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GREEN BAY PACKERS

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THE LAMBEAU YEARS

PART ONE

​THE HISTORY OF THE

GREEN BAY PACKERS

VOLUME 1
ISBN-13: 978-0-910937-70-2 TRADE PAPERBACK

KINDLE EDITION AVAILABLE

​Packers. Green Bay. The Green Bay Packers. No matter how it’s said, one can’t say Green Bay without thinking of the Packers or say Packers without thinking about Green Bay, the greatest little city in all of professional sports. But when and how did this legend in pro sports begin? That question is answered in the first detailed history of the Green Bay Packers.

Larry Names tells the myths that color Packer history. Then he strips away the legends and finds the truth behind the tales. Did Curly Lambeau really start the Packers? What was George Whitney Calhoun’s role in Packer history? How did George Halas help save the Packers from extinction? Were the early executives of the Packers anti-Semitic? How did Gerald Clifford create the most unique franchise in all of professional sports?
 
Then there was the team, the players. How did the coach and general manager a small town team in the frigid north entice so many stars to play professional football for him for less money than they could get in bigger cities? Jug Earpe, Charley Mathys, Cub Buck, Vern Lewellen, Red Dunn, Lavvie Dilweg, Johnny Blood, Cal Hubbard, Mike Michalske, and more. Hall-of-Famers all.
The Green Bay Packers. The team and franchise too tough to  die.    

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THE LAMBEAU YEARS

PART TWO

​THE HISTORY OF THE

GREEN BAY PACKERS

VOLUME 2
 

ISBN-13: 978-09109375-71-9 TRADE PAPERBACK

KINDLE EDITION AVAILABLE

The myth: the Depression forced the Packers into

bankruptcy.

The truth: a lawsuit by an injured fan forced the Packers management to seek protection from the corporation’s creditors.

THE HISTORY OF THE GREEN BAY PACKERS – THE LAMBEAU YEARS – Part Two – finally gets the story straight.

In this controversial narrative of the Green Bay Packers, Larry D. Names has captured the essence of the team, the corporation that owns the Packers, and their riveting history. The numerous real life stories reveal how the Green Bay Packers managed to stay in the National Football League when the trend was to move to the big cities. Its detailed, documented style captivates the reader and involves him in the feelings of the times.

Football grew through its players, its coaches, its owners; and the history of these men and their exploits has been clouded in more than a few memories. However; this history while intriguing does not compromise the facts with fancy. As in Part One, the reader will find the truth about some of the greatest names and the greatest team in football history.

The author has finally done justice to the creation of the most unique sports franchise in American history. Through his exhaustive research, he has rediscovered football history.

 

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THE LAMBEAU YEARS

PART ONE

​THE HISTORY OF THE

GREEN BAY PACKERS

VOLUME 3

ISBN-13: 978-0910937-72-6 TRADE PAPERBACK

KINDLE EDITION AVAILABLE

Packers. Green Bay. The Green Bay Packers.

No matter how it’s said, one can’t say Green Bay without thinking of the Packers or say Packers without thinking about Green Bay, the greatest little city in all of professional sports. But when and how did this legend in pro sports begin? That question is answered in the first detailed history of the Green Bay Packers.

Larry Names tells the myths that color Packer history. Then he strips away the legends and finds the truth behind the tales. Did Curly Lambeau really start the Packers? What was George Whitney Calhoun’s role in Packer history? How did George Halas help save the Packers from extinction? Were the early executives of the Packers anti-Semitic? How did Gerald Clifford create the most unique franchise in all of professional sports?

Then there was the team, the players. How did the coach and general manager of a small town team in the frigid north entice so many stars to play professional football for him for less money than they could get in bigger cities? Jug Earpe, Charley Mathys, Cub Buck, Vern Lewellen, Red Dunn, Lavvie Dilweg, Johnny Blood, Cal Hubbard, Mike Michalske, and more. Hall-of-Famers all.

The Green Bay Packers. The team and franchise too tough to die.

 

 
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THE SHAMEFUL YEARS

​THE HISTORY OF THE

GREEN BAY PACKERS

VOLUME 4
 
ISBN-13: 978-0910937-73-3 TRADE PAPERBACK

KINDLE EDITION AVAILABLE

The two myths: Gene Ronzani and Lisle Blackbourn each resigned from being the head coach of the Green Bay Packers.

The truth: both were fired, and the Packer organization to this day continues to deny that both were dismissed; one because of his ethnic background and the other because he tried to do the job he was hired to do.

This fourth volume in the series on the history of the Green Bay Packers reveals the truth behind the headlines of the 1950s. After having fought for three decades for survival in a league consisting of big city teams, the Packers finally achieved financial solvency and even growth, only to have this incredible feat soiled by underhanded dealings by the corporation's executive committee.

 

Not all was rotten in Bay City. The Packers did make some remarkable strides in the '50s, the most memorable being the construction of a new stadium, which the corporation partially financed with the taxpayers of the city of Green Bay. The Packers got their new stadium despite some wheeling-and-dealing by the corporation's own president that might have cost Green Bay its franchise in the NFL.

 

Once again the Packers survived the turmoil within the NFL and in their own back yard. They appealed to the fans of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for more money through a stock sale, then they appealed to the voters and taxpayers of Green Bay for a new stadium. In both cases, they received overwhelming support.

 

On the field, the Packers went through a trio of coaches from 1950 through 1958. Gene Ronzani had the unenviable task of rebuilding a team that had been decimated by the Pro Football War between the NFL and the AAC. He brought in some stars, but before he could really build a solid foundation, he was fired, mostly for being Italian, for being from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and for being a former player and coach for the hated Chicago Bears. Wisconsin native son Lisle Blackbourn was hired away from his job as head coach at Marquette University to replace Ronzani. He built on what Ronzani had begun, but he wasn't allowed to run the team as he saw fit to do. Finally, the second-guessers got him fired. Ray '' Scooter'' McLean, an assistant under both Ronzani and Blackbourn, was given the top post in 1958. A wonderful human being poor Scooter was a disaster as a head coach in the NFL.

 
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Lombardi's Destint - Part One book

LOMBARDI'S DESTINY

PART ONE

​THE HISTORY OF THE

GREEN BAY PACKERS

VOLUME 5
 
ISBN-13: 978-0910937-68-9 TRADE PAPERBACK

KINDLE EDITION AVAILABLE

The 5th volume in the series, The History of the Green Bay Packers, LOMBARDI'S DESTINY – PART ONE by Larry Names, chronicles Vince Lombardi's first four years as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, 1959-1962. How Lombardi took the worst team in the NFL to a division championship in two years and then an NFL championship in three years.

The winter of 1958-59 was
the most pivotal period in the history of professional football.
  • It started with the Baltimore Colts defeating the New York Giants for the National Football League Championship, 23-17, in the first ever overtime game in the history of football.

  • Over the next three months, several events transpired that resulted in pro football being changed forever and for the good.

  • None of those moments seemed to be all that important in the history of the game as they unfolded.

  • Reveals how important that juncture in time was, not only in the history of a small-town football team, but in the overall history of professional football.

  • Two men met in secret. One was Dominic Olejniczak, the president of the faltering Green Bay Packers. The other was Vincent Thomas Lombardi, the offensive coach of the New York Giants.

"Most football coaches belong in some other coach’s coaching tree, such as Sid Gillman’s tree that you can find in a Wikipedia article about him. Not so with Vince Lombardi. Instead of him being a branch on the tree of Red Blaik or of Jim Lee Howell, Lombardi is the rare flower at the top of a tree that has Knute Rockne as the trunk." -Larry Names

  • Fate seemed to be directing him to this job in little Green Bay. To those who knew him well, taking the job in Wisconsin was Lombardi's Destiny.

 

335 pages

40 b&w photos

This volume in The History of the Green Bay Packers series was 25 years in the making. Not that Lombardi’s Destiny took that long to write in real hours, days, weeks, and months. No, it was because of all the books that have been written about the man who ranks among the greatest coaches of all time in the history of the National Football League. Of course, there are also all those books written about and by the players who gave their sweat, blood, and tears for Lombardi and all those countless millions of Packer fans who cheered them on, come win or loss. And then there are those few who were written about Lombardi’s teams.

     My research started with LOMBARDI by Robert W. Wells, published by Wisconsin House in 1971. After that, it seemed a new book about Vince Lombardi came out every football season until the best of them all, the masterful biography, VINCE, by Dr. Michael O’Brien, was released in 1987. If you haven’t read it, I urge you to get a copy from amazon.com. You won’t be sorry.

     So, you see, it was reading and re-reading all those other books that kept me from writing about Lombardi and his time with the Packers. Friends, fans, and even relatives, especially family members whether by blood or by marriage, kept nagging me to write about those incredible nine years when Lombardi stalked the sidelines at City Stadium, then at Lambeau Field after it was renamed shortly after the death of Earl Louis "Curly" Lambeau, the man who is credited by Packer officialdom for founding the team. All that time it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be writing about Vince any more than I had written about Curly Lambeau in three volumes and the first three men who succeeded Curly in just one book. As I had done in those earlier works, I will be writing about the history of the Green Bay Packers, the team, players, coaches, fans, and the front office from the president down to the volunteers who remove the snow from the stands before the next game after one of our frequently intense Wisconsin snowstorms. What a revelation! An epiphany, if you will!

    Then I recalled something a close friend and member of our extended family said to me after he finished reading the fourth book in this series. His name is Marty Dylla, a giant of a man in heart, soul, and body. He said, "I can’t wait to see how you handle the Lombardi years." I reveal these words of his because they typify the pressure I was getting from so many other people who had read the first four books in this collection as well as all five of my Green Bay Packers Facts & Trivia books.

     Well, I had to accommodate them sooner or later. I chose later, sorry to say.

AVAIABLE AT AMAZON.COM

LOMBARDI'S DESTINY

PART TWO

​THE HISTORY OF THE

GREEN BAY PACKERS

VOLUME 6
 
ISBN-13: 978-0910937-80-1 TRADE PAPERBACK

The 6th volume in the series, The History of the Green Bay Packers, LOMBARDI'S DESTINY – PART ONE by Larry Names, chronicles Vince Lombardi's the next two years as head coach of the Green Bay Packers.

"THE PLAYOFF BOWL IS FOR LOSERS." - V. LOMBARDI
  • The second part of Vince Lombardi's tenure as head coach of the Green Bay Packers begins with the gambling investigation and scandal that struck the National Football League and resulted in the suspension of two of the league's star players. Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras put up a fight over his punishment, but the Golden Boy from Notre Dame and then star halfback for the Green Bay Packers Paul Hornung swallowed hard, admitted his wrongdoing, and humbly accepted his penalty.

  • Vince Lombardi took Hornung's involvement hard, and so did his teammates and all Packerdom fans. They bemoaned the fact Hornung would be lost to the Packers when he was in his prime. Lombardi bit the bullet and redesigned his team to work without Hornung. The veterans on the team worked harder than ever as well. The result was one of the greatest regular seasons in their long history.

  • At the same time, the cold war between the NFL and its rival American Football League became a little hotter. Attendance at AFL games continued to rise, and television money for both leagues set new records. Each league played its own brand of football and drew its own kind of fans. Everyone who followed the pro sport knew that change was in the air, and it would only be a matter of time until the two leagues merged. The only question remaining was: When?

  • Lombardi's Destiny Part 2 takes professional football history through that exciting time of the mid-1960s.

241 pages

33 b&w photos

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