Tuesday, March 20, 2012

46 Years of Media Guides — Part III

In the latest offseason installment of our media guide retrospective, we now visit the Infante and Gregg dynasties of the Green Bay Packers. Remember all of the post-season thrills and championships? Neither do we.

1991 RECORD: 4-12 • Before he was fired after the season by new GM Ron Wolf, Lindy Infante’s team struggled to a losing record that equalled his first season’s record in Green Bay. The team was at it’s lowest point on many levels, but all of that would begin to change when the team hired an assistant coach from the San Francisco 49ers.

1990 RECORD: 6-10 • All the expectations from the exciting previous year came crashing down in ’90, and Majkowski was injured mid-year. They could only muster a .600 record for fourth place in the NFC Central.

1989 RECORD: 10-6 • Infante’s (above) second year at the helm saw a huge improvement record-wise, and the team won a series of last-second, heart-stopping victories that raised the hopes of Packer fans. Much was expected of this team that finished second in the NFC Central, just missing out on the playoffs. This year was also the rise of QB Don Majkowski, who fans hoped would lead the team back to greatness.

1988 RECORD: 4-12 • New head coach Lindy Infante looks over an empty Lambeau Field in the Spring of that year, before he led the team to a disappointing 4-12 record, bad enough for last in the NFC Central. Not much more to say.

1987 RECORD: 5-9-1 • A season with one win better than the previous was not enough to keep Forrest Gregg around Green Bay, as he left for Southern Methodist University (SMU). The Packers finished third in the NFC Central, and the season was marked by a 24-day players strike, reducing the number of games from 16 games to 15. Three games of the Packers' season were played with replacement players, with the result being a 2-1 “strike record.” On the cover, “Mark Lee, who had a near-record 9 interceptions overall, flashes triumphant gesture after picking off a Bear pass at Chicago last November.”

1986 RECORD: 4-12 • The third season under Forrest Gregg saw the team take a nose dive — they were only able to muster a 4-12 record, finishing fourth out of five NFC Central teams. On the cover, the “Packer defense, spearheaded by Charles Martin (#94) and Alphonso Carreker (#76), smothers Dolphins’ Tony Nathan on turf of Green Bay’s Lambeau Field last December. John Anderson (#59), Tom Flynn (#41), Brian Noble (#91), and Robert Brown (#93) also are involved.”

1985 RECORD: 8-8 • Forrest Gregg’s second season as Packers’ head coach had the same result as his debut — a .500 record. Again, the Packers finished second in the NFC Central. On the cover, “amid falling flakes from a 15-inch snowstorm, QB Lynn Dickey drops back to pass behind protection of Ron Hallstrom (left) and Greg Koch in Denver’s Mile High Stadium last October 15 (1984).”

1984 RECORD: 8-8 • In former Packer legend Forrest Gregg’s first year in Lombardi’s old office, the team finished with a .500 record, good enough for second place in the NFC Central. Gregg (pictured on the media guide cover) came back to Green Bay from Cincinnati, where he led the Bengals to a Super Bowl appearance.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

46 Years of Media Guides — Part II

We’re back with Part II of our Green Bay Packers Media Guides, starting where we left off in 2001:

2001 RECORD: 12-4 • The season was one game old (a rainy victory over the Lions) when the 9/11 attacks occurred and turned the world upside down. Mike Sherman’s team beat the 49ers at home in the Wild Card Playoff, and then tanked in the 45-17 NFC Divisional Playoff loss in St. Louis, with Brett Favre throwing six INTs.

2000 RECORD: 9-7 • New Head Coach Mike Sherman takes control and the team wins one more game than it did in ’99. They finished third in the NFC Central behind Minnesota and Tampa Bay.

1999 RECORD: 8-8 • Do you think that Ron Wolf would like to have a do-over on his choice to replace Mike Holmgren in 1999? He probably cringes when he sees the photo on the cover of that year’s media guide. Former defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes let the team’s discipline lapse so much in one season that Wolf saw no option but to relieve him of his duties.

1998 RECORD: 11-5 • In what turned out to be Mike Holmgren’s last season in Green Bay, they finished second in the division (behind a 15-1 Minnesota team) and then lost in San Francisco on a last-second TD pass to a young Terrell Owens. This was Brett Favre’s second Packers’ media guide cover.

1997 RECORD: 13-3 • As the defending World Champions, they cruised to a division title with only a few bumps in the road, and were poised to repeat in Super Bowl XXXII. Then they met the Denver Broncos, and it fell apart in the end. That’s still the defeat that few Packer fans we’ve met want to talk about.

1996 RECORD: 13-3 • All the years of suffering (29 to be exact) were pushed to the background when the Packers had all the pieces in place and the window of opportunity was open wide enough for them to take advantage and win Super Bowl XXXI. Not everything went smoothly, but in the end they were the best team in football. 29 years seemed like a long time, but those losers in Minnesota are at 0-52 for championships going into this year.

1995 RECORD: 11-5 • We thought that this was “the year,” but a disheartening loss in Dallas (again) ended just short of the Super Bowl. They captured their first divisional title in a long time this year, and it’s not often that you see an offensive lineman featured on a team’s media guide. But Ken Ruettgers beat those odds and was featured prominently that season.

1994 RECORD: 9-7 • The third of three 9-7 seasons in a row saw the team finish second in the division (one game behind Minnesota). After a playoff victory in Detroit, they lost the Divisional battle in Dallas, in what continued to be a familiar theme over these years. S LeRoy Butler was on the cover that year, and he would continue to be a major force on the defensive side of the ball for many more seasons.

1993 RECORD: 9-7 • QB Brett Favre made his first appearance on the media guide cover after his breakout season the year before, replacing an injured Don Majkowski. Another 9-7 finish left them in third place in the division (behind Detroit and Minnesota). They would meet — and beat — the Lions in the Wild Card Playoff, but then drop the Divisional Playoff in Dallas for the first time.

1992 RECORD: 9-7 • Mike Holmgren and Ron Wolf brought a different attitude to Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1992, and you could see and feel that things were going to change. It was a new era in Packers football. The personnel would change a lot in those first few years, but success came in the form of a winning season and a second place in the NFC Central. Oh yeah, they found a new QB too, in a youngster named Brett Favre.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

46 Years of Media Guides — Part I

Since we’re in the time of year where there really isn’t a whole lot going on (unless you’re Peyton Manning), we thought it was time for a Green Bay Packers Media Guide cover retrospective. Starting with this past season’s cover (2011), and going back through our collection to 1965, we’re going to share with you each year’s cover. It’s interesting to look back through the years and see who (or what) was depicted, which showed who was “cover-worthy” at the time. 2011 RECORD: 15-1

2010 RECORD: 10-6 • WORLD CHAMPIONS! • NFC Defensive Player of the Year Charles Woodson is on the cover. It’s too bad he couldn’t play the whole Super Bowl XLV game.

2009 RECORD: 11-5 • Not a whole lot of time and effort went into this cover. Apparently, Aaron Rodgers was not worthy of a cover photo yet.

2008 RECORD: 6-10 • The cover features photos from the 2007 NFC Divisional Playoff vs. Seattle, known as the “Snow Globe” game; Brett Favre’s second-to-last game at Lambeau Field for the Packers.

2007 RECORD: 13-3 • In a season where the Packers would fall one Brett Favre O.T. INT away from a Super Bowl berth, Lambeau Field celebrated its 50th anniversary. Favre would “retire” in March of 2008.

2006 RECORD: 8-8 • New Packers coach Mike McCarthy took over the reigns from Mike Sherman, and in a year of transition, positioned Green Bay for major success in years to come.

2005 RECORD: 4-12 • It’s all-Brett-Favre on this year’s media guide, but even his talent couldn’t rescue the team from it’s worst record since 1991, before the arrival of Mike Holmgren.

2004 RECORD: 10-6 • A mix of old and new are on this year’s cover. But who wants to go back and relive the home playoff loss to the Vikings with Randy Moss “mooning” the Lambeau crowd which ended this season? Us neither.

2003 RECORD: 10-6 • Another year of relative success on the field, ending with the “4th and 26” in Philadelphia. The renovated Lambeau Field is “reborn” this year, and is featured on the media guide.

2002 RECORD: 12-4 • An embarrassing home loss to the Falcons ends this season, which started with Brett Favre surrounded by the “ghosts” of Don Hutson (left) and Jim Taylor (right) on the cover of the media guide.

To be continued...

Monday, March 05, 2012

Alumni Spotlights

Unless you’re like us and are digging around for things to watch in the offseason, you probably haven’t seen any of these short videos featuring Green Bay Packers of years gone by. We’ve pulled together several of them for you to watch at your convenience. First up is the Jim Carter Alumni Spotlight.

And last, but not least, we have the Boyd Dowler Alumni Spotlight.