Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Flash Points: Packers' defining moment
By Kevin Seifert
What key event significantly changed the fortunes of the Packers -- for better or worse? Give us your take and we'll give you our definitive moment on May 17.
There might not be an NFL team with a richer history than the Green Bay Packers, a unique franchise with 13 championships to its name. We're only brushing the surface.
The Packers began play in 1919 but soon fell on financial hard times. Ultimately, team founder Curly Lambeau arrived on a business model that has prevailed ever since. In 1923, he convinced local businessmen to buy stock in the company and made it a non-profit organization. (Historians might also note that the NFL's revenue-sharing model has had at least an equal role in the Packers' survival.)
The Packers hadn't had a winning season in 12 years when they hired new coach Vince Lombardi in 1959. What followed was one of the most remarkable and memorable runs by a professional sports team in any league.
Lombardi's departure sent the Packers spiraling for decades, and it wasn't until they hired general manager Ron Wolf in 1991 that their fortunes changed. Wolf made two huge acquisitions within weeks of each other, hiring coach Mike Holmgren on Jan. 11, 1992, and trading for quarterback Brett Favre on Feb. 10, 1992.
Favre's career falls under the Wolf category for the purposes of this project. At the same time, it's hard to imagine the Packers winning a Super Bowl within three years of his departure had they not drafted his replacement in 2005. Aaron Rodgers spent three years developing behind Favre and then was the MVP of Super Bowl XLV last season.
Use the module in this post to cast your vote. If you vote Other, give us your suggestion in the comments area below.