Green Bay Packers
History and League Success
The Packers (named for an early uniform sponsor, a meat packing company; the team has not changed its name for the entirety of its existence) started operations in 1919 (one of the team's early owners was Earl "Curly" Lambeau, for whom the team's home field, Lambeau Field, is named) and played as an independent team for its first two seasons until joining the NFL in 1921. It was coached for many years by the legendary Vince Lombardi.
From 1933 through 1994 the team would play at least one regular-season game in Milwaukee; since 1995 they have played exclusively in Green Bay. Green Bay (with an area population of around 100,000) is the smallest market of any professional sports team.
They are the only "community owned" team in American professional sports (with over 360,000 shareholders holding the over 5 million outstanding shares; no single entity can hold more than 200,000 shares); however, shares of stock have only face value (they do not pay dividends nor do they provide free tickets to games, only voting rights and the ability to purchase exclusive shareholder memento items) and can only be sold back to the team. Community ownership of a team is not allowed by any professional sports league; however, the Packers' structure was grandfathered in when the NFL changed its ownership rules, and is likely the reason the team has been successful in its extremely small market.
The Green Bay Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history, with nine pre–Super Bowl NFL titles and four Super Bowl victories (including the first two Super Bowls played, though at the time the game was called "NFL-AFL Championship Game").
NFC North Rivals
- Chicago Bears (the Packers-Bears rivalry is the oldest continuously-played rivalry in the NFL, with over 200 games played; when the NFL celebrated its centennial season in 2019 it began the season with a Packers-Bears matchup in commemoration as opposed to its usual tradition of opening with the defending Super Bowl Champion)
- Detroit Lions
- Minnesota Vikings