Friday, April 26, 2013

Big Day in Green Bay

In case you’ve been off the grid, or traveling (like we are in Vikings-land), you missed the news that QB Aaron Rodgers received his new contract today. Rodgers (seen above speaking with the media in the Packers’ locker room this afternoon), will not have to work 9 to 5 when his career is over. We thought this would get done before the Draft like Clay Matthews’ new deal did, but it’s only one day late in happening. Here are some of the specifics:

• The guaranteed portion of the extension was worth $40 million (which is what he’ll make in 2013), according to several reports.

• Rodgers' salary numbers work out to a $22 million yearly average, surpassing the previous high of $20.1 million the Baltimore Ravens gave quarterback Joe Flacco in March.

• The extension adds five years to the two existing years on the deal Rodgers signed in 2008, meaning he will be under contract with the Packers through 2019. Rodgers had $20.75 million left on his deal, which for total income is added to the $110 million he just got (when calculating salary averages, clubs and agents look at only the so-called new money that a player receivers when he signs an extension).

• Flacco was No. 1 at $20.1 million, New Orleans' Drew Brees was No. 2 at $20 million and Denver's Peyton Manning was No. 3 at $19.2 million. Rodgers' deal should stand up for at least this season with only Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Detroit's Matthew Stafford due for new deals soon.

(Courtesy the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

The other exciting news of the day is that the Packers selected RB Eddie Lacy (Alabama) in the second round. We are excited about this, as hopefully they can have a solid, “star” back for the first time in several years. More on Lacy’s background at Alabama can be read here.

After two days of drafting in New York, the Packers stand with two picks, having traded out of the third round:


Round 1 (26th Overall): Datone Jones, DE, UCLA.

Round 2 (61st Overall): Eddie Lacy, RD, Alabama.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Meet Datone Jones

The newest Green Bay Packer is DE Datone Jones from UCLA — the team’s first round draft pick for 2013. Learn more about him here. Welcome! Here are some commemorative screen caps from the moment.

The History of the Green Bay Packers — The Shameful Years (1990)

The final volume of Larry D. Names’ series on The History of the Green Bay Packers concludes with this focus on “The Shameful Years.” This covers the period of 1950-1959 — between the firing of team co-founder Curly Lambeau and the hiring of Vince Lombardi. The illustrious careers of Gene Ronzani, Lisle Blackbourn, and Ray “Scooter” McLean are featured in detail. The series ends before the revival of the franchise under Lombardi, and we wish that Names had continued on with his series. But, much has been written on the Glory Years, and we are grateful for his insights into a now forgotten era of the team. 

The front and rear flaps.  

We love the old sports publication graphics. 

The usual selection of several pages of photos. 

The back cover, featuring a photo of author Larry D. Names.

Find your copy here.

The History of the Green Bay Packers — The Shameful Years
By Larry D. Names
Angel Press of Wisconsin (1990)
268 pages

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The History of the Green Bay Packers — The Lambeau Years, Part Three (1990)

Volume Three of Larry D. Names’ History of the Green Bay Packers, focuses on the third segment of coach Curly Lambeau’s tenure. Part Three “finally gets the story straight about those turbulent years in professional football immediately following World War II.” The very existence of the Packers in Green Bay became very tenuous, and Lambeau’s fall in northern Wisconsin was complete.

The front and rear flaps.  

The usual selection of several pages of photos. 

The back cover, featuring a photo of author Larry D. Names.

Find your copy here.

The History of the Green Bay Packers — The Lambeau Years, Part Three
By Larry D. Names
Angel Press of Wisconsin (1990)
227 pages

Thursday, April 18, 2013

2013 Schedule Released

Vince Lombardi: Memories of a Special Time (1988)

From the dust jacket notes: “…Loved, hated, admired, feared, praised and condemned — a man who aroused only the strongest of emotions — Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers for nine seasons and, during this memorable time, together they won six divisional titles, five N.F.L. Championships and the first two Super Bowls. Then, after one restless year away from coaching, he took over the head-coaching job of the Washington Redskins and promptly drove the Redskins to their first winning season in 14 years. Vince Lombardi: Memories of a Special Time is the inspiring story of professional football's greatest coach, his winning football men and the dynasty that they built together. Here you will follow Lombardi from the early, formative years where he labored in obscurity at Fordham, St. Cecilia's and West Point, then later as an assistant to Jim Lee Howell with the New York Giants, and finally those unforgettable years with the Packers and the Redskins. Here are the battles that he and his teams endured together: the championships won, the miracles, the glory, the tears. Most importantly, you'll learn of the real impact that Lombardi, the coach, had upon his men as he drove them to obtain a pinnacle of success that has never again been equaled by any team, in any sport.” 

Front and rear flaps. 

In the center of the book, there are a few pages of black and white images. 

The back cover.

Find your copy here.

Vince Lombardi: Memories of a Special Time
By Mike Bynum
October Football Corp. (1988)
213 pages

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Pack Fights Back (1987)

One might wonder why we needed a book to focus on the 1986 Green Bay Packers, but here we have one. The Pack Fights Back features a subhead of “Can Fresh Faces Turn Things Around?” Forrest Gregg had taken over the struggling team after the firing of Bart Starr following the 1983 season. His first two years (1984-85) ended with 8-8 records each year, and 1986 found the team mired in a 4-12 debacle. So, someone decided that they needed to produce this book to highlight the stellar season and the rampant optimism going into the 1987 campaign. While it appears to be more of a magazine, it is listed as a book, so we’ve added it to our feature on Green Bay Packers-related books that you’re enjoying this off-season.

Most of the book contains text and large black and white photos. 

In the center of the book, there are a few pages of full-color action of your ’86 Packers. 

The back cover.

The book is out of print and hard to find.

The Pack Fights Back: Can Fresh Faces Turn Things Around?
By George Sauerberg and Vernon Biever (photographer)
Bonus Books (1987)
80 pages

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Starr: My Life in Football (1987)

From Publishers Weekly: “Starr was an undistinguished quarterback at the University of Alabama and with the Green Bay Packers until Vince Lombardi arrived in Wisconsin. Even then, it seemed as if the new coach accepted Starr only with reluctance, but the gamble paid off and the outstanding play of the young man helped lead the Packers to five championships in seven years plus several other winning seasons. Starr and Olderman (author of “The Pro Quarterback”) present a picture of Lombardi at variance with the general image in Starr: My Life in Football; they show a man driven to push his players to the level of excellence he was sure each of them could achieve, certainly not a tyrant or a monster. The second part of the book, about Starr's disappointing years as the Green Bay coach, is less absorbing and comes as something of an anticlimax, particularly in its detailing of the games he masterminded.” 

 The front and rear flaps.

Our first-edition copy is autographed. 

As with most biographies, there is a selection of photos in the center of the book. 

The back cover.

Find your copy here.

Starr: My Life in Football
By Bart Starr with Murray Olderman
William Morrow & Company, Inc. (1987)
224 pages

Friday, April 12, 2013

The History of the Green Bay Packers — The Lambeau Years, Part Two (1987)

Volume Two of Larry D. Names’ history of the Green Bay Packers franchise focuses, as the title suggests, on the Curly Lambeau years — further on. Covering the years 1932-45, the Packers grow from a small town team to champions again to the precipice of the years of struggle. Invaluable material for amateur football historians and professionals alike. 

The front and rear flaps.  

Historical photos are again featured in the center of the book. 

Some reviews of the first volume on the back cover.

Find your copy here.

The History of the Green Bay Packers — The Lambeau Years, Part Two
By Larry D. Names
Angel Press of Wisconsin (1987)
238 pages

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The History of the Green Bay Packers — The Lambeau Years, Part One (1987)

We now come to a set of books that are relatively hard to find — compared to other more recent Packer books — the four-volume set from author Larry D. Names. This first volume, The History of the Green Bay Packers — The Lambeau Years, Part One sets the tone for the other books with exhaustive research and re-discovered history of the franchise’s early days. These books were written in the years when the on-field team was nothing to write home about, and before the revival of the franchise which began five years later (and continues through today). As stated earlier, these are hard to find, but can be had for a price. We’re glad we collected them from the beginning at the original prices. 

The front and rear flaps. 

There is a fairly good-sized selection of photos. 

The back cover, featuring a photo of author Larry D. Names.

Find your copy here.

The History of the Green Bay Packers — The Lambeau Years, Part One
By Larry D. Names
Angel Press of Wisconsin (1987)
215 pages

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Vince: A Personal Biography (1987)

From the original book description: “Published to widespread critical acclaim, Vince: A Personal Biography of Vince Lombardi has been called: "the definitive biography" of an American legend (Editor’s note: at least until When Pride Still Mattered). With stunning revelations and anecdotes, Vince Lombardi's life is pieced together with painstaking care in research, detail, and historical accuracy. Based on more than two hundred interviews, including those who played with him and against him, from his early coaching days at St. Cecilia High School in New Jersey to West Point, the New York Giants, and his championship seasons with the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins. Drawing upon unpublished Lombardi family papers, Vince clarifies the thirty years of mystery and contradiction that have swirled around the legend of Vince Lombardi.”

Vince goes beyond the sidelines to reveal the true character of Lombardi. He was dedicated and narrow, intelligent and dogmatic, self-restrained yet emotional, abusive yet apologetic. His moods could swing from deep gloom to soaring exuberance in seconds. He was compassionate, kind, charitable. He could also be gripped by uncontrollable anger. Above all, Vince paints a portrait of a very human man who committed his life to winning.”

This was the first Lombardi biography that we added to our collection back in the year of its release, purchased at the old Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

The back cover.

Find your copy here.

Vince: A Personal Biography of Vince Lombardi
By Michael O’Brien
William Morrow Paperbacks (1987)
456 pages

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Distant Replay (1985)

Jerry Kramer’s third book, Distant Replay, followed his earlier books Instant Replay and Farewell to Football. Published in 1985, this volume is about the nostalgic reunion of the first Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers of the mid-1960s. It elicits reminiscences of their victorious triumphs and their tragic losses, especially of their late coach, Vince Lombardi.

Chapters are devoted to the stories of Fuzzy Thurston and Tommy Joe Crutcher; Bart Starr (who had been fired as the Packers’ head coach after the 1983 season) and Forrest Gregg (who had succeeded Starr and coached the team at the time of the reunion); Max McGee and Paul Hornung; Willie Davis, Ron Kostelnik, Henry Jordan and Lionel Aldridge; Jimmy Taylor and Elijah Pitts; Bob Skoronski, Ken Bowman, Bill Curry and Gale Gillingham; Ray Nitschke, Dave Robinson, and Lee Roy Caffey; Willie Wood, Herb Adderley, Bob Jeter, and Tom Brown; Red Mack, Carroll Dale, Boyd Dowler, Marv Fleming, Bob Long, and Bill Anderson; Zeke Bratkowski, Don Chandler, Doug Hart, and Steve Wright; Donny Anderson, Bob Brown, Jim Grabowski, Dave Hathcock, Phil Vandersea, and Jim Weatherwax. 

Preface page. 

Introduction page. 

The letter sent out to all the alumni of the 1966-67 Green Bay Packers World Championship team. 

The back cover.

Find your copy here.

Distant Replay
By Jerry Kramer with Dick Schaap
Jove Books (1985)
249 pages

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Packer Legend (1982)

Covering the birth, rise, and fall of the pro football team from little Green Bay, The Packer Legend: An Inside Look is written by John B. Torinus, Sr., “a retired newspaper executive who once worked as a ball boy for the Green Bay Packers and went on to join the football team's board of directors. A member of the Packers board of directors since 1949, Torinus also served on the National Football League club's seven-member executive committee. In 1962, he left his position as executive editor of the Green Bay Press-Gazette to become editor and general manager of the Appleton Post-Crescent until his retirement in 1983. As a youth, Torinus worked as a ball boy for the team and later covered it for decades as a newspaperman. In the mid-1950s, when the Packers were in financial trouble, Torinus sold stock for the team to raise money.” These facts serve to prove that this story of the Packers was written by someone who was there. Torinus died in October 1985.

Source of quoted material: AP obituary, 1985 

This book is one of the first covering the Packers long and storied history that we purchased, and contains many great photos — some of which you’ve seen numerous times, and some that will be new to you. We love the headline on this newspaper front page from 1929! 

Packer game action from 1928.

Newspaper front page from 1959, announcing the hiring of head coach Vince Lombardi. 

A view of the north end of the stadium that you don’t see too often. This shows the Packers’ administration building in an unspecified year of the 1970’s. Note Lambeau Field without any skyboxes behind the offices. Things look a little different today, eh?

Some of the Packers’ longtime staff are recognized in the book. Here, trainer Dominic Gentile shows off the tools of his trade. 

The hiring of former QB Bart Starr as head coach headlines the news at Christmas time in 1975.
Coach Starr meets with some of his offensive players in a Lambeau Field classroom. The book ends with optimism expressed about the coming 1982 season, but Starr would be relieved of his coaching duties at the end of 1983 to be replaced by another Lombardi pupil, Forrest Gregg. And the long slide continued. 

The back cover.

Find your copy here.

The Packer Legend: An Inside Look
By John B. Torinus
Laranmark Press (1982)
253 pages