Greatest Play in Green Bay Packers History?

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Charles Martin

Oh, so ESPN is asking fans what the greatest play in Green Bay Packers history is. Well, they’ve got this all wrong, as usual.

Your choices are as follows.

  • “Ice Bowl” — Bart Starr sneaks in from 1 yard to win ’67 NFL Championship
  • Brett Favre hits Andre Rison for 54-yard TD in Super Bowl XXXI
  • Aaron Rodgers connects with Greg Jennings on 3rd-and-10 to clinch Super Bowl XLV

First of all, the Ice Bowl is the obvious choice out of those three just for being the most iconic play in football history. Yes, not in Packers history. In football history.

You can make all the arguments you want for The Immaculate Reception, but no one thinks of a fluke play like that when they think of football.

Second of all, the other two plays weren’t even the best plays of their respective games.

Super Bowl XXXI? Yeah, I know. You somehow have to get Brett Favre’s name in there, but fuck that. The play in that game was Desmond Howard going 99 yards on a kickoff return for the dagger.

Super Bowl XLV? Right. Same goes for Rodgers. However, the play in that game was Nick Collins’ 37-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter.

Really though, none of these are the greatest play in Green Bay Packers history.

I know what it is and you know what it is.

It was the play that crushed the very souls of a million Chicago Bears fans and left them perpetually stuck in 1985 forever. Dynasty denied, motherfuckers!

Charles Martin

Oh, it makes me smile every time I watch it. So let’s watch it!

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

39 Comments on "Greatest Play in Green Bay Packers History?"

  1. E. Wolf

    C’mon, Monty. You can’t really endorse this sort of dirty play. I will admit I am an apologist for it because it was in retaliation for dirty the Bears had been making, but still.
    The greatest play is of course the Ice Bowl. It cemented Lombardi’s legacy as the greatest ever, with only one playoff loss ever.
    The play of Super Bowl XLV may be that 3 and 10 pass. However, I would suggest that the play of the game was “Spill it, Pickett.” That play single-handedly gave the momentum back to the Packers and prevented the Steelers from taking the lead. That play may have been the difference between victory and defeat.

  2. Tucson Packer

    I enjoy last years NFC N Title game in Chicago. You know what play.

    Also when Clay took the int to the house against the Cowboys at Lambeau a few years back. But that whole game was a slaughter, also no Romo but still.

  3. Phatgzus

    Sorry, but the Rodgers-to-Jennings connection is ahead of the Collins pick in my book, but it still comes second to Matthews IDing the running play and then forcing the fumble in the 3rd when the Steelers had all of the momentum and were driving for the go-ahead score.

    As for the Ice Bowl sneak, probably the most iconic play in NFL history, but “The Catch” is up there as well. The Rams goal line tackle in SB XXXIV was also pretty darn good.

      • Phatgzus

        Eh, you’re right, I was close though. I’ll always remember Matthews shouting “Spill it, Pick” then smacking Mendenhall right on the arm in the backfield as Pickett forced him outside and Bishop flying straight to the ball and snaring-definition of clutch, along with the Rodgers-to-Jennings third-down pass, and 4-8-48.

        • E. Wolf

          I watched that game (most of it anyway) for the first time in about two years. It was a lot closer than I recall. At that point the Steelers had really bottled up our offense. That play happened on the 33 yard line after a bad punt out of our endzone. I really believe that if it had not happened, we would have lost.
          Those were two really great teams on the field. Thankfully, our Packers were just that much better, and made the plays necessary under duress.

    • Deepsky

      The fumble was the play of the game. The Steelers had all the momentum and Woodson was out of the game at that point. Kevin Greene giving a prophetic pep talk and Matthews making the crucial play. I’m surprised that play isn’t made a bigger deal out of.

    • Nacho dan

      Nick Collins pick 6 set the tone and made the steelers nervous from the get-go. There was no looking back!

    • Howard

      If you want to look at another teams best play in Super Bowl history you have to include James Harrison running back an interception 90+ yards for a TD as the time ran out in the first half against Arizona. That play changed the outcome of the game and was a do or die effort by Harrison.

      • Phatgzus

        That plays definitely up there, as is the TD to Fitz and the final one to Holmes. That Mannigface pass to Tyree is one of the greats as well.

  4. Dave

    I appreciate a lot of what is shareshared on this site, but this play was as dirty as it gets. Definitely the bottom of the barrel and nowhere near the best play of all time.

    I’m all for big hits, but it doesn’t get any cheaper than this!

    If you want to reflect on defensive plays, why not celebrate the job #92 and the rest of the defense did on Barry Sanders in the 1994 wild card game. What was it, -1 yards net rushing he was held to?!

    • Howard

      Agree completely Dave; however I believe it to be a stretch for anyone to call the cheap shot by Martin a play. There was nothing football related about the cheap shot. The only way the cheap shot can be considered a football play is if the Packers practice that play and I doubt even at that time such a play was practiced.

      The only team that may have practiced such a play would be the Raiders and the Vikings. The Raiders also have a lot of tradition just like the Packers except their traditions suck. The Vikings just suck with no tradition except losing the big game and criminal activity. Why would any Packers fans want to have our traditions reflect those of the Raiders or the Vikings or for that matter any other team?

      It does not matter as some claim that McMahon (that jerk) was hurt previous to the cheap shot it was still a cheap shot with intent to injure and not a football play.

      • rebelgb

        Its obvious just from the throw on that play that McMahon was already injured. Further his reaction on the sideline (burying his face in the bench, acting as if he was in severe pain) is NOT indicative of a Shoulder Injury but more so of play acting. Having had a should injury myself, unless its dislocated, the only pain comes from large movements. You arent in pain from just standing around.

        That being said, it was a shit ass dirty play and I liked McMahon even though he was a Bear. I do find the fact he continued to blame Martin even into his retirement pathetic. He had a crap arm before Martin, and I believe he was hurt before Martin touched him.

  5. Deepsky

    This play did not end McMahons career nor did this play end the season for the Bears. Let’s just set a few FACTS straight, all of which can be found on the internets.

    Immediatly after the game, Martin apologized publicly and privatey to McMahaon. What Bears fans always fail to mention in the conversation about Martin is that in his FIRST game of the season McMahon tore his rotator cuff and the Bears STILL PLAYED him. As a result, he had an abysmal year, throwing only 5 TDs to 8 Interceptions. He hadn’t even started in a month before he played the Packers. McMahon then had surgery right after this game and aftewards the doctor said “There’s no evidence of new damage caused by (Charles Martin’s) hit”. He said after the surgery he thought McMahon should have had the surgery after the injury in the first game, but Ditka kept playing him. As for it ruining his career, when McMahon recovered for the 1987 season, he had his second best year as a Bear, so that’s BS too. In the 1986 playoffs, when the Redskins beat the Bears, it was a Walter Payton fumble that killed them and 17 unanswered Redskins points in the second half. The Bears defense was exposed, it wasn’t lack of QB play.

  6. Shawn iltarion

    Deepsky beat me to it.

    McMahon was already injured and having a terrible season before that hit ever occurred.

    Anyway, the Packers are about championships, not about someone else’s failures. The Bears, Lions or Vikings falling on their ass might be incredibly entertaining and often times predictable, but that makes the Packers better not one iota.

    The 1 yard sneak in the Ice Bowl- “Then run it and let’s get the hell out of here!”- is obviously the greatest play in Packer history.

    Max McGee’s TD catch to start off Super Bowl 1 would also be up there.

    The 3rd and 10 play to Greg Jennings was the biggest play of Super Bowl XLV.

    • E. Wolf

      Actually, meaning arises from differences. The failure of the Vikings, in particular, brings our splendor in greater relief, like showing a movie in darkness. Our greatness is enhanced by the hopeless futility of the Vikings (and Lions).
      Spill It Pickett was the signature play of XLV.

  7. therealChuckywasCecil

    I’m sorry, but I was that night and am still embarrassed as a Packer fan for the McMahon body slam. We’re better than that.

  8. Jacob

    How about Al Harris’ pic six in the 2003 Wild Card round against the Seahawks on first play of OT after Matt Hassellbeck stated “We want the ball and wer’re gonna score” after the coin toss..

    • Deepsky

      Great play, but the next game was the 4th and 26 game, where Ahman Green set a franchise post-season rushing record only to have Favre throw a key pick in overtime to seal the Eagles win

      • Abe Frohman

        I blame that loss on the coach for not going for it on 4th and 1 when the Eagles D Line was clearly gassed and Green was unstoppable. Bidwell punts into the endzone for a net of like 15 yards. That was the play that allowed 4th and 26 to happen.

    • E. Wolf

      If our Packers had not chocked on the 4th and 26 game and went on to went the Super Bowl, it would have been.

    • Phatgzus

      Damn, forgot about that play, it’s definitely up there; can’t even guess how many times I’ve watched that YouTube vid. I’d put the Freeman ridiculous game-winner vs. the Queenies as well as the Favre OT bomb to Jennings vs. the Donkeys up there as well, at least for regular season plays.

  9. How about a follow up on Charles Martin – a kind of “where is he now?” piece. I really enjoyed this video clip, and I appreciate you sharing it.

  10. Barbados Bob

    The Packers are a great franchise, but the Charles Martin hit was bush league and was an embarrassment for the team. The Packers are a better team than that. But that night they looked like a bunch of “pretenders” who had to resort to a classless act that was totally outside the bounds of football.

  11. Cheese

    The Collins pick is by far my favorite play of SB XLV. It starts out with that over rated scumbag piece of shit Roethlesberger getting smashed by the overweight, got something to prove, unwanted journeyman Howard Green who I’ve been told was always the last man out of the cafeteria. Fuck yeah Howard! Then to have that duck of a pass picked off by Collins, my favorite player, continuing to run past six Steelers and make a glorious diving leap into the endzone to go up by six more points against one my most hated teams. To top it off he celebrates by going to his knees to honor his recently passed father all while it’s raining yellow flags in the background. Picture perfect.

    I could watch that play over and over. In fact I just did, and you should too.

  12. The funniest thing is ESPN’s suggestions for the Viking’s greatest plays. The Favre interception and the Anderson missed FG in NFC Championship games as two of the three choices just made laugh so fucking hard.

    Suck it, Minny.

  13. Deepsky

    Another piece of history.

    The Packers were not a cheap shot team during the ’80s EXCEPT for when they played the Bears. And why was that? It’s because during the early ’60s when the Packers were dominating, Ditka would, over and over, try to take out Nitscke with cheap shots. Even today Ditka brags about hitting the back of Nitschke’s legs to break it and being shocked he got back in the game. The Bears were an average team for most of ’60s, using cheap shots to dethrown the 5 time world champions. Forrest Gregg was just returning the favor.

  14. the real jeff ircink

    the one and only time i’ll agree with E Wolf – monty endorsing this play. had AR been the QB, monty and every Packer fan on this site would be menstrating with anger. in the end, Martin got his.

    • E. Wolf

      Come now, puppy pup. Surely we have agreed on other things besides. We are both Packer fans right?
      For the record i doubt you understand my position on Charlie Martin. I do not endorse, but I am familiar with the sort of dirty play the Bears inflicted on Packer players before it, so I do not denounce in the same manner as others, either.

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