A Professional Football Power

By Dr. Greg Shepard
Published: Winter 1997

Packer Sweep:
Jerry Kramer (64) and Fuzzy Thurston (63) lead Jimmy Taylor around end in the famous Packer Sweep.  Bart Starr has handed off to Taylor with Lombardi watching from the sidelines.  Lombardi said of the Sweep, "there is nothing spectacular about it, it's just a yard gainer.  It requires all eleven men to play as one to make it succeed, and that's what Team means."

I took a stop over at the Chicago O'Hare Airport, rented a car and drove straight north for three hours to Green Bay, Wisconsin.  It's population is slightly over 100,000 which is dwarfed by all other NFL cities.  The Green Bay Packer story is a remarkable one by any standard but especially so to a football junkie like myself. 

I turned down Holmgren Avenue and checked into a motel.  I couldn't wait to go to the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame located on, what else, Lombardi Avenue.  Lambeau field is adjacent to the Hall of Fame building.  The first thing you see is a huge figure standing on a football.  It's #88 catching a pass.  There is also a sign which reads as follows:

"The Green Bay Packers are the only publicly owned club in professional sport.  They were founded as a town team in 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau who coached them to six world championships.  They acquired their first jerseys by persuading a packing company to put up money for equipment and, originally, played their games in an open field, where fans 'passed the hat.'

"Nurtured into a professional football power that has left a lasting imprint on the sport.  They became the first team to win three consecutive National Football League titles (1929-30-31), a feat repeated under Vince Lombardi (1965-66-67) and never equaled.  Overall, they have won 12 world championships more than any other club in league history."

Inside, the Packer Hall of Fame is a thing of beauty.  You could spend all day there reliving the storied Packer history.  There is a special area set aside for coaching legend, Vince Lombardi.  A multitude of displays depict various players, coaches, plays like the Packer sweep, locker room, evolution of equipment and several high-light films.  It is set up to be fun and informative for the whole family. 

The Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame was one of the best things that I have ever experienced in football.

As far as strength and conditioning, Virgil Knight was the first official Green Bay strength and conditioning coach (from1984-1991).  However, the existing area for strength and conditioning was built in 1977 where the lifting program was supervised by the trainer.


EARL "CURLY" LAMBEAU 1919-1949, 212-109-24   .615
GENE RONZANI 1950-1953, 14-33-1   .292
LISLE BLACKBOURN 1954-1957, 17-31-0   .354
RAY "SCOOTER" McLEAN 1958, 1-10-1   .083
VINCE LOMBARDI 1959-1967, 141-39-4   .766
PHIL BENGTSON 1968-1970, 20-21-1   .476
DAN DEVINE 1971-1974, 25-27-4   .481
BART STARR 1975-1983, 53-77-3   .410
FORREST GREGG 1984-1987, 25-37-1   .405
LINDY INFANTE 1988-1991, 24-40-0   .375