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Green Bay Packers,
American professional gridiron football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. One
of the most-storied franchises in the history of the sport, the Packers have
won the most championships, 13 in total, of any National Football League (NFL) team.

In 1919 Curly Lambeau and George Calhoun organized a group of men into a football team that soon managed a winning record against other amateur teams from Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. Lambeau, a shipping clerk for the Indian Packing Company, convinced his employer to donate money for the uniforms and, in the process, lent the nickname “Packers” to the team. With Lambeau serving as head coach and playing halfback, in 1921 the Packers entered the recently formed American Professional Football Association, which a year later would become the NFL. However, the team struggled with financial problems to the point of having to forfeit an entire season. In 1923 the team became a publicly owned nonprofit corporation supported by the people of Wisconsin and has remained so ever since.

green bay packers

Despite their rough
financial start, the Packers won three consecutive championships from 1929 to
1931, with lineups that were laden with future Hall of Famers, including tackle
Cal Hubbard, guard Mike Michalske, and halfback John (“Blood”) McNally. In 1935
the team added Don Hutson, who proceeded to redefine the wide receiver position
and helped the Packers win championships in 1936, 1939, and 1944. Lambeau—who
stopped playing for the team in 1929—stepped away from head coaching duties in
1949, and the team struggled for wins throughout the next decade: the Packers
posted a losing record seven times between 1950 and 1958.

The team’s most
successful period was in the 1960s, under the legendary coach Vince Lombardi,
who had been hired in 1959. Lombardi’s Packer teams in the ’60s were stocked
with talent, boasting future Hall of Fame players on offense and defense:
quarterback Bart Starr, fullback Jim Taylor, halfback Paul Hornung, tackle
Forrest Gregg, linebacker Ray Nitschke, end Willie Davis, tackle Henry Jordan,
cornerback Herb Adderley, and safety Willie Wood. They won championships in
1961 and 1962 and followed with three straight championships starting in the
1965–66 season. On January 15, 1967, in the inaugural Super Bowl, the Packers
defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35–10. They successfully defended their Super
Bowl title the following year against the Oakland Raiders, 33–14.

Lombardi left the
Packers after their second Super Bowl championship, and Green Bay entered into
a long period of relative futility, with just two play-off appearances in the
25 seasons between 1968 and 1992. Some of the team’s scarce highlights during
that period included the play of Hall of Fame wide receiver James Lofton, who
starred for Green Bay from 1978 to 1986, and (ultimately unsuccessful) coaching
stints by past Packers greats Starr and Gregg.

In 1992 the Packers
brought in head coach Mike Holmgren and quarterback Brett Favre, who were the
key pieces in the team’s renaissance in the 1990s. Beginning in 1993, Green Bay
qualified for the postseason in six straight years, including two NFC
championships and subsequent trips to the Super Bowl. The team’s third Super
Bowl appearance, in 1997, was a success: they defeated the New England Patriots
35–21. However, they did not repeat their win the following year against the
Denver Broncos. After that loss Holmgren left the Packers for a job with the
Seattle Seahawks, but the team remained a play-off contender into the 21st
century. Favre acrimoniously left the Packers in 2008, and the Packers’ offense
was given over to young star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

In 2011 Rodgers
guided the sixth-seeded Packers to three postseason road victories—including a
win over their longtime rival the Chicago Bears in the NFC championship game—to
earn a berth in Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers, whom the
Packers defeated to capture their fourth Super Bowl championship. The Packers
won their first 13 games of the 2011 season en route to finishing the year with
a 15–1 record. The team was a heavy favourite to win its second consecutive
Super Bowl but was upset at home by the New York Giants in Green Bay’s first
play-off game.

The team returned to
the NFC championship game following the 2014 season but lost in heartbreaking
fashion to the Seattle Seahawks after the Packers held a 12-point lead with
just over two minutes to play in regulation. The team was once again painfully
eliminated from the postseason the following year when Rodgers led a thrilling
96-yard drive with under a minute left to tie a divisional play-off game
against the Arizona Cardinals only to see Arizona win the contest just three
plays into overtime. In 2016 Rodgers led the Packers to six straight wins to
close out the regular season and win a division title. His strong play
continued in the play-offs, where he guided the team to a surprising appearance
in the NFC championship game (a loss to the Atlanta Falcons). Rodgers missed
nine games of the 2017 season with a broken collarbone, and, without the team’s
star quarterback for much of the season, Green Bay’s streak of eight
consecutive postseason appearances ended.

From 1933 to 1994 the
Packers elected to play some of their home games each year in Milwaukee to
benefit from the larger market. Beginning in 1995, all home games were played
at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, notwithstanding that city’s small size (it did
not exceed 100,000 residents until 2000) compared with virtually all other
cities that have NFL franchises.

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