The first Super Bowl champion, the Green Bay Packers are one of the most traditional teams in the NFL and collect a legion of fans around the world.
The Wisconsin franchise has achieved such popularity thanks to a history filled with great characters, such as head coach Vince Lombardi and quarterback Brett Favre. Fans have enjoyed around 30 years of elite QB play after seeing Aaron Rodgers succeed Favre, and it’s why this is an unusual season where the Packers aren’t listed among the Super Bowl favorites in the offshore betting markets.
The Green Bay Packers were founded in August 1919, by George Whitney Calhoun and Earl “Curly” Lambeau, who requested that the Indian Packing Company, a company he worked for, provide sponsorship for the team’s uniforms.
That’s how the franchise was named the Packers.
The Wisconsin team has 13 titles – a record in the history of the league – with 9 of them coming before the Super Bowl era and 4 coming after its creation.
The Green Bay Packers are also the first Super Bowl champions, with victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. In the second edition, it was two-time champion by defeating the Oakland Raiders.
In the 1960s, the Green Bay Packers were the NFL’s premier powerhouse. Much of the franchise’s success can be credited to Vince Lombardi. After all, in 9 years at the head of the Packers, the coach won 5 titles.
Lombardi’s first achievements came even before the unification of the NFL and AFL leagues. It was from this merger that the Super Bowl was created.
Under Vince Lombardi, the Green Bay Packers were champions in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, and 1967. The last two titles, won against the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders, were also the first two in Super Bowl history.
After making his name in sports history, Vince Lombardi passed away in 1970 from colon cancer. In his honor, the NFL changed the name of the trophy given to the Super Bowl winner from “The Super Bowl Trophy” to the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
For years after Lombardi’s departure, the Packers had very little success playing. In the 24 seasons from 1968 to 1991, there were only five with a positive record (more wins than losses).
During that time, the Green Bay Packers only made the playoffs twice, in 1972 and 1982. The victories came back in the Brett Favre era.
In 1992, Favre replaced injured quarterback Don Majkowski and led the Packers to their first win, over the Cincinnati Bengals. The next week, he was the starter against the Pittsburgh Steelers and was never again absent from another game until the end of 2007.
Because of his regularity, Brett Favre broke the record for consecutive starts by a quarterback as a starter in the NFL, starting almost three hundred consecutive games. This amazing streak would come to an end in the 2010 season.
With Brett Favre leading the team, the Packers returned to winning campaigns. In 1996, the Green Bay Packers posted a 13-3 regular season record, securing home-field advantage during the playoffs.
At the Super Bowl XXXI, the Packers defeated the New England Patriots 35-21 to achieve their 12th title, the third during the Super Bowl era.
The Brett Favre days would end on January 2008, when Green Bay lost to the New York Giants in its first NFC Championship game in a decade. It was a close match, but eventually the 23-20 loss came on a field goal during overtime.
Without Brett Favre, the Green Bay Packers put their faith in Aaron Rodgers, who had been the 24th pick in the first round of the 2005 draft. Rodgers ended up leading the Packers to their fourth Super Bowl title.
Which happened on February 2011, with the Wisconsin team winning over the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25. Aaron Rodgers was then named Super Bowl MVP.
The following season, Rodgers was named NFL MVP after leading the team to a 15-1 regular season campaign. Unfortunately, the Packers were eliminated by the New York Giants, who went on to win that year’s Super Bowl.
Already in 2014, Aaron Rodgers was named the league’s most valuable player for the second time. That year, the Green Bay Packers returned to the NFC Championship game, but were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks, 28-22.
The team is currently pursuing its fifth Super Bowl title.