Lambeau Field. The Frozen Tundra. Vince Lombardi. Brett Favre. These names conjure immediate images in the head of every football fan. The green and gold. Unrelenting defenses and hard-to-contain offense. Legendary. The story of the Green Bay Packers is something of legend and perhaps no team has made their mark on the league in such a way as the Packers.
The team actually began in 1919 as the Indian Packers. In 1921 they joined the APFA which became the NFL a year later. The Packers won their first championship and first of three consecutive championships in 1929. With two-way player Don Hutson, the Packers would win three more championships in 1936, 1939, and 1944. The retirement of Hutson however was a major blow.
Seemed nothing could help the Packers until the hiring of Vince Lombardi as head coach. No one knew it at the time. But football history was about to be made. With names such as Bart Starr, two-way player Paul Hornung, Willie Davis, Ray Nitschke, and many others, the Packers became nearly a force of nature in the 60s. In 1960 the Pack was back in the championship game. In ’61 and ’62 they would return and
win the game. They would prevail again in 1965. Then came the Super Bowl and Green Bay would win not only the first but also the second-ever Super Bowl game. But that would also mark the end of the Lombardi era and seemed to be the end of the Pack.
For 24 years after Lombardi the team only had five winning seasons and two playoff appearances. They went through five different head coaches and each seemed to perform worse than the last. Seeing the trend continue through the ’80’s was more than enough for ownership, and they went in a new direction and hired Mike Holmgren as head coach.
After acquiring Brett Favre and Reggie White, the team was set. They would be back in the playoffs in 1993, 1994, and 1995. The Pack would not only see the playoffs, but the Super Bowl as well in 1996 and 1997, winning in ’96. They were back in the playoffs in 1998 but suffered an improbable loss in the first round. Shortly after the game, Holmgren would announce he was taking a position with the Seahawks and much of his loyal coaching staff left to go with him.
Reggie White also announced he was retiring. They brought in Ray Rhodes as head coach but he was fired after one .500 season. After him was Mike Shermann. Shermann would have a respectable record and go to the playoffs, but none of the playoff success the Pack was accustomed to.
Then would come Mike McCarthy. McCarthy would return the Packers to their winning ways with several playoff appearances and a Super Bowl victory in 2010. He also oversaw the transfer of quarterbacking duties from Favre to the more-than-capable Aaron Rodgers. With Rodgers at quarterback, the Pack would remain successful until 2017 when an injury sidelined Rodgers for much of the season. Following that up with another losing season the following year marked the end for McCarthy and the beginning for Matt LaFleur.
With three winning seasons, two of them reaching the playoffs, LaFleur seems to have the team back on track and especially ready to take on their biggest rival, the Chicago Bears. This legendary team appears poised to start another multi-year run, and it could very well start in 2023!
Come on Cheeseheads! Watch every time the Pack takes the field this season for free, in HD, live on NFL Webcast! With four live streams, including home and away, and an optional live chat to talk with other fans there is no better way to watch the 2023 season than right here on NFL Webcast!