Taking a look back at 5 of the greatest Green Bay Packers of all time

With another loss in the column, we know it’s a frustrating start to the season, but as even Green Bay Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers stated so eloquently, there’s no need to panic.

That said, it’s nice to think about something else for a change, and as we await the next game scheduled for next Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, how about we take a look back at five of the greatest Green Bay Packers of all time?

Sometimes, it’s in periods of worry and doubt that it’s best to reminisce, and hey, it just may remind us of who we are, and that’s Cheeseheads, dear readers, and to the bone.

Oh yeah…and these great men, these players from days gone by, they’re in no particular order…they’re just awesome, plain and simple.

Gale Gillingham

He played his college ball back in Minnesota, although he was born in Madison, Wisconsin. He did come back to his home state for his pro ball career however, playing with the Packers for 10 seasons from 1966 to 1976.

Historically, Gillingham was apparently one of the first football players in the entirety of the NFL, to use muscular weight training to aide in his prep for the sport of football, according to his Wikipedia page.

He is a two-time Super Bowl champion; he is in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 67.

Tony Canadeo

Canadeo was probably one of the most heralded backs in the sport of pro football. A back is of course one that plays off the line of scrimmage… Reliable, he definitely was back there; he played for the Packers from 1941 to 1952, but interestingly enough, he missed a lot of the 1944 season and also the entirety of the 1945 season, and all of this because he was off fighting the second World War with his fellow countrymen.

His number #3 has been retired by the team, he is a team Hall-of-Famer, and was an NFL Champion in 1944. He passed in 2003 at the age of 84.

Sterling Sharpe

In 1992, Sharpe was an NFL receiving yards leader, three-time NFL receptions leader. Of course, that isn’t a stretch for a wide receiver, now is it? Certainly not, but especially for one as decorated as him. He had quite the career with the Packers…he was loyal as well, having played his whole career with the team from 1988 to 1994.

Reggie White

Reggie White was taken too soon at the age of 43 back in 2004, but what a career he had. He started his pro football career in the USFL back in the early eighties during that league’s original run. He played for the Memphis Showboats.

It was in 1985 that his NFL career would begin. He played first for the Philadelphia Eagles, but it was perhaps his time with Green Bay that endeared him to the men, women and children of Green Bay, Wisconsin as a star player for the team.

It was in 1997 that he became Super Bowl champion with Green Bay, the team having defeated the New England Patriots. He, of course, accomplished a lot in his career and will be remembered for his smile on the sidelines, his intensity of the gridiron and the legacy he left behind…a mammoth of the NFL for sure – feared, respected and beloved.

Ray Nitschke

The number #66 was retired and yes, that was indeed this man’s number with the Green Bay Packers…a two-time Super Bowl champion, this man had the honor of working under the late, great Vince Lombardi, whom this blog is named after…a large portion of his career, in fact.

Only Gillingham had the honor of playing under him (Vince) from this list, and that was only for a single season.

It was this era that made football fans believe that winning wasn’t everything, it was the only thing…

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while… you don’t do things right once in a while… you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi

Or this golden nugget, which is perhaps my favorite because it applies to more than just football:

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi

Now, Nitschke has had many honors in football, two of which we mentioned at the start of his section here in this piece, but an absolute honor that speaks of his legacy even more, is the fact that in 1998, the Ray Nitschke Memorial Bridge was built in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

I know what you’re thinking, dear readers: That’s it? There are so many more… Well, you’d be right about that. The term ‘tip of the iceberg’ certainly comes to mind.

And that’s reason to join me next time, for yet another trip down memory lane. Stay glued to Lombardi Ave for up-to-the-minute news, and perhaps even more articles like this one down the line.