On Now
Coming Up
  • Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 6:00 PM CDT Packers 1K Kids Run

    Back to Football also includes the 1K Kids Run, presented by WPS Health Insurance. Kids 10 years old and younger will have the opportunity to run a Lambeau Lap on Friday, July 25, at 6 p.m. Registration for the Kids Run is $10 and all participants will receive a Packers 1K Run t-shirt, a logoed bag and a participant medal.

    http://www.packers.com/5k

  • Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 7:00 PM CDT Movie Night at Lambeau Field

    Movie Night at Lambeau Field will return this year on Friday, July 25, following the 1K Kids Run. The event is free and open to the public, and concessions will be available throughout the movie. More details will be announced at a later date.

    Time listed above is subject to change.

  • Sat., Jul. 26, 2014 8:20 AM - 10:20 AM CDT *Public practice *Any practices moved inside to the Don Hutson Center due to inclement weather, poor field conditions or for any other reason will be closed to the public due to space limitations. All other practices listed are expected to be open unless listed otherwise. All outdoor practices are expected to be held on Ray Nitschke Field (across from the Resch Center). All times indicated are Central.
  • Sat., Jul. 26, 2014 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT Live McCarthy press conference Head Coach Mike McCarthy will be available to media in the Lambeau Field Media Auditorium.
  • Sat., Jul. 26, 2014 6:30 PM CDT Packers 5K Run/Walk

    The fifth annual ‘5K Run/Walk at Lambeau Field,’ is set for Saturday, July 26, at 6:30 p.m.

    The computer-timed run is highlighted by a neighborhood route that ultimately takes participants into Lambeau Field and around the famed gridiron. The event has a special finish line – the Packers’ ‘G’ painted on turf located in the parking lot.

    All participants will receive a Packers 5K Run T-shirt, a logoed bag, and a bib number and timing chip. To celebrate the race’s fifth anniversary, all participants will receive a commemorative medal. In addition, photos will be taken on the course and will be available at no cost on the Packers 5K Run website.

    Packers-themed awards will be presented to the top three finishers in each age group. An awards ceremony will take place following the conclusion of the race.

    Registration, which is $25 for adults and $15 for children (12 and younger), will be available online beginning Friday, May 23, at www.packers.com/5k. Mail-in registration is also an option, with forms available online and in person at Lambeau Field. Runners can also register at the Bellin Run Expo on Friday, June 13, at Astor Park in Green Bay. Early registration is encouraged. After July 13, registration fees will increase to $30 and $20, respectively.

  • Sun., Jul. 27, 2014 8:20 AM - 10:20 AM CDT *Public practice *Any practices moved inside to the Don Hutson Center due to inclement weather, poor field conditions or for any other reason will be closed to the public due to space limitations. All other practices listed are expected to be open unless listed otherwise. All outdoor practices are expected to be held on Ray Nitschke Field (across from the Resch Center). All times indicated are Central.

Hall of Famers

Willie Wood - Class of 1989
Safety (1960-71)

One of the most exceptional defensive players in NFL history, Willie Wood almost saw his goal of playing professional football pass him by.

A quarterback at USC, Wood was bypassed in the draft and had to resort to a letter-writing campaign to get a shot in the pros. Writing letters on Wood's behalf was his Washington, D.C., Boys Club coach, Bill Butler, who had used similar methods to attract USC coaches years earlier.

The challenges facing Wood in trying to make his way in the NFL were multiple. For starters, Wood was entering professional football in an era of prejudice when black athletes were largely considered unfit for the quarterback position. Beyond that, Wood was coming off a severe collar bone injury that had hampered him over two collegiate seasons, and, at only 160 pounds, he was vastly undersized.

Wood's letters went out to several teams including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams, but only the Packers responded.

Slotted for defense, Wood went into training camp against 24 other defensive backs. He made the team, but played sparingly as a rookie, seeing most of his time on punt returns.

However, in 1961, his second NFL season, Wood got his chance and made five interceptions filling in down the stretch for an injured Jess Whittenton. Meanwhile, he continued to return punts, leading the league with a 16.2-yard average and two returns for touchdowns.

One season later, in 1962, Wood made a career-best nine interceptions at safety and was named to the Pro Bowl for the first of what would be eight times over his career (1962, 1964-70).

In the Packers' 16-7 win over the New York Giants in the NFL Championship game that season, Wood made a touchdown-saving tackle on a kickoff return.

Although undersized coming into the league, the 5-foot-10 Wood got his weight up to 190 pounds. He was still considered on the small side, but gained a reputation as one of the league's hardest hitters.

Tackle statistics are unavailable for that era, but Vince Lombardi, Wood's head coach for five NFL title-winning seasons and two Super Bowl championships, called him the team's surest tackler.

Meanwhile, Wood led the Packers in interceptions five seasons (1961-63, '65, '70) and garnered Associated Press All-Pro honors six times, including consensus All-Pro recognition in 1965 and 1966.

In Super Bowl I, Wood set up the first of three second-half touchdowns for the Packers with an interception and a 50-yard return that gave the Packers possession at the 5-yard line. The Packers only led 14-10 at the time, but went on to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs by the score of 35-10.

Respected for his toughness and ability to play through injury, Wood played 166 consecutive games over his Packers career, a stretch bettered by only Brett Favre and Forrest Gregg.

Wood wore jersey number 24 during his Packers career. After retiring from the game following the 1971 seasons, he took up an assistant coaching position with the San Diego Chargers.

In 1975, Wood became the first black head coach in professional football, taking over the reins of the Philadelphia Bell, a team in the World Football League. The WFL quickly folded, but Wood became the first black head coach in the Canadian Football League a few years later, leading the Toronto Argonauts in 1980 and 1981.

William Vernell Wood was born December 23, 1936, in Washington, D.C.

Wood's Career Stats courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau:

InterceptionsPunt Returns
YearGIntYdsTDRetYdsAvgTDFumTot. TD
1960 (GB) 12 0 0 0 16 106 6.6 0 2 0
1961 (GB) 14 5 52 0 14 225 16.1 2 1 2
1962 (GB) 14 9 132 0 23 273 11.9 0 0 0
1963 (GB) 14 5 67 0 19 169 8.9 0 0 0
1964 (GB) 14 3 73 1 19 252 13.3 0 1 1
1965 (GB) 14 6 65 0 13 38 2.9 0 0 0
1966 (GB) 14 3 38 1 22 82 3.7 0 0 1
1967 (GB) 14 4 60 0 12 3 0.3 0 0 0
1968 (GB) 14 2 54 0 26 126 4.8 0 1 0
1969 (GB) 14 3 40 0 8 38 4.8 0 0 0
1970 (GB) 14 7 110 0 11 58 5.3 0 1 0
1971 (GB) 14 1 8 0 4 21 5.3 0 0 0
Totals 166 48 699 2 187 1,391 7.4 2 6 4

 

From The Archives:
A letter from Bill Butler to Vince Lombardi - Dec. 10, 1959

 

Dear Mr. Lombardi,

I am Bill Butler, athletics instructor at the Boys Club in Washington, D.C., and my reason for writing is simply because I was told by Willie Wood, QB and co-captain of the Southern California Trojans, that you were interested in him, but I didn't see his name on your draft selections and I wondered why.

Willie came up under my wing at the Boys Club and I know he's a terrific football player ... I can say quite safely that the Trojans' offensive style of play certainly didn't embellish Willie's all-around ability by any means, for this kid is a "thinking man's" ballplayer, a real good field general of the Eddie LaBaron mold, good ball handler, strong runner and a tremendous passer. He can really throw the long ball.

Mr. Lombardi, if you could see this kid unshackled you would really agree with me.

If you hadn't contemplated giving him a chance, just try him one time and I'll guarantee you'll be glad you did. If you can find the time, I sure would like to hear from you and maybe we at the Boys Club can be told by you the things maybe we fail to see.

Respectfully,
Bill Butler