Two years after he co-founded the Packers with Curly Lambeau, George Calhoun began writing a piece called The Dope Sheet, which served as the official press release and game program from 1921-24.
Honoring Calhoun, the first publicity director, the Packers are running this weekly feature as their release, which is being made available to fans exclusively on Packers.com.
A complete edition of the Dope Sheet will be available each week during the season in PDF format, located in the Packers.com Game Centers.
Here are some highlights from the Week 17 Dope Sheet:
THIS WEEK'S NOTABLE STORYLINES:
-The Packers, who on Friday clinched both the NFC North and the conference's No. 3 seed in the 2004 playoffs, look for momemtum in their 2004 regular-season finale.
-The game has no implications on the playoffs, but the Packers will play to win.
-Green Bay hasn't lost consecutive games to the Bears since 1991-92. The last time Chicago swept the season series was 1991.
-The Packers haven't lost a road game to the Bears since 1993. The 10-game streak includes nine contests at Soldier Field and one at Champaign Memorial Stadium (2002).
-Several team and individual single-season Packers records are within reach. What's more, Brett Favre can clear both the 4,000-yard and 30-touchdown milestone in the same season for a third time (also 1995 and 1998).
-Green Bay (5-2) bids for its best road record since 1972, when the Packers were 6-1.
NATIONAL TELEVISION: FOX Sports, with play-by-play man Joe Buck, color analysts Troy Aikman and Cris Collinsworth, sideline reporter Pam Oliver, producer Richie Zyontz and director Artie Kempner, will air the game to most of the country. The crew produces a Packers game for the seventh time this season.
LOCAL RADIO: Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 62-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and Larry McCarren (color). The broadcast also is available to NFL Field Pass subscribers on packers.com.
FALLEN HERO: The coaches, players and staff of the Green Bay Packers organization extend their sincere condolences to the family of Reggie White. White, whose choice in 1993 to sign as an unrestricted free agent with Green Bay helped resurrect the franchise, passed away in North Carolina Sunday. He was 43.
"I was shocked to hear of the death of Reggie. He was a great friend of mine and a great friend of my family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sara and his family. It's hard to think that he is gone. It was just last week that I spoke to him about a project he was trying to put together with me and a couple other players.
"I had the utmost respect for Reggie White as a player. He may have been best player I've ever seen and certainly was the best I've ever played with or against.
"He was an integral part of the Packers' success, no question. Had it not been for Reggie, we don't make it to the Super Bowl. That's how important he was to the team. When he signed as a free agent, he changed the way people in and out of football looked at Green Bay as an NFL city. He helped the franchise get back to where it had been...at the top.
"He made the defense what it was during our run...the best in the league. He could turn the course of the game in a single play...and did it many times for us. It was fun to watch him play.
"Off the field, he did so much for so many people. He really reached a lot of people and was still involved in fundraising. He had just helped out at a charity dinner of mine in Mississippi a couple years ago and I helped him out with something last year. He was a great friend on and off the field. We'll all miss him."
- Quarterback Brett Favre, teammate 1993-98
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Decatur Staleys/Chicago Bears:
All-time regular season: 77-84-6
All-time, Soldier Field: 16-15-0
Last meeting, regular season: Sept. 19, Lambeau Field, Bears won, 21-10
Last meeting, regular season, Chicago: Sept. 29, 2003, Soldier Field, Packers won, 38-23
Playoff meeting: Dec. 14, 1941, Wrigley Field, NFL Western Division playoff, Bears won, 33-14
Mike Sherman: 54-30-0, .643, fifth NFL season, fifth with Packers
Lovie Smith: 5-10-0, .333, first NFL season, first with Bears
Head to Head: Smith 1-0 vs. Sherman (2004)
vs. Opponent: Sherman 7-2 vs. Bears, Smith 1-0 vs. Packers
MIKE SHERMAN...Is in his fifth year as Packers head coach, and fourth as executive vice president and general manager. Sherman also:
-With a win Friday, surpassed No. 4 Bart Starr (53, 1975-83) on the team's all-time victory list. His 54 wins are more than any Packers coach other than Curly Lambeau (212), Vince Lombardi (98) and Mike Holmgren (84).
-Inspired his players with a passionate speech on the eve of an Oct. 17 win at Detroit. The Packers, 1-4 at the time, are 8-2 since.
-After Tom Rossley underwent a heart angioplasty Oct. 12, stepped forward to serve as the team's primary play caller.
-Now has more wins at Minnesota (3-2) in five trips than Mike Holmgren (1-6) had in seven seasons as Green Bay head caoch. Also has more wins against Minnesota (7-3) than Holmgren (5-9).
-Is 24-9 against division foes.
-Is now 6-0 against teams that played in the Super Bowl the previous season, including Sept. 13 at Carolina.
-Since 1970, only George Siefert, Chuck Knox and Joe Gibbs have posted a better regular-season mark over their first four years.
LOVIE SMITH...like Sherman is the 13th head coach in his franchise's history, officially joining the Bears Jan. 15. He has 21 years experience as a coach, combined at the college and pro levels.
-Smith joined the Bears from the St. Louis Rams, where he spent three seasons (2001-03) as defensive coordinator and molded one of the league's top units. He helped the club return to the Super Bowl in 2001. Last season, his unit was among league leaders in takeaways, defensive TDs and sacks.
-The Texas native has coached on playoff teams four of the last five years, and five of his eight NFL campaigns.
-Brett Favre and the Packers know Smith from his five seasons (1996-2000) as linebackers coach in Tampa Bay, where he helped turn around a defense that hadn't finished above 12th in the four seasons before his arrival. In Tampa, Smith coached under highly regarded defensive minds Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin.
-A former All-American safety, Smith coached collegiately at Tulsa, Arizona State, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio State and Wisconsin, where he tutored linebackers in 1987.
THE PACKERS-BEARS SERIES: These teams mark meeting No. 168 in another chapter of one of sports' greatest rivalries. Sunday, the Packers and Bears will flirt with the winter lakefront weather to close their respective seasons.
The Packers' recent run against Chicago (20 wins in last 24 meetings) has sent shockwaves through history. Before the run, the Bears led the NFL's richest rivalry by 23 games, 80-57-6. Now, Chicago's lead is only seven, 84-77-6. The last time the gap was closer? The end of World War II and the Don Hutson era, 1945, when the Packers trailed 27-20-5.
-The last time Green Bay led the series? On the heels of its three straight NFL championships, 1932, when the Packers led 11-10-5. Two months after Babe Ruth allegedly called his shot at Wrigley Field in the '32 World Series, the Bears stole from Green Bay a fourth straight title (which at the time was determined by league standings). Chicago barely finished atop the league standings, which unlike today did not count ties. Had the league counted ties in standings, the Packers would have won. The next year, 1933, the NFL began determining its champion with postseason games.
-On the Bears' home turf, the Packers have won 10 straight and 11 of their last 12.
-The Packers meet Lovie Smith for the second time as Bears head coach. Smith on Jan. 15 elevated one of sports' richest rivalries to another level, saying his No. 1 goal, ahead of winning the division and Super Bowl, was to beat Green Bay.
-The Packers went 18-2 against Chicago from 1994-2003. On only four occasions in NFL history has a team enjoyed a better stretch against a single opponent.
-Chicago on Sept. 19 spoiled the Packers' home opener returned a favor Green Bay paid the Bears Sept. 29, 2003, in Soldier Field's rededication game.
-Contrary to some reports, Smith's teams have defeated the Packers only three straight times. Green Bay against Smith during his career as an NFL coach is 8-6 (all Brett Favre starts).
-Two former Bears defensive coordinators are on Mike Sherman's staff. Current Green Bay coordinator Bob Slowik held that role under Dave Wannstedt from 1993-98; the Bears defense ranked eighth in the NFL over that span. Also, current special assistant Vince Tobin preceded Slowik, replacing Buddy Ryan in 1986.
Other notable connections...Johnny Roland coached 10 years in Chicago (1983-92); he was Walter Payton's position coach when the legend broke Jim Brown's record...Director of player development Edgar Bennett finished his playing career in Chicago (1998-99)...Offensive coordinator Tom Rossley spent two seasons (1997-98) as a Bears assistant...The late Mark Hatley, the Bears' top personnel executive from 1998-2001, also coached Lovie Smith in 1976 at Tulsa...Smith was a Wisconsin assistant in 1987...Long-snapper Rob Davis held that role for the Bears in 1996...Antonio Chatman played for the Arena League's Chicago Rush.
LAST MEETING: Sept. 19, Lambeau Field, Bears won, 21-10:
-Mike Brown, whose 95-yard fumble return for a touchdown sparked the victory, was lost with a right Achilles' tendon injury in the waning minutes. Thomas Jones rushed for 152 yards to help the Bears to their first win of the season.
-When Lovie Smith was hired as Bears coach on Jan. 15, he declared his top priority was knocking off the Packers, the two-time defending division champs.
-Brett Favre threw two interceptions, but the killer was Ahman Green's fumble just before halftime. On first down from the 2 just after the two-minute warning, linebacker Brian Urlacher stormed into the backfield and stripped Green. Brown scooped it up and rumbled 95 yards down the Bears' jubilant sideline to give Chicago a 14-3 halftime lead instead of a 10-7 deficit.
-Linebacker Nick Barnett recovered David Terrell 's fumble with four minutes remaining, but right tackle John Tait saved the score with a lunging tackle at midfield. Green Bay would have been down just 21-17 with two timeouts left.