Questions are piling up. I’ll try to keep my answers short so I can field more of them this time.
Marin from West Lawn, PA
Would you know exactly when Dad Brashier's G was applied to the Packers helmets in 1961? The bike picture shown in your recent article has me wondering exactly when this picture was taken.
Very observant on your part. The Packers wore the G for the first time in their intra-squad game at old City Stadium on Aug. 5, 1961. Typical of Lombardi, there was no announcement in advance and nothing said about it after. Camp opened that year on July 17. The intra-squad game – I still have my program and remember being there – was moved from new City Stadium(now Lambeau Field) because the grass there had been recently reseeded. Old City Stadium was located behind Green Bay East High School. How do I know the Packers hadn’t worn the ‘G’ before then? I asked Jeff Ash, digital producer at the Green Bay Press-Gazette and unofficial keeper of its Packers photo archive. He went back and looked at the practice pictures for me from July 17 to Aug. 4. One last point, Dad Braisher, the equipment manager, was involved in the process, but he asked his assistant, John Gordon, then an art student at St. Norbert College and still an art teacher there, to sketch the G. The Packers and the Packers Hall of Fame recognize it as Gordon’s artwork.
Paul from Madison, WI
My grandfather, Jack Notebaart, used to talk about the day he played against the Packers. He was a member of a semipro team, the Oshkosh All Stars, and played defensive end. The story he told was how on the first play from scrimmage he broke through the line and tackled the back for a loss. Then he spent the entire game being double-teamed by Packers linemen and never got anywhere near the ball again. The game must have been played some time in the late 1920s, early ’30s. I'm wondering if there is any information about that game you could share?
The game was played Sept. 14, 1930, at old City Stadium and the Packers won easily, 46-0. They also went on to win their second straight NFL title that year, and the Oshkosh game was their only preseason tune-up. Your grandfather didn’t start the game. He was the third Oshkosh player to go in at left end at a time when starters had to play offense and defense because of rules limiting substitutions. Also, if he had started, Arnie Herber ran for 13 yards around left end on the Packers’ first play from scrimmage. Sounds like the story was embellished a bit. But how many kids growing up in Wisconsin – I’m assuming you did – had grandfathers who played either with or against the Packers? Be proud.
Linda from Sigourney, IA
Can you tell me who was president of the Packers from 1928-29?
The Packers had back-to-back one-term presidents. Local attorney Ray Evrard was president from June 27, 1928, to Aug. 1, 1929. Dr. W.W. Kelly was president from Aug. 1, 1929, to June 13, 1930. Press-Gazette business manager Andrew Turnbull preceded Evrard. Turnbull was president from Sept. 17, 1923, to June 27, 1928.
Tim from Merced, CA
I have a question about the early days of the Packers Hall of Fame. I saw the first class was inducted in 1970 but there was no induction for 1971. Why was that?
The first induction banquet was held Sept. 19, 1970. The second banquet was held Jan. 29, 1972. The local Visitor & Convention Bureau pushed to create the Hall in 1967 as a tourist attraction. Three years later, according to former Hall of Fame president and chairman Tom Hutchison, the first banquet was held in conjunction with the Packers’ alumni weekend and was a big hit. Thus, the visitor bureau decided to move it to January to draw tourists to Green Bay during the offseason. Clearly, it made more sense to wait 16 months rather than four between banquets.
John from Sheboygan, WI
The first Packers game I ever attended was against the LA Rams in Lambeau Field in 1962 or ’63. The Rams were led by their rookie quarterback, Terry Baker. Can you tell me any of the stats or details of the game?
Terry Baker, 1962 Heisman Trophy winner and the first pick in the 1963 draft, played for the Rams from 1963-65, but never threw a pass against the Packers. He was a bust. He played in 18 games in three years and threw a total of 58 passes. The only time the Rams played in Green Bay during that stretch was Oct. 6, 1963. The Packers won, 42-10, in unseasonable 84-degree heat. What was most unusual about the game was Roman Gabriel and Zeke Bratkowski alternated at quarterback for the Rams, not by series, but every other play. The Packers scored their first touchdown on a 98-yard kickoff return by Herb Adderley. Bart Starr was 10 of 19 for 183 yards and three TDs. Jim Taylor rushed for 90 yards on 16 carries.
Lex from Mequon, WI
I know the Packers have twice won three consecutive championships (1929-31 and 1965-67). But does the NFL formally recognize the Canton/Cleveland Bulldogs of 1922-24 as winners of three in a row as well? Even though they moved to a new city and had a new owner, the same players were on the Cleveland team as the earlier Canton team. Was there or was there not organizational continuity between them?
No, the Packers are the only franchise ever to win three straight. After capturing the 1922 and ’23 titles with a combined record of 21-0-3, Canton sold its assets, including player contracts, to the owner of the Cleveland Indians. Sam Deutsch, the Cleveland owner, declared the Canton franchise inactive, but combined the best players from the Canton team and his Cleveland team and renamed it the Cleveland Bulldogs. After Cleveland won the 1924 NFL title with a 7-1-1 record, Deutsch sold the dormant Canton franchise back to Canton and his Cleveland franchise to a new owner, Herbert Brandt. In 1925, both the Canton Bulldogs and Cleveland Bulldogs were members of a 20-team NFL.
Bill from Brooklyn Park, MN
The NFL claims the 1929 Packers didn’t finish the season with a perfect record; the 1972 Dolphins are the only team in league history to accomplish that. As you’re aware, the 1929 team finished the season with a perfect 12-0 record. They did play 13 games, one of which ended in a scoreless tie late in the season—but per NFL rules in place at the time, ties did not count as part of a team’s record. Unlike current rules, in which ties count in the standings as half a win and half a loss, ties at that time were not counted in the standings at all. If you looked at the standings, it was as if the game never happened.
Your premise is absolutely correct. Further, the 2015 Official NFL Record and Fact Book gives the Packers’ credit for a 12-0-1 record and a 1.000 winning percentage. But in the Team Record section, there’s no category for unbeaten seasons. The record that comes closest would be Most Consecutive Games Won, Season and New England holds the record with 16. Beside the 1929 Packers, other teams with final winning percentages of 1.000 were the 1920 Akron Pros (8-0-3), 1922 Bulldogs (10-0-2), 1923 Bulldogs (11-0-1), the 1934 Chicago Bears (13-0) and the 1942 Bears (11-0). Counting Miami in 1972 and New England in 2007, four teams have gone unbeaten and untied. Four others, including the Packers, were unbeaten, but had at least one tie. Start adding things up and it dilutes the achievement. Miami is the only team to go unbeaten and untied in the regular season and postseason.
Ray from Oshkosh, WI
I thought the Packers were the oldest team to never change their name. I took a quiz online once and didn't get the answer right. The so-called correct answer was the Bears. Am I right or is the author of the quiz?
I’d say you were right. The Packers’ nickname dates to 1919, two years before they entered what is now the NFL. The Decatur Staleys were formed in 1920 and were charter members of the league. They became the Chicago Staleys in 1921 and the Bears in 1922. Here’s where there could be some disagreement. The Packers joined the NFL in 1921 but were temporarily thrown out shortly after the season ended for breaking league rules. To get back in good graces and gain readmission to the league, the Green Bay franchise dropped the nickname Packers to dissociate itself from the Acme Packing Co. But the nickname stuck anyway and within a year or so the team again embraced it. In fact, whether Green Bay briefly abandoned the name or not, they are still listed in the official 1922 standings as the Green Bay Packers.
Daniel from Minneapolis, MN
I have read Al Sampson had the first weekly coach’s show, interviewing Lombardi weekly on WBAY. I remember the show, and Lombardi giving him the moniker "Big Al." Do any of these films still exist?
Bill from Beaver Dam, Wis., asked the same question. He said he had recently seen a clip of the show that ran before the Ice Bowl. The Lombardi Show aired from 1962-67, but I believe the only film that was preserved was of the last show, which was televised before the Ice Bowl. I’ve asked people at WBAY, the Neville Public Museum of Brown County and Greg Sampson, Al’s son, about it. They’ve all told me they don’t believe there’s film or any reproductions of any of the previous Lombardi shows.
Bill from Houston, TX
Cliff, can you identify a Bears game in the 1990s at Lambeau that featured a Packers punt return for a touchdown? I was at this game and distinctly remember seeing the right side of the field open up for the punt return but I haven’t been able to pin down the specific game.
On Dec. 1, 1996, en route to the Packers winning Super Bowl XXXI, Desmond Howard returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown in a 28-17 victory over the Bears at Lambeau.
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