York, Chicago and throughout the league, with all-time greats and future Hall of Famers Mike Michalske, Johnny (Blood) McNally, Cal Hubbard and Green Bay native Arnie Herber. Among the many impressive accomplishments of these years was the Packers' streak of 30 consecutive home games without defeat, an NFL record which still stands.
1935–1945: The Don Hutson Era
The arrival of end Don Hutson from Alabama in 1935 gave Lambeau and the Packers the most-feared and dynamic offensive weapon in the game. Credited with inventing pass patterns, Hutson would lead the league in receptions eight seasons and spur the Packers to NFL championships in 1936, 1939 and 1944. An iron man, Hutson also led the league in interceptions in 1940. Hutson claimed 18 NFL records when he retired in 1945, many of which still stand. In 1951, his number 14 was the first to be retired by the Packers, and he was inducted as a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
After Hutson's retirement, Lambeau could not stop the slide of the Packers, and departed after the 1949 season. Gene Ronzani and Lisle Blackbourn could not coach the Packers back to their former magic, even as a new stadium was unveiled in 1957. The losing would crescendo to the disastrous 1958 campaign under coach Ray "Scooter" McLean, whose lone year at the helm resulted in a 1–10–1 mark, worst in Packer history.
1959–1967: The Lombardi Era and the Glory Years
On February 2, 1959, the hiring of New York GiantsVince Lombardi as Packers head coach and general manager represented the beginning of a remarkable, immediate turnaround. Under Lombardi, the Packers would become the Team of the 60s, winning five world championships over a seven-year span, including victories in the first two Super Bowls. During the Lombardi era, the stars of the Packers' offense included Bart Starr, Jim Taylor, Carroll Dale, Paul Hornung (as halfback and placekicker), Forrest Gregg, and Jerry Kramer. The defense included Willie Davis, Henry Jordan, assistant Willie Wood, Ray Nitschke, Dave Robinson, and Herb Adderley.
In their first game under Lombardi on September 27, 1959, the Packers beat the Chicago Bears, 9–6, in Green Bay. After winning their first three, the Packers lost the next five before finishing strong by winning the rest. The 7–5 record represented the Packers' first winning season since 1947. Rookie head coach Lombardi was named Coach of the Year.
The next year, the Packers, led by Paul Hornung's 176 points, won the NFL West title and played in the NFL Championship against the Philadelphia Eagles at Philadelphia. In a see-saw game, the Packers trailed the Eagles by four points late in the game, when Chuck Bednarik tackled Jim Taylor just nine yards short of the goal line as time ran out. They claimed that they did not "lose" that game; they were simply behind in the score when time ran out on them.
The Packers returned to the NFL Championship game the following season and faced the New York Giants in the first league title game to be played in Green Bay. The Packers scored 24 second-quarter points, including a championship-record 19 by Paul Hornung, on special "loan" from the Army (one touchdown, four extra-points and three field goals), powering the Packers to a 37–0 rout of the Giants, their first NFL Championship since 1944. It was in 1961 that Green Bay became known as "Titletown."
The Packers stormed back in the 1962 season, jumping out to a 10–0 start, on their way to a 13–1 season. This consistent level of success would lead to Lombardi's Packers becoming one of the most prominent teams of their era, and even to their being featured as the face of the NFL on the cover of Time on December 21, 1962, as part of the magazine's cover story on "The Sport of the '60s".
Shortly after Time's article, the Packers faced the Giants in a much more brutal championship gameJerry Kramer and the determined running of Jim Taylor. The Packers defeated the Giants in New York, 16–7.
The Packers returned to the championship game in 1965. Don Chandler's controversial tying field goal in which the ball allegedly went wide right, but the officials signaled "good." The 13–10 overtime win earned the Packers a trip to the NFL Championship game, where Hornung and Taylor ran through the defending champion Cleveland Browns, helping the Packers win, 23–12, to earn their third NFL Championship under Lombardi and ninth overall. Goalpost uprights would be made taller the next year.
The 1966 season saw the Packers led by an MVP season from quarterback Bart Starr. The Packers went 12–2, and in the NFL Championship, with the Packers leading 34–27, the Dallas Cowboys had the ball on the Packers' two-yard line, threatening to tie the ballgame. But on fourth down, the Packers' Tom Brown intercepted Don Meredith's pass in the end zone to preserve their victory in against Dallas. The Packers went on to win Super Bowl I 35–10 over the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 1967 season was the last one for Vince Lombardi as the Packers' head coach. The NFL Championship game, a rematch of the 1966 contest against Dallas, is better known as the Ice Bowl, due to the brutally cold conditions at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Still the coldest NFL game ever played, the Ice Bowl remains one of the most famous football games (college or professional) in the history of the sport. With 16 seconds left, Bart Starr's touchdown on a quarterback sneak brought the Packers a 21–17 victory and their third straight NFL Championship – a feat no other team has matched since. The Packers then won Super Bowl II with a 33–14 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Lombardi stepped down as head coach after the game, and Phil Bengtson was named as Head Coach. He remained general manager for one season, but left Green Bay in 1969 to become head coach and minority owner of the Washington Redskins.
After the death of Vince Lombardi in September 1970, the Super Bowl trophy was renamed the Vince Lombardi Trophy, in recognition of his, and his team's, accomplishments. Lambeau Field has had a street address of 1265 Lombardi Avenue since 1968, when Green Bay renamed Highland Avenue in honor of the coach.
The Packers' performance throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s led to a shakeup in which new General Manager Ron Wolf was hired to take over full control of the team's football operations during the 1991 season. In 1992, Wolf hired San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren to be the Packers' new head coach.
Soon after hiring Holmgren, Wolf acquired quarterback Brett Favre from the Atlanta Falcons for a first-round pick. Favre got the Packers' their first win of the 1992 season, stepping in for injured quarterback Don Majkowski and leading the Packers to a comeback win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Favre started the following week with a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and never missed a start during his time with the Packers through the 2007 season. He would go on to break the record for consecutive starts by an NFL quarterback, starting 297 consecutive games including stints with the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings with the streak finally coming to an end late in the 2010 season.
The Packers had a 9–7 record in 1992, and began to turn heads around the league when they signed perhaps the most prized free agent in NFL history in Reggie White on the defense in 1993. White believed that Wolf, Holmgren, and Favre had the team heading in the right direction with a "total commitment to winning." With White on board the Packers made it to the second round of the playoffs during both the 1993 and 1994 seasons but lost their 2nd-round matches to their playoff rival, the Dallas Cowboys, playing in Dallas on both occasions. In 1995, the Packers won the NFC Central Division championship for the first time since 1972. After a home playoff 37–20 win against Favre's former team, the Atlanta Falcons, the Packers defeated the defending Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers 27–17 in San Francisco on the road to advance to the NFC Championship Game, where they lost again to the Dallas Cowboys 38–27.
In 1996, the Packers' turnaround was complete. The team posted a league-best 13–3 record in the regular season, dominating the competition and securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They were ranked #1 in offense with Brett Favre leading the way, #1 in defense with Reggie White as the leader of the defense and #1 in special Teams with former Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard returning punts and kickoffs back for touchdowns. After relatively easy wins against the 49ersCarolina PanthersSuper Bowl XXXI Green Bay defeated the New England Patriots 35–21 to win their 12th world championship, which is still an NFL record. Desmond Howard was named MVP of the game for his kickoff return for a touchdown that ended the Patriots bid for a comeback. Then-Packers President Bob Harlan credited Wolf, Holmgren, Favre, and White for ultimately changing the fortunes of the organization and turning the Green Bay Packers into a model NFL franchise. A 2007 panel of football experts at ESPN ranked the 1996 Packers the 6th-greatest team to ever play in the Super Bowl.
The following year the Packers won their second consecutive NFC championship, returning to the Super Bowl as an 11½ point favorite, defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21–7 and San Francisco 49ers 23–10 in the playoffs. The Packers ended up losing to John Elway and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII, by the score of 31–24.
In 1998, the Packers went 11–5 and were eliminated in the first-round of the playoffs by the San Francisco 49ersSteve Young and Terrell Owens, moments after Favre led the Packers back with a game leading touchdown. The game would have its share of controversy as many argue that during the 49ers game winning drive, Niners receiver Jerry Rice fumbled the ball but officials stated he was down by contact. This game turned out to be the end of an era, as Mike Holmgren would leave the team days later to become Vice President, General Manager and Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks. Much of Holmgren's coaching staff went with him. Reggie White also retired after the season (but later played one season for the Carolina Panthers in 2000), and the team struggled for an identity after the departure of so many of the individuals who were responsible for their Super Bowl run.
Ray Rhodes was hired in 1999 as head coach, but dismissed after one 8–8 season. In 2000, Wolf hired Mike Sherman as head coach, who would also assume GM duties when Wolf retired the next year. Sherman coached the Packers to respectable regular-season success, but had trouble in the playoffs. Until 2003, the Packers had never lost a home playoff game since the NFL instituted a post-season in 1933 (They were 13–0, with 11 of the wins at Lambeau and two more in Milwaukee.). That ended January 4, 2003, when the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Packers 27–7 in an NFC Wild Card game. The Packers would also lose at home in the playoffs to the Minnesota Vikings two years later.
The Green Bay Packers released Sherman after the 2005 season, after a season record of 4–12. They then hired Mike McCarthy, the former offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers. He was also the former quarterbacks coach for the Packers in 1999.
After missing the playoffs in 2006, Brett Favre announced that he would return for the 2007 season; it would turn out to be one of his best. The Packers won 10 of their first 11 games and finished 13–3, earning a first round bye in the playoffs. The Packers' passing offense, led by Favre and a very skilled wide receiver group, finished second in the NFC, behind the Dallas Cowboys, and third overall in the league. Running back Ryan Grant, acquired for a sixth-round draft pick from the New York Giants, became the featured back in Green Bay and rushed for 956 yards and 8 touchdowns in the final 10 games of the regular season. In the divisional playoff round, in a heavy snowstorm, the Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks 42–20. Grant rushed for three touchdowns and over 200 yards, while Favre tossed three touchdown passes and 1 snowball to receiver Donald Driver in celebration.
On January 20, 2008, Green Bay appeared in their first NFC Championship Game in 10 years facing the New York Giants in Green Bay. The game was lost 23–20 on an overtime field goal by Lawrence Tynes. This would be Brett Favre's final game as a Green Bay Packer with his final pass being an interception in overtime.
Mike McCarthy coached the NFC team during the 2008 Pro Bowl in Hawaii. Al Harris and Aaron Kampman were also picked to play for the NFC Pro Bowl team as starters. Donald Driver was named as a third-string wideout on the Pro Bowl roster. Brett Favre was named the first-string quarterback for the NFC, but he declined to play in the Pro Bowl and was replaced on the roster by Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback Jeff Garcia. The Packers also had several first alternates, including Chad Clifton and Nick Barnett.
In December 2007, Ted Thompson was signed to a 5-year contract extension with the Packers, while it was announced on February 5, 2008 that head coach Mike McCarthy signed a 5-year contract extension as well.
On March 4, 2008, Brett Favre tearfully announced his retirement. Within five months, however, he filed for reinstatement with the NFL on July 29. Favre's petition was granted by Commissioner Roger Goodell, effective August 4, 2008. On August 6, 2008 it was announced that Brett Favre was traded to the New York Jets for a conditional draft pick in 2009.
The Packers began their 2008 season with their 2005 first-round draft pick, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, under center, as the first QB other than Favre to start for the Packers in 16 years. Rodgers played well in his first year starting for the Packers, throwing for over 4000 yards and 28 touchdowns. However, injuries plagued the Packers' defense, as they lost 7 close games by 4 points or less, finishing with a 6–10 record. After the season, eight assistant coaches were dismissed by McCarthy, including Bob Sanders, the team's defensive coordinator, who was replaced by Dom Capers.
In March 2009, the organization assured fans that Brett Favre's jersey number would be retired, but not during the 2009 season. In April 2009, the Packers selected defensive lineman B.J. Raji of Boston College as the team's first pick in the draft. The team then traded three draft picks (including the pick the Packers acquired from the Jets for Brett Favre) for another first-round pick, selecting linebacker Clay Matthews III of Southern California.
During the 2009 NFL season, two match-ups between the franchise and its former legendary QB, Brett Favre, were highly anticipated after Favre's arrival with the division-rival Vikings in August. The first encounter took place in week 4, on a Monday Night Football game which broke several TV audience records. The scheduling of this game was made possible when Baseball Commissioner and Packer Board of Directors Member Bud Selig forced Baseball's Minnesota Twins to play 2 games within a 12 hour span. The Vikings won the game 30–23. Brett Favre The teams met for a second time in week 8, Favre leading the Vikings to a second win, 38–26, in Green Bay. Rodgers was heavily pressured in both games, being sacked 14 times total, but still played exceptionally well, throwing five touchdowns and only one interception. The next week, the Packers were upset by the win-less Tampa Bay Buccaneers. .
Following a players only meeting, the team started to roll and found some stability on the offensive line with the return of tackle Mark Tauscher bringing a minor halt to sacks to Rodgers and opening the running game to Ryan Grant and the other running backs. Green Bay finished the season strongly, winning 7 out of their last 8 games, including winning their 16th regular season finale in the past 17 seasons, and earning a NFC wild-card playoff bid with an 11–5 regular-season record. The Packers defense was ranked #2 and the offense was ranked #6 with rookies Brad Jones and Clay Matthews III becoming sensations at linebacker and young players like James Jones, Brandon Jackson, Jermichael Finley and Jordy Nelson becoming threats on offense. Rodgers also became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 4000 yards in each of his first two seasons as a starter.
Also, cornerback Charles Woodson won NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors after recording 9 interceptions, forcing four fumbles, 3 touchdowns and registering 74 tackles and 2 sacks. In fact, Woodson's 9 interceptions were more than the 8 collected by all Packer opponents that season. Though the defense was ranked high, injuries to Al Harris, Tramon Williams, Will Blackman, Atari Bigby and Brandon Underwood severely limited the depth of the secondary and teams like the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers used that to their advantage by unleashing aerial assaults against inexperienced players with the NFL's best receivers. The season ended with an overtime loss in a wild card round by the Arizona Cardinals, 51–45
On the second day of the draft, with pick 2–56 the Packers selected Defensive end Mike Neal from Purdue. The Packers then traded picks 3–86 and 4–122 to the Philadelphia Eagles for pick 3–71. With pick 3–71, the Packers selected Safety Morgan Burnett from Georgia Tech.
On the third and final day of the draft, with pick 5–154 the Packers selected Tight end Andrew Quarless from Penn State. With their compensatory selection pick 5–169, the Packers selected Offensive guard Marshall NewhouseTexas Christian. In the sixth round with pick 6–193, the Packers selected Running back James Starks from Buffalo. Their final selection of the draft came when the Packers selected Defensive end C. J. Wilson of East Carolina with pick 7–230.
At the beginning of September, the Packers announced the 53 man roster, and the 20 players that had been cut. Among these were a few surprises, including, TE/LB Spencer Havner, QB Graham Harrell, and DE Jarius Wynn. Another loss for Green Bay was the suspension of Johnny Jolly, after he violated the NFL drug policy. He is suspended for the entire season. The Packers running corps suffered a blow when RB Ryan Grant suffered a season-ending ankle injury in week 1.
After a 10-6 season and a #6 seed in the NFC playoffs, the Packers beat first the Philadelphia Eagles and then the #1 seeded Atlanta Falcons to reach the NFC Championship Game where they played the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field - only the second playoff meeting between the two storied rivals (the other game being a 33-14 victory for the Bears which sent them to the 1941 NFL Championship Game).
The Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears 21 - 14 to head to Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011, where they will play the AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The Packers and the Steelers have the NFL's best team playoff winning percentages since the NFL introduced the "playoff" system in 1967. Green Bay ranks first (28-16 record; .636 post-season winning percentage); Pittsburgh ranks second (33-19; .635 post-season winning percentage)
Packers fans are often referred to as cheeseheads. The term is often used to refer to people from the state of Wisconsin in general (because of its cheese production), but is also used to refer to Green Bay Packers fans in particular. The name originated in 1987 as an insult from Chicago White Sox fans at a Milwaukee Brewers game. In years since and particularly beginning in 1994, the name and the hats called "cheeseheads" have also been embraced by Packers fans.
During training camp in the summer months (held outside the Don Hutson Center), young Packers fans can take their bikes and have their favorite player ride their bike to the practice field from the locker room. This is an old Packers tradition dating back to approximately 1957 (the first years of Lambeau Field's existence). Gary Knafelc, a Packers end at the time, said, "I think it was just that kids wanted us to ride their bikes. I can remember kids saying, 'Hey, ride my bike.'" The practice continues today.
Each year the team holds an intra-squad scrimmage, called Family Night, at Lambeau Field. During 2004 and 2005 over 60,000 fans attended, selling out the stadium bowl. The Packers hosted the Buffalo Bills for the 2005 edition of Family Night setting an attendance record with 62,492 fans attending.
In August 2008, ESPN.com ranked the Packers as having the second-best fans in the NFL. The team initially finished tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers (who finished ahead of the Packers) as having the best fans, but the tie was broken by ESPN's own John Clayton, a Pittsburgh native.
The Packers' fan base is famously dedicated: regardless of the team's performance, every Packers game at Lambeau Field has been sold out since 1960. Despite the Packers having by far the smallest local TV market, the Packers have developed one of the largest fan bases in the NFL. Each year they consistently rank as one of the top teams in terms of popularity. The Packers have one of the longest waiting lists for season tickets in professional sports with about 74,000 people as of May 3, 2007. In 2008 the list grew by more than 4,000 names. For this reason, it is not unusual for fans to designate a recipient of their season tickets in their wills or place newborn infants on the waiting list after receiving birth certificates There are now more names on the waiting list than there are seats at Lambeau Field. The average wait time for season tickets is said to be over 30 years; yet if a name were to be added to the list today, the estimated wait could extend well over 100 years.
Curly Lambeau, the team's founder, solicited funds for uniforms from his employer, the Indian Packing Company. He was given $250 for uniforms and equipment, on condition that the team be named for its sponsor (a similar event would occur the following year with the Decatur Staleys, who later became the Chicago Bears). An early newspaper article referred to the new Green Bay team as "the Indians" but by the time they played their first game they had adopted the name "Packers."
In 1920, the Indian Packing Company was purchased by the Acme Packing Company. Acme continued its support of Lambeau's team, and in its first season in the NFL the team wore jerseys with the words "ACME PACKERS" emblazoned on the chest.
Lambeau, who had attended the University of Notre Dame, borrowed the team's colors of navy blue and goldIrish, much as George Halas borrowed team colors from his alma mater Illinois for the Chicago Bears. And like the Irish in the 1930s and 1940s, the Packers sometimes used green and gold before returning to the traditional blue and gold.
In the early days, the Packers were often referred to as the "Bays" or the "Blues" (and even occasionally as "the Big Bay Blues"). These never were official nicknames, although Lambeau did consider replacing "Packers" with "Blues" in the 1920s.
By 1950, the Packers changed their colors to hunter green and "taxicab" gold. Navy blue was kept as a secondary color, seen primarily on sideline capes, but it was quietly dropped from the team colors list on all official materials shortly thereafter. The color scheme yields the common Packer nickname, "The Green and Gold". In 1994, the NFL's 75th anniversary season, the team participated in the league-wide use of "throwback" jerseys, but just at select away games. The Packers would wear them again for two Thanksgiving Day games against the Detroit Lions: in 2001, throwback uniforms as worn in the 1930s; in 2003, uniforms from the 1960s (which were only slightly different from the current uniforms).
The oval "G" logo -- which stands for "greatness" -- was created in 1961 by Packers equipment manager George "Dad" Braisher. The team used a number of different logos prior to 1961, but the "G" is the only logo that has ever appeared on the helmet. The Packers hold the trademark on the "G" logo, and have granted limited permission to other organizations to utilize a similar logo, such as the University of Georgia and Grambling State University. Adopted in 1964, the Georgia "G", though different in design and color, was similar to the Packers' "G". Then-Georgia head coach Vince Dooley thought it best to clear the use of Georgia's new emblem with the Packers.
While several NFL teams choose to wear white jerseys at home early in the season due to white's ability to reflect the late summer sunrays, the Packers have only done so only twice, during the opening two games of the 1989 season. Although alternate gold jerseys with green numbers are sold on a retail basis, the team currently has no plans to introduce such a jersey to be used in actual games.
During the 2010 season, the Packers payed tribute to their historical brethren with a third jersey modeled after that worn by the club in 1929, during its first world championship season.
Mark Murphy, team president and CEO, confirmed with WLUK-TV that the team will use a "throwback" uniform for some games this season. Unlike such throwback tributes in the past, the uniform will be worn at Lambeau during home games, and the jersey will be navy blue, again making the Packers "the Blues.
After their early seasons at Bellevue Park and Hagemeister Park, the Packers played home games in City Stadium from 1925 to 1956. The team won its first 6 NFL world championships while calling City Stadium its home.
Once the NFL threatened to move the franchise to Milwaukee if stadium conditions were not improved in Green Bay, the city responded by building a modern facility for the Packers, open in time for the 1957 season. The new stadium became the first built exclusively for an NFL team. Lambeau Field was originally known as City Stadium, like its predecessor, but its name was changed in 1965 after the death of Curly Lambeau.
When Lambeau Field opened in 1957, it had a seating capacity of 32,150. The stadium was expanded seven times before the end of the 1990s, and seating capacity reached 60,890. In 2003, Lambeau Field was extensively renovated to expand seating, modernize stadium facilities, and add an atrium area. These renovations raised Lambeau Field's seating capacity to 72,928. Despite the multiple expansions of Lambeau Field, ticket demand has far outpaced supply, as all Packers games have been sold out since 1960. Over 78,000 names are on the waiting list for season tickets
The Packers played part of their home slate in Milwaukee starting in 1933, including two to three home games each year in Milwaukee's County Stadium from 1953 to 1994. The Packers worked to capture their growing fan base in Milwaukee and the larger crowds. By the 1960s, threat of an American Football League franchise in Milwaukee prompted the Packers to stay, including scheduling a Western Conference Playoff in 1967. Since County Stadium was primarily a baseball stadium, the field could barely fit a football field, and the end zones extended onto the warning track. By 1994, improvements and seating expansions at Lambeau prompted the Packers to leave County Stadium after 62 years In Milwaukee, and again be based solely in Green Bay
Pittsburg Steelers 1933 to Date
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team currently belongs to the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC.
Pittsburgh has won more Super Bowl titles (six), won more AFC Championship Games.They won their most recent Super Bowl XLIII, on February 1, 2009. They have played in (fifteen) and hosted more (eleven) conference championship games than any other AFC or NFC team.
The fifth-oldest franchise in the NFL, the Steelers were founded as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, by Art Rooney, taking its original name from the baseball team of the same name, as was common practice for NFL teams to do at the time. The ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since its founding.Dan Rooney, who has given much control of the franchise to his son Art Rooney II. The current owner is Art's son,
The team enjoys a large, widespread fanbase nicknamed the Steeler Nation, and currently play their home games at Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's North Side in the North Shore neighborhood, which also hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Built in 2001, the stadium replaced Three Rivers Stadium which hosted the Steelers for 31 seasons. Prior to Three Rivers, the Steelers had played their games in Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field.
The Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL first took to the field as the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 20, 1933, losing 23–2 to the New York Giants. Through the 1930s, the Pirates never finished higher than second place in their division, or with a record better than .500 (1936).1938 by signing Byron White, a future Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, to what was at the time the biggest contract in NFL history, but he played only one year with the Pirates before signing with the Detroit Lions. Prior to the 1940 season, the Pirates renamed themselves the Steelers.
During World War II, the Steelers experienced player shortages. They twice merged with other NFL franchises to field a team. During the 1943 season, they merged with the Philadelphia Eagles forming the "Phil-Pitt Eagles" and were known as the "Steagles". This team went 5–4–1. In 1944, they merged with the Chicago Cardinals This team finished 0–10, marking the only winless team in franchise history. and were known as Card-Pitt (or, mockingly, as the "Carpets").
The Steelers made the playoffs for the first time in 1947, tying for first place in the division at 8–4 with the Philadelphia Eagles. This forced a tie-breaking playoff game at Forbes Field, which the Steelers lost 21–0. That would be Pittsburgh's only playoff game for the next 25 years, though the Steelers did qualify for a "Playoff Bowl" in 1962 as the second-best team in their conference, though not considered an official playoff.
In 1970, the year they moved into Three Rivers Stadium , the Pittsburgh Steelers were one of three old-guard NFL teams to switch to the newly-formed American Football Conference (the others being the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Colts), in order to equalize the number of teams in the two conferences of the newly-merged league.
The Chuck Noll Era
The Steelers' history of bad luck changed with the hiring of coach Chuck Noll for the 1969 season. Noll's most remarkable talent was in his draft selections, taking Hall of Famers "Mean" Joe Greene in 1969, Terry BradshawMel Blount in 1970, Jack Ham in 1971, Franco Harris1972, and finally, in 1974, pulled off the incredible feat of selecting four Hall of Famers in one draft year, Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster. The Pittsburgh Steelers' 1974 draft was their best ever, and no other team has ever drafted four or even three future Hall of Famers in one year, and only very few (including the 1970 Steelers) have drafted two in one year.
The players drafted in the early '70s formed the base of an NFL dynasty, making the playoffs in eight seasons and becoming the only team in NFL history to win four Super Bowls in six years, as well as the first to win more than two. They also enjoyed a regular season streak of 49 consecutive wins (1971–1979) against teams that would finish with a losing record that year.
The Steelers suffered a rash of injuries in the 1980 season and missed the playoffs with a 9–7 record. The 1981 season was no better, with an 8–8 showing. The team was then hit with the retirements of all their key players from the Super Bowl years. "Mean" Joe Greene retired after the 1981 season, Lynn Swann and Jack Ham after 1982's playoff berth, Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount after 1983's divisional championship, and Jack Lambert after 1984's AFC Championship Game appearance.
After those retirements, the franchise skidded to its first losing seasons since 1971. Though still competitive, the Steelers would not finish above .500 in 1985, 1986, and 1988. In 1987, the year of the players' strike, the Steelers finished with a record of 8–7, but missed the playoffs. In 1989, they would reach the second round of the playoffs on the strength of Merrill Hoge and Rod Woodson before narrowly missing the playoffs in each of the next two seasons
The Bill Cowher Era
Heinz Field 2010
Cowher led the Steelers to the playoffs in each of his first six seasons, a feat that had been accomplished only by legendary coach Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns. In those first six seasons Cowher coached them as deep as the AFC Championship Game three times and following the 1995 season an appearance in Super Bowl XXX on the strength of the "Blitzburgh" defense.
However, the Steelers lost to the Dallas Cowboys. Cowher produced the franchise's record-tying fifth Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XL over the National Football Conference champion Seattle Seahawks ten years later. With that victory, the Steelers became the third team to win five Super Bowls, and the first sixth-seeded playoff team to reach and win the Super Bowl since the NFL expanded to a 12-team post-season tournament in 1990. He coached through the 2006 season which ended with a 8-8 record, just short of the playoffs. Overall Cowher's teams reached the playoffs 10 of 15 seasons with six AFC Championship Games, two Super Bowl berths and a championship.
The Mike Tomlin Era
On January 7, 2007, Cowher resigned from coaching the Steelers, citing a need to spend more time with his family. He did not use the term "retire," leaving open a possible return to the NFL as coach of another team. A three-man committee consisting of Art Rooney II, Dan Rooney, and Kevin Colbert was set up to conduct interviews for the head coaching vacancy. The candidates interviewed included: offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, offensive line coach Russ Grimm, former offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, and Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.
On January 22, 2007, Mike Tomlin was announced as Cowher's successor as head coach. Tomlin is the first African-American to be named head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in its 75-year history. Tomlin became the third consecutive Steelers Head Coach to go to the Super Bowl, equaling the Dallas Cowboys (Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer) in this achievement. He was named the Motorola 2008 Coach of the Year. On February 1, 2009, Tomlin led the Steelers to their second Super Bowl of this decade, and went on to win 27–23 against the Arizona Cardinals. At age 36, he was the youngest head coach to ever win the Super Bowl, and he is only the second African-American coach to ever win the Super Bowl (Tony Dungy was the first). The 2010 season made Tomlin the only coach to reach the Super Bowl twice before the age of 40.
Since the NFL merger in 1970, the Pittsburgh Steelers have compiled a regular season record of 363–235–2 (.607) and an overall record of 394–253–2 (.609) including the playoffs, reached the playoffs 25 times, won their division 20 times, played in 15 AFC championship games, and won six of seven Super Bowls. They are also the only NFL team not to have a season with twelve or more losses since the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978
Team Logo History
The Steelers have used black and gold as their colors since the club's inception, the lone exception being the 1943 season when they merged with the Philadelphia Eagles and formed the "Steagles"; the team's colors at that time were green and white as a result of wearing Eagles uniforms. Originally, the team wore solid gold-colored helmets and black jerseys. Unique to Pittsburgh, the Steelers' black and gold colors are now shared by all major professional teams in the city, including the Pittsburgh Pirates in baseball and the Pittsburgh Penguins in hockey, and also the Pittsburgh Power of the reformed Arena Football League, and the Pittsburgh Passion of the Independent Women's Football League. However, the Penguins currently use "Vegas Gold", a color similar to metallic gold, and the Pirates' gold is a darker mustard yellow-gold, while the Steelers "gold" is more of a bright canary yellow. Black and gold are also the colors of the city's official flag.
The Steelers logo was introduced in 1962 and is based on the "Steelmark", originally designed by Pittsburgh's U.S. Steel and now owned by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). In fact, it was Cleveland-based Republic Steel that suggested the Steelers adopt the industry logo. It consists of the word "Steelers" surrounded by three astroids (hypocycloids of four cusps). The original meanings behind the astroids were, "Steel lightens your work, brightens your leisure, and widens your world." Later, the colors came to represent the ingredients used in the steel-making process: yellow for coal, red for iron ore, and blue for scrap steel. While the formal Steelmark logo contains only the word "Steel," the team was given permission to add "ers" in 1963 after a petition to AISI.
The Steelers are the only NFL team that puts its logo on only one side of the helmet (the right side). Longtime field and equipment manager Jack Hart was instructed to do this by Art Rooney as a test to see how the logo appeared on the gold helmets; however, its popularity led the team to leave it that way permanently. A year after introducing the logo, they switched to black helmets to make it stand out more.
The current uniform designs were introduced in 1968. The design consists of gold pants and either black jerseys or white jerseys, except for the 1970 and 1971 seasons when the Steelers wore white pants with their white jerseys. In 1997, the team switched to rounded numbers on the jersey to match the number font (Futura Condensed) on the helmets, and a Steelers logo was added to the left side of the jersey.
The current third uniform, consisting of a black jersey with gold lettering, white pants with black and gold stripes, and a gold helmet were first used during the Steelers' 75th anniversary season in 2007. They were meant to evoke the memory of the 1963–1964 era uniforms. The uniforms were so popular among fans that the Steeler organization decided to keep them and use them as a third option during home games only.
In 2008–2009, the Steelers became the first team in NFL history to defeat an opponent three times in a single season using three different uniforms. They defeated the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh in Week 4 in their third jerseys, again Week 15 in Baltimore in their road whites, and a final time in the AFC Championship in Pittsburgh in their home black jerseys
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