Edwin's Tenure Dates Back To Lombardi


Carol Edwin remembers being extremely nervous every morning coming to work when she was first employed by the Green Bay Packers.

Hired as a receptionist in 1965 after a nerve-racking interview with Head Coach Vince Lombardi, Edwin could never quite tell just what the legendary coach thought of her.

"I couldn't figure out if he liked me or disliked me," Edwin recalled. "He had a hard time figuring out names, he would forget names. He was terrible with names, actually. But he would always remember mine. I didn't know if that was good or bad."

That's just one of many memories Edwin has to draw upon now that she's retiring after five different decades as a Packers' employee. Edwin was a receptionist for Lombardi's final three seasons as coach (1965-67) before taking a break from work to start a family. She returned as a receptionist in 1975, moved into the ticket office in the late 1980s and has been a ticket office supervisor since 1995. Her last official day of work is Wednesday.

That's a total of 36 seasons "wearing green and gold" for her, all because her husband Fred persuaded her all those years ago to respond to the newspaper ad for a team receptionist, noting that with their house near Lambeau Field, she could walk to work.

That short walk helped her get in most days before Lombardi, whom she described as a truly gentle person. As afraid as some employees might have been to make a mistake around him, it was best to just admit a mistake and not try to cover it up, even if you thought differently at the time.

"At that time, to get to our office in the old building, it was upstairs, and you could tell if he was going to be in a good mood or a bad mood when he came up those stairs," Edwin said. "He had two smiles, a real smile and a fake smile. If he had that fake smile in the morning, you were in for a rough day. There was going to be a little bit of yelling going around."

Like many longtime Packers fans who followed the team through the lean years of the 1970s and 1980s, Edwin felt her career as an employee come full circle when the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans 11 years ago.

Edwin had attended the AFL-NFL World Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 15, 1967, in Los Angeles (now known as Super Bowl I), riding on a train with eight office employees to Milwaukee and then flying out west.

The return trip to the title game 30 years later required many long hours of work instead of just some sightseeing, but it was well worth it, as well as interesting to see how much the event had changed.

"Back then, it was not a big production like the Super Bowl is now," Edwin said. "There's really no comparison.

"Going to the Super Bowl in New Orleans, and the whole experience of winning that game, was awesome."

{sportsad300}Edwin says she'll miss all the people she's developed working relationships with over the years the most. That includes many players - too many to name any favorites - as well as many disabled ticket-holders she's been helping to their seat locations for several seasons.

"The only thing is I can be a fan, because on gameday I've always been working," she said. "Now I'll be able to sit in the stands and be Miss Joe fan, and I told some of my ADA people that I'd come and say 'Hi' to them. That's going to be nice."

She's also looking forward to spending more time with her family. She and Fred will celebrate their 46th wedding anniversary in September, and their two grown sons are married and have provided them five grandchildren in all, ranging from 15 months to 19 years of age.

Those are the sons she began to raise during her first "retirement" from the Packers 40 years ago. Before she thought anyone knew she was pregnant for the first time, Edwin told Lombardi she'd be leaving at the end of the 1967 season.

But Lombardi told her he knew she was expecting, with his real smile.

"My last day he wished me luck, and he even gave me a hug," Edwin said. "So maybe he did like me."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content