With 74 days left until the start of the NFL season, our countdown to the big day continues. Thursday, Sept. 4, is the day when the Green Bay Packers travel to Seattle to take on the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks. Over the course of the next 74 days we focus on the number that represents the days remaining … today its two numbers – 74.
The most recent player to wear the number, Marshall Newhouse, left town this past spring through free agency, but there have been a few others who have worn the number well - Dave Roller and Lester Archambeau are a couple.
For an in-depth look at every number and the players who wore them, we highly recommend “Packers by the Numbers: Jersey Numbers and the Players Who Wore Them,” by John Maxymuk.
Aaron Kampman is another recent player who is one of the best to wear the number. He played eight years in Green Bay, a popular player who, at the end of his time with the Packers, suffered a knee injury before moving on to play the final two years of his career in Jacksonville.
Kampman played 112 games in Green Bay, recording 54 sacks and 320 tackles. He also forced 11 fumbles and recovered four fumbles during his days with the Packers.
However, we will focus on another #74 today – Henry Jordan – one of those defensive linemen from the 1960s.
Jordan was originally selected by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round (52nd overall) of the 1957 NFL Draft. In one of his first deals after coming to Green Bay, head coach Vince Lombardi traded for Jordan for a fourth round pick.
It turned out to be a pretty good selection by Lombardi – Jordan was a four-time Pro Bowler and five-time First-Team All-Pro.
Here is how Maxumuk describes Jordan:
Henry Jordan was a small, devastatingly quick and intelligent pass-rushing defensive tackle. In perhaps his most memorable game, he sacked Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel four times in the 1967 playoffs to help the Packers advance to the Ice Bowl.
Colts Hall of Fame guard Jim Parker said of him that, ‘After I play Green Bay my ankles hurt all week. I had to stay on the balls of my feet against Henry because I never know what he’s going to do next. Other tackles don’t have Henry’s moves.’
Some were undoubtedly moves Henry picked up as he advanced to the NCAA finals in wrestling in 1957.
Henry was typical of the 1960s Packers in a number of ways. He was fast and smart; linemen and linebackers in particular had to be able to move and think in Lombardi’s system. Henry also was articulate and witty; he was president of his class four years in a row in high school, vice president of his class at the University of Virginia, and like so many of his teammates, always good for a clever comment.
Once, he said he was going to continue playing for ‘the love of the game, the love of money, and the fear of Lombardi.’ Another time, after a win, Jorndan’s elation was tempered by the thought that under Lombardi, ‘We’ll walking to the movies Tuesday morning and we’ll think we lost the game.’ In the 1960s, the Packers were all over magazines, newspapers, and television because they won and because they were extremely good at dealing with the media.
Ater retirement, Jorday, again like so many of his teammates, was very successful in business. The Packers of that era coupled their intelligence with Lombardi-like discipline to succeeding a number of arenas. Jordan unfortunately suffered a fatal heart attack while jogging in 1977. He was 42 and sadly left a wife and three children. His election to Canton was posthumous.