The Green Bay Packers are seeking their 13th NFL Title and 4th Super Bowl victory when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Dallas on Sunday, Feb. 6th. The Packers held off the Chicago Bears 21-14 to win the NFC Championship game on Sunday.
Living in Green Bay, I marvel at this organization’s continued excellence. As my daily commute takes me over the Hwy 172 Bridge, I can’t help but think about how special this story is. It takes me 10 minutes at the most to get half way around this city. Multiply those numbers several times and you would get your daily commute in Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles or any other NFL City.
So how does little old Green Bay survive in this league of giant locals that call themselves home to NFL teams? Well, the NFL gets a lot of credit for that. Salary caps and profit sharing are all a part of the success. But one shouldn’t assume that the Packers are an organization with their hands out, waiting for the daily offering either. They actually run their business with such efficiency that the revenue created is enough to pay into the profit sharing pool, rather than taking out.
The team has no meddling owner. The organization’s management makeup is made up of the communities most successful businessmen and women that make the team profitable. The teams Executive Committee hires a team President & CEO. That person in turn, is responsible for hiring the Packers General Manager, who handles the rest of the football operations. The two sides do a good job of staying out of each others business, which is what makes it all work.
Bigger cities have other sports franchises and while their fans love the NFL, there’s always pro basketball, baseball and hockey to fall back on. In Green Bay, it’s the Packers! Fans take their cheese headsand head out to the airport to send their team off and welcome them back home again after road games. And those are the fans that don’t make the trip. Green Bay has one of the best traveling fan bases in the NFL. They show up to support the Packers and many times take over stadiums in the process, with their undying love for their team and their never say die attitude that goes along with it.
Drive down a city street in Green Bay or its surrounding neighborhoods during home games and you’ll have no traffic problems. Fans are either at the game or sitting at home watching on their big screen televisions.
The city of Green Bay population is around 150,000, no doubt, all Packer fans. It’s a love affair between the people and their NFL team, the Packers. It’s a story that could never be repeated anywhere in this pro sports landscape, but it works here, because Green Bay is one of the places where it all started.