Green Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs, and Tradition

Green Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs, and Tradition

4.8 11
by William Povletich
     
 

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On the field, legends like Don Hutson, Ray Nitschke, and Brett Favre made the Green Bay Packers into a professional football powerhouse. But the history of the NFL’s only small-town franchise is as much a story of business creativity as gridiron supremacy. Behind every Packer who became a legend on the field, there was an Andrew Turnbull, Dominic Olejniczak,

Overview

On the field, legends like Don Hutson, Ray Nitschke, and Brett Favre made the Green Bay Packers into a professional football powerhouse. But the history of the NFL’s only small-town franchise is as much a story of business creativity as gridiron supremacy. Behind every Packer who became a legend on the field, there was an Andrew Turnbull, Dominic Olejniczak, or Bob Harlan, leaders whose dedication and creativity in preserving the franchise were unwavering.

Green Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs, and Traditions tells the improbable story of professional football’s most iconic team, and along the way gives a unique window into the rise of modern professional sports. As the NFL has evolved into a financial juggernaut, the Green Bay Packers, with more than 112,158 stockholders, stand alone as the only professional sports franchise owned by fans, thus providing the only public record of how a sports team is run.

Featuring more than 300 photographs, some never before seen, Green Bay Packers illustrates how the most creative team in sports is also one of the most successful, with names like Lambeau, Canadeo, Lombardi, Hornung, Holmgren, and White leading the way to a league-best thirteen NFL titles and twenty-one Hall of Fame inductees. This comprehensive, up-to-date history of the Packers includes the 2011 season.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Winner, Midwest Independent Publishers Association Midwest Books Awards (Business)”
Library Journal
The Green Bay Packers are unique in major American professional sports as a publicly owned franchise that cannot be sold and does not rely on the deep pockets of a wealthy owner. Although Green Bay has won more championships than any other pro football team, it recurrently has had to grapple with financial crises that threatened the team's existence. With its record of achievement and underdog status, it's little wonder that Green Bay has been one of the league's most popular—and most covered—teams. Povletich (Green Bay Packers: Legends in Green and Gold), a documentary filmmaker, here produces a full-blown Packer history. While he details 90 years of on-field exploits, he pays special attention to the financial struggles and triumphs of the franchise over that time, repeatedly making the point that fiscal victory is important to gridiron success. VERDICT With copious notes and hundreds of rarely seen photographs, this book draws on the rich heritage of the Packers to deliver a well-written team history of the real America's Team. A thorough and colorful account of the Green Bay Packers, this will be of interest to all football fans.—John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780870204975
Publisher:
Wisconsin Historical Society
Publication date:
06/15/2012
Edition description:
1
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
1,236,492
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Wisconsin native William Povletich is the author of Some Like It Cold: A Sheboygan Surfin’ Safari (Clerisy Press, 2010), Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2009), and Green Bay Packers: Legends in Green and Gold (Arcadia Publishing, 2005) as well as many magazine articles on sports and entertainment. An Emmy Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker whose works have received both international acclaim and audience success, he recently produced Police Women of Broward County for TLC, Beach Patrol for Court TV, and A Braves New World for Milwaukee Public Television.

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Green Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs, and Tradition 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
jmgallen More than 1 year ago
I have to start out with an acknowledgement of where I am coming from. I do not live in Wisconsin, although I visit it often. I am not a football fan but there is something special about the Green Bay Packers. When I have visited Packers’ summer camp, the only one I have ever attended, I keep reminding myself, this is not just a football team, these are the Green Bay Packers. Wow! Today the Packers is the football equivalent of the New York Yankees. They are America’s team, a reminder that a small city franchise can still compete with the representatives of any megalopolis. Such has not always been the case. The Packers’ story is truly one of trials, triumph and tradition. Originally sponsored by the Indian Packing Company whence they drew their name, the Packers played their first organized game September 14, 1919 and in 1921 joined the American Professional Football Association that would become the National Football League the following year. Author William Povletich puts stories to the names and places the trials and triumphs into perspective. He tells the origin of the intense Packers-Bears rivalry. We have all heard of Lambeau Field. This book tells of the crucial role played by Curly Lambeau in bringing the APFA to Green Bay and keeping the NFL there. At one Trivia Night a question was “For which team did Don Hutson play?” After some thought I asked: “Isn’t his name on the practice facility in Green Bay?” That night I got one point. Now I know why he is such an important part of the Packers’ tradition that his name belongs on the facility. Paul Horning, Jim Taylor, Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke, Reggie White, Bret Favre and Aaron Rogers are only a few of the names that endured the trials and won the triumphs that made the tradition. We now tend to think of Packers’ success as natural, almost an entitlement. This book recalls how triumph has been interspaced with failure. Povletich records many losing seasons and disappointing games, even for the heroes. Lambeau eventually left Green Bay and Bart Starr was an unsuccessful coach. The greatest Packer of them all, Vince Lombardi, took over a losing team and molded into a dominating juggernaut before retreating to the front office and then moving on to the Washington Redskins. How could the inspiration for Lombardi Avenue and the Lombardi Trophy leave Green Bay? Read and find out. Bob Harlan, who engineered the most recent Packer resurgence, provides a foreword and is a major subject in the later sections of the work. Football is not just a sport, it is also a business. Povletich, as do the Lambeau Field tour guides, shows how the business aspect impacts the sport. Green Bay has not always been the unique small market team, it is merely the survivor. In the early days of the NFL Portsmouth, Pottsville, Providence, Rock Island, Evansville, Sheboygan and Oshkosh were just a few of the small town teams that competed and either moved to larger markets or went out of business. What is unique about the Packers is that they survived. Although they played some home games in Milwaukee for 42 years, all the pressures from the league to relocate to Milwaukee or outside of Wisconsin were rebuffed, but the Packers still confront the challenge of remaining competitive in an environment in which the surge of money keeps rising. The role of their public ownership structure with no controlling shareholder, unique in major professional sports, is another factor that makes the Packer story so endearing. William Povletich’s writing does justice to the Packers’ history. He skillfully blends game highlights with trophies and defeats and profits and losses. He the weaves the ups and downs into a tale that commands respect. Read and follow the Pack through the decades.
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