Well it’s another Wednesday without the NFL. I suppose there’s other sports, but I wanted to take the time today to talk about my favorite team. I’m from Green Bay, so of course it’s gotta be the Packers. This is my top ten list in terms of who I think are the greatest Packers of all time. I’m also including impact on the franchise, so that could shuffle the rankings in ways you wouldn’t expect. Anyway, here we go:
10. Jim Taylor- I’ll start the list with the only man to beat out Jim Brown for a rushing title. That alone speaks volumes, as does his epic performance in the 1962 NFL Championship Game.
9. Paul Hornung- Taylor’s backfield mate, he was the engine that made the early Lombardi Packers roll. His 176 points in the 1960 in just 12 games shows how much he contributed to his team’s scoring.
8. Aaron Rodgers- It’s not easy to replace a legend, but Rodgers has done just that. He has carved out a legacy in the passing era that few can rival. The fact that he is eighth in my rankings shows how blessed the Packers have been.
7. Willie Wood- A five time champion that served as a feared safety on the Lombardi Packers. His interception in the first Super Bowl changed the complexion of the game.
6. Reggie White- The Minister of Defense, White brought leadership Green Bay desperately needed. He arguably remains the biggest free agent signing in history. He only ranks here because most of his career was spent with Philly, but he showed he still had plenty of gas left in the tank by helping to lead the Packers back to the Super Bowl.
5. Forrest Gregg- Any man Vince Lombardi calls the best player he’s ever coached is definitely cracking my top five. The anchor to that offensive line, Gregg was as tough as they come and always seemed to execute his blocks perfectly.
4. Ray Nitschke- The heart and soul of the 60’s Packers defense, Nitschke remains one of the most feared linebackers of all time. The MVP of the 1962 NFL Championship game, Nitschke proved to be formidable as an all around defender. In addition to his hard hitting reputation, he also intercepted 25 passes in his career.
3. Don Hutson- The top three starts off with one of the most dominant player in NFL history. Hutson played wide receiver and put up numbers no one else could compete with at the time. He also played defensive back, adding 30 interceptions. A player ahead of his time, Hutson left a lasting impact on the game, influencing the rise of the passing offense.
2. Bart Starr- A man that could easily be number one. Author of the most famous play in Packers history, Starr led the team to more championships than anyone else. He gained the respect of his coaches and teammates, and is perhaps the most revered player in team history.
1. Brett Favre- Favre lifted a dormant franchise back to previous heights. People can complain about the end of his career all they want, but to deny what he did on the field and meant to Green Bay when he was there would be asinine. He wasn’t the only reason Green Bay became a perennial contender, but he is the main representative people pick. He made Green Bay fun and exciting again, won a lot of games, and put together a stretch for the ages with his MVP runs.
There’s my list. I honestly agonized about the top three choices, but I think it’s a pretty decent turnout. Favre probably gets the nod because of when I grew up, and I wouldn’t argue with anyone wanting to put Starr or Hutson at number one either. I did not include Curly Lambeau on the list due to his role as coach even when he was a player. If I had, he would have to rank very much near the top. Anyway, that gets us through another week. Football can’t come soon enough.