Today we conclude our look back at the Green Bay Packers Media Guides (and Press Books) that we have in the Packerville, U.S.A. archives.
1974 RECORD • 6-8-0 In what would be Head Coach Dan Devine’s final year in Green Bay, the team wound up third again in the NFC Central and obviously missed the playoffs with a losing record. One bright spot was that K Chester Marcol led the league in field goals made (25). RB John Brockington was the cover subject.
1973 RECORD • 5-7-2 A third place in the NFC Central was all the team could accomplish this year, the last in which two ties occurred to the Packers. The Green Bay defense makes the cover, stopping a Chicago Bears runner.
1972 RECORD • 10-4-0 The club posted a 10-4 record under coach Dan Devine, earning them a first-place finish in the NFC Central division. This marked the return of the Packers to the playoffs after a four-year drought. The Packers lost in the Divisional Playoffs to the Washington Redskins, 16-3. Chester Marcol set an NFL rookie record (since broken) for most Field Goals in one year with 32. RB John Brockington makes his first appearance on the cover.
1971 RECORD • 4-8-2 Former Missouri Head Coach Dan Devine took the helm in Green Bay, attempting to return the team to glory following the Phil Bengston years. The players he had to work with netted a fourth place finish in the NFC Central division. On the cover, Devine runs with the team in spring workouts. To his right are G Gale Gillingham (#68) and S Willie Wood (#24).
1970 RECORD • 6-8-0 In coach Phil Bengston ’s final year in Green Bay, the team was far from the Lombardi era greatness, and they finished third in the NFC Central. On the cover, the Packers’ defense stops the San Francisco 49ers offense.
1969 RECORD • 8-6-0 The club posted a 8-6 record under coach Phil Bengston, earning them a 3rd place finish in the NFC Central division. Without the disciplined guidance of Vince Lombardi steering the Packers for the first time in a decade, Green Bay started the season strong at 5-2, but stumbled down the stretch. Plagued by injuries and inconsistent play, the team clawed their way to their 10th winning season in the last 11 years. On the cover, the million-dollar “bonus babies” Donny Anderson (#44) and Jim Grabowski (#33) come out of the Packer backfield.
1968 RECORD • 6-7-1 Vince Lombardi retired as coach following Super Bowl II, taking on the full general manager job, and left his defensive coordinator Phil Bengston to coach the team. The club posted a 6-7-1 record, earning them a third-place finish in the NFC Central division. It was also the Packers' first losing season since 1958. Our copy of the ’68 media guide is autographed by Hall of Famer Willie Davis.
1967 RECORD • 9-4-1 This season culminated in a victory in Super Bowl II. The team beat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1967 NFL Championship Game, a game commonly known as the "Ice Bowl," which marked the second time the Packers had won an NFL-record third consecutive NFL championship, having also done so in 1931 under team founder Curly Lambeau. The Packers were coached by Vince Lombardi and led by quarterback Bart Starr. Green Bay's victory in Super Bowl II over the Oakland Raiders was the fifth world championship for the Packers under Lombardi and the last game he coached for the Packers. On the cover, RB Elijah Pitts (#22) turns the corner behind G Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston (#63).
1966 RECORD • 12-2-0 The team beat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1966 NFL Championship Game, the Packers' 10th NFL title. The Packers recorded a 35-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the inaugural AFL-NFL Championship Game. In 2007, the 1966 Packers were ranked as the 6th greatest Super Bowl champions on the NFL Network's documentary series “America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions.” On the cover, QB Bart Starr sets to pass during a home game against the Chicago Bears.
1965 RECORD • 10-3-1 The club’s ’65 record under coach Vince Lombardi earned them a tie for first place in the Western Conference with the Baltimore Colts. The Packers and Colts played a one-game playoff in Green Bay, which the Packers won 13-10, in overtime. The Packers then defeated the defending champion Cleveland Browns, 23-12, in the NFL Championship Game. This marked the Packers 9th NFL World Championship, third under Lombardi, and the last NFL championship game before the advent of the Super Bowl. On the cover, FB Jim Taylor gains yardage against the Detroit Lions.
Our collection stops at 1965, but the media guides go back further than that. According to the Price Guide to Packers Memorabilia (1998), “Until 1964, the only way to obtain press guides was from the team. Starting in 1965 (where our collection originates) and continuing until 1979, the Wisconsin Ford automobile dealerships distributed them free of charge and made them a lot easier to find. From the early 1980’s to the present, the media guides are available both in the Packer Pro Shop and numerous retail outlets. Finding press items from the 1920’s to the 1960’s is very difficult. Most items were given out free and many items were thrown out later.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series and learned a few things along the way. We will continue with our intermittent publishing schedule until we get near football season.