1919 Green Bay Packers season

The 1919 Green Bay Packers season was their first season of competitive football. The club was formed by Curly Lambeau and George Calhoun with help from the Indian Packing Company. The club posted a 10–1 record against other teams in Wisconsin and Michigan.

1919 Green Bay Packers season
Head coachCurly Lambeau
Home fieldHagemeister Park
Results
Record10–1

Founding

The 1919 Green Bay Packers
The Original Packers

According to traditional accounts, Curly Lambeau, a standout high school football player, made Knute Rockne's varsity Notre Dame team in his freshman year, only to resign after a severe case of tonsillitis. Still wanting to play football, a casual conversation with George Calhoun, editor of the Press-Gazette, in the Summer of 1919 convinced him to organize his own team. In the succeeding weeks, Calhoun ran advertisements in the Press-Gazette inviting prospective players to join the team.[1] On August 11, local athletes came together in the editorial room at the Press-Gazette building and formed the team that would become the Green Bay Packers.[2]

While the Packer organization recognizes 1919 as the year this town team was founded, a number of sources show that the 1919 team succeeded teams organized on an annual basis since 1896. Lambeau organized the team in 1919 and brought it to the NFL in 1921 but the tradition of football in Green Bay goes back to 1896,[3] earlier than any other NFL team, including the 1898 Racine St. Cardinals in Chicago.[4]

Sponsorship

Since the team needed funds for uniforms and equipment, Lambeau entered an agreement with his employer, the Indian Packing Company. The company provided $500 and Lambeau agreed to name the team after it. At first the team was denoted the "Green Bay Indians" but by the end of the year the press was referring to the team as the Packers. The company also allowed the team to use an open lot on company property for practices three times a week.[1]

Home Field

The Packers played their home games in Hagemeister Park, a vacant lot next to East High. There were no bleachers and fans could watch the game for free, walking along the sideline next to the line of scrimmage. The field was sectioned off by ropes although the fans sometimes entered the field of play during particularly exciting parts of the game. At halftime, the players would gather in the endzone to discuss strategy and the fans would often join the discussion. To pay player salaries, a hat was passed around the crowd for donations. The Packers played 8 games at Hagemeister Park in their first season.[5]

Season results

The Packers finished the season with a record of 10-1, only losing to the Beloit Fairies 0–6. Apart of the Beloit loss, they only allowed one other team to score, Racine Iroquois. For the 1919 season, they placed first among all professional teams in Wisconsin.[6] Their first ever road game occurred on Oct 19, 1919, at Ishpeming, MI.[7]

Week Date Opponent Results [8] Game Site
Final score Team record
1 September 14 Menominee North End A.C. W 53–0 1–0 Hagemeister Park
2 September 21 Marinette Northerners W 61–0 2–0 Hagemeister Park
3 September 28 New London W 54–0 3–0 Hagemeister Park
4 October 5 Sheboygan Company C W 87–0 4–0 Hagemeister Park
5 October 12 Racine Iroquois W 76–6 5–0 Hagemeister Park
6 October 19 at Ishpeming W 33–0 6–0 Ishpeming, MI
7 October 26 Oshkosh Professionals W 85–0 7–0 Hagemeister Park
8 November 2 Milwaukee Maple Leaf A.C. W 53–0 8–0 Hagemeister Park
9 November 9 Chicago Chilar A.C. W 46–0 9–0 Hagemeister Park
10 November 16 at Stambaugh Miners W 17–0 10–0 Stambaugh, MI
11 November 23 at Beloit Fairies L 0–6 10–1 Beloit, WI

Roster

Player Name
Nate Abrams
Henry (Tubby) Bero
Bradlee
Jim Coffeen
John Desjardins
Dutch Dwyer
Riggie Dwyer
Jen Gallager
Fritz Gavin
Wally Ladrow
Curly Lambeau
Wes Leaper
Herman Martell
Al Martin
Orlo Wylie McLean
Andy Muldoon
Herbert Nichols
Al Petcka
Sammy Powers
Gus Rosenow
Charlie Sauber
Kyle (Cowboy) Wheeler
Milt Wilson
Martin Zoll
Carl Zoll

[9]

References

  1. ^ a b "History of the Green Bay Packers". PackersNews.com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2008.
  2. ^ "Packers.com » History » Birth of a Team & a Legend". Archived from the original on June 17, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
  3. ^ "Packers born in 1919, not 1921". Packers.com.
  4. ^ Names, Larry (1987). The History of the Green Bay Packers. Wautoma, Wisconsin: Angel Press of Wisconsin. pp. 25–27. ISBN 0-939995-00-X.
  5. ^ LambeauField.com » Stadium Info » History » Packers Stadium History Archived April 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Green Bay Packers
  7. ^ "TWIN CITY MEETS DEFEAT: Ishpeming-Negaunee Eleven Lost by 33 to 0 Score to Green Bay". ishhistsoc.com. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011., Iron Ore newspaper, Oct 1919; via Ishpeming Historical Society
  8. ^ http://www.profootballarchives.com/1919greenb.html
  9. ^ The 1919 and 1920 Green Bay Packers – Independent Football
History of the Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team that has played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) since 1921. The team was founded in 1919 by Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, and for the next two years played against local teams in Wisconsin and Michigan. In 1921, the Packers joined the American Professional Football Association, the precursor to the (NFL) with Curly Lambeau as their coach. After falling into financial trouble, the Green Bay Football Corporation, now known as Green Bay Packers, Inc., was formed in 1923. The Packers became a publicly-owned football team run by a Board of Directors elected each year. The team went on to win six NFL championships from 1929 to 1944, including three straight (1929–1931). Along the way, Curly Lambeau, with the help of receiver Don Hutson, revolutionized football through the development and utilization of the forward pass.

After Curly Lambeau resigned from the Packers in 1949, the team fell into a slump. They did not have a winning record for 11 straight seasons until 1959, the year that the Packers hired a new coach, Vince Lombardi. Lombardi would go on to lead one of the most successful teams in league history. Thirteen Pro Football Hall of Famers played for Lombardi, including quarterback Bart Starr and linebacker Ray Nitschke. The Packers lost the 1960 NFL Championship, however they would go on to win five championships in seven years under Lombardi, including three straight between 1965 and 1967. This included the infamous Ice Bowl and the first two Super Bowls. After the passing of Curly Lambeau in 1965, the Packers new stadium (built in 1957 as City Stadium) was named Lambeau Field in his honor. Five years later, the Packers second great coach, Vince Lombardi, passed away, just two years after leaving the team for the Washington Redskins.

From 1968 to 1992 the Packers only made the playoffs twice. Even with former quarterback Bart Starr as head coach, the Packers were unable to regain their former glory. The team continued to falter until Ron Wolf took over as general manager. Wolf hired Mike Holmgren as head coach and traded a first-round draft pick to the Atlanta Falcons for quarterback Brett Favre. Favre would go on to lead the Packers to eleven playoffs appearances, two Super Bowl appearances, and one championship in 1996. In 1997, the Packers had their fourth stock sale, expanding the number of shareholders and using the money to fund further expansion of Lambeau Field. In 2005, the Packers drafted quarterback Aaron Rodgers. After Favre left the team in 2007, Rodgers became the starter. As of 2017, he has led the Packers to eight playoffs appearances and one Super Bowl victory in 2010. The Packers had their fifth and most recent stock sale in 2012, again expanding the number of shareholders and using the funding to expand Lambeau Field. With a capacity of 81,441, Lambeau Field is the fifth-largest stadium in the NFL. As of 2018, the Packers hold the record for the most NFL championships (13 total) and the second-most wins in NFL history.

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Green Bay Packers 1919 inaugural season roster

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