Tuesday, 18 February 2014

What Are Packers?

The Indiana Hoosiers and Oklahoma Sooners can definitely join the Green Bay Packers in the category of strange team nicknames. I've heard it my whole life... "What is a Packer, actually?" To help answer this common question, I've put together a short article that depicts what a Green Bay Packer actually is.
To fully understand the Packers' team name, you need to rewind nearly 95 years. On August 11th 1919, Curly Lambeau and George Calhoun called together a young group of athletes. The group met in the editorial room of the old Green Bay Press-Gazette building and organized a football team. The group of young men did not know it at the time, but they founded what would become the Green Bay Packer football team that we know of today. After the team was structured, they needed funding to buy uniforms. In an attempt to obtain said funding, they turned to Lambeau's employer The Indian Packing Company - a company involved in the canned meat industry - where he worked as a shipping clerk for $250 a month. Calhoun and Lambeau had success because The Indian Packing Company provided jerseys and permitted the use of its athletic field. With this relationship, the name "Packers" was natural, and the group of young men have been known as that ever since. Now, 95 seasons later, the Green Bay Packers are still using the unique name they were founded under.
In conclusion, the team name "Packers" is one of the most unique in not only the NFL but all major American sports. Having an odd team name has never been a huge burden on the Packer fan base, but it has left the question, "What are Packers?" to be answered. In literal terms, the "Packers" were a group of young men in 1919 that played football in uniforms that were purchased by the Indian Packing Company; to recognize the funded uniforms, the team adopted the name Packers. While that is the book definition of the Packers, I believe there is much more that lies in-between the lines. When I think of what makes up a Packer, I think of an individual that proudly represents the great town of Green Bay and exhibits their proudness through the display of green and gold colors, relentless support for the Pack, and a love for an organization that they'll take to the grave. Each person is subject to their own opinion, but I believe that is what a "Packer" is, and it all stemmed from a group of guys just looking to play organized football in 1921.

By Aaron P Matthews

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