From Vince Lombardi To The Ice Bowl, 'The Big 50' Looks At Green Bay Packers History
This year marks the Green Bay Packers' 100th season.
With a century of Packers football in the can, a new coach at the helm, and a fresh season about to begin, it’s the perfect time to look back at the team’s rich history.
Drew Olson has covered the Packers for decades. Along with co-author Jason Wilde, Olson compiled a list of the team’s most significant moments in his new book, The Big 50: Men and Moments That Made The Green Bay Packers.
Olson sat down with Lake Effect’s Ben Binversie to talk about some of the team’s storied history:
Vince Lombardi's Impact
"He's on the Mount Rushmore of great coaches — not just in the National Football League but in all of sports," says Olson.
Olson also notes that Lombardi reenergized the organization and shaped the attitudes around race in the franchise. "In a time when a lot of franchises wouldn't have any black players or only a couple, Lombardi embraced African American players," says Olson.
The Ice Bowl
"The crystalized moment for everybody has to be the Ice Bowl," says Olson. "That's the iconic moment in Packers History. That game may have all owed them to survive the dark period that followed."
While the conditions of the Ice Bowl would been seen today as a public health hazard, the game has helped define the reputation as Lambeau Field as "The Frozen Tundra."
"The things that happened a generation ago, it happens again," notes Olson. "We're seeing it now with Aaron Rodgers turning into Brett Favre. It's amazing when you look at the arc. I guess with 100 years, it's going to happen, but things go in cycles — boom times, bust times and story lines that weave together."