Letters To Lee Remmel

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Mr. Remmel, I've been a Packer fan since the days of Tobin Rote, Babe Parilli & Fred Cone and I maintain that Brian Noble was one of the all-time Packer greats at linebacker, yet he has never been voted into even the Packer Hall of Fame. Are you able to shed any light on this? I'd surely appreciate it. - Mike (Onalaska, WI)

Mike, I can only speculate with respect to this question. To begin with, some players do not receive the recognition they deserve, possibly because their team - or, in this case, their defense - was not successful as a unit. Whatever the case, Brian was not accorded Pro Bowl or All-Pro honors during his nine-year career, which might initially explain why he has not been enshrined in the Packers Hall of Fame. On the other hand, he does share a club record, having led the team in tackles in four different seasons, 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1991, a significant accomplishment.

I have a copy of the "1997 Official Media Guide." On page 299 it states there was a Packer game played at Ishpeming on October 19, 1919. Since I live 4 miles away from Ishpeming, MI, I was just wondering if that game was played in Ishpeming, MI, or was it a different Ishpeming? - John (Negaunee, MI)

John, the game to which you have reference was indeed played in Ishpeming, Michigan. The Packers also played two games against the neighboring Stambaugh, Mich., Miners, in 1920.

In one of those games against Stambaugh, a Packers player reportedly suffered a broken bone on three consecutive plays. That may explain why the Packers did not play the Miners after the '20 season.

Mr. Remmel, I have a question. I grew up a Packer fan in the early 80's with Lynn Dickey and the like. My question is simple. Who has been the most prolific tight end in the history of the Packers? I loved Paul Coffman as a child, then I had Mark Chmura as an adolescent. And in my adulthood I have Bubba Franks. Who has the best stats? I would love to think it was Coff, but I know it is probably Bubba. Thank you Mr. Remmel. - Jeffrey (Cedar Falls, IA)

Jeffrey, your wish has been fulfilled. Paul Coffman remains, by a substantial margin, the most prolific pass-receiving tight end in Packers history. In fact, with 322 career receptions, he is the seventh-ranking receiver in the team's 86-year history. He also is the only tight end in team annals to catch 50 or more passes in three different seasons - 56 in 1979 (when he led the entire National Football Conference in receptions), 55 in 1981 and 54 in 1983.

Lee, I was wondering what happened to the Jim Thorpe trophies the Packers got when they won championship before the Super Bowl. Are they in the Packers Hall of Fame or somewhere else? - Ryan (Superior, WI)

Ryan, we've also been wondering. The Jim Thorpe Trophies awarded for the Packers' 1936 and 1939 NFL titles are on display in the Packers Hall of Fame, but there is none for the team's 1944 championship - or, for that matter, any of the five championships they won in the '60s (1961-62 and 1965-66-67). The Pro Football Hall of Fame, contacted in this process, also does not have a clue as to where any such trophies for those years might be.

Hello Mr. Remmel. If I recall correctly, I remember reading that during the time of Curly Lambeau's contract negotiations around 1949, he attempted to purchase the Packers and move them to California. Was there any possibility of this happening, given the Packers' status as a publicly owned team? - Dave (Des Moines, IA)

Dave, I think, technically, Lambeau could have purchased the team at that time. But, as a practical matter, I'm confident there is no way that the organization would have sold the franchise to Curly, who was something of a persona non grata with a number of board members at the time, or anyone else, for matter. The Packers were too deeply imbedded in the fabric of the community and the state of Wisconsin for that to have happened.

I have been looking for the origin of using Roman Numerals to identify the Super Bowls. I just read your article "Super Bowl I" to remember, which mentions that there were no numbers until III. Can you tell me how it was started using the Roman numerals? - Yvonne (Philadelphia, PA)

Yvonne, the use of Roman numerals to designate Super Bowls began with V, won by the Baltimore Colts over the Dallas Cowboys 16-12 on Jim O'Brien's 32-yard field goal with five seconds remaining.

The Roman numerals were adopted to clarify any confusion that may occur because the NFL Championship Game - The Super Bowl - is played in the year following a chronologically recorded seasons according to the NFL's annual Super Bowl publication, "Notes, Quotes, Anecdotes, and Lists." Numerals I through IV were added later for the first four Super Bowls.

Lee, Thank you very much for helping me with my question a few months ago regarding "The Vince Lombardi Show". I would like to follow up on this question by asking if you know of any other Packers coaches or players having similar shows on television prior to the Mike Holmgren era? Thanks much!!! - Marin (West Lawn, PA)

Marin, I think it has been customary for every head coach to have a weekly, in-season television show, starting with Lombardi. Some, including Mike Sherman, also have even done a regularly scheduled radio show.

I get the connection between Wisconsin and cheese. But how did cheese get connected to the Packers, as in the cheeseheads? I asked during a recent Lambeau Field tour and the guide really didn't know. Just kind of urban legend. Thanks. - Anne (Benicia, CA)

Anne, I don't know if the "answer" I have been able to come up with is the correct one - but it is the only one I have been able to unearth.

Excerpted from "History of the Cheesehead," put forth on the Internet by Foamation, claiming to be "manufacturers of the original cheesehead," the somewhat commercial explanation reads as follows: "In 1987, an idea was born on the south side of Milwaukee. Wisconsinites, like Foamation's "Father of Fromage," Ralph Bruno, tend to have a healthy sense of humor about themselves. Whether an insulting barb comes from a neighbor is laid out on one's self, it is digested and churned out in the best possible fashion.

"The birth of the world famous Cheesehead hat was not initially about fashion, but a gouda, self-deprecating response to those we kindly call the 'flatlanders.' Riding high from their only Super Bowl victory, fans of Chicago sports began ridiculing citizens of the Dairy State by calling them 'Cheeseheads.' They probably didn't predict the amount of pride and success that would follow. Cheesehead products have now sold in all 50 states and over 30 nations around the globe."

(Editor's note: A personal opinion: Reference to Packers fans as "Cheeseheads" does them a great disservice by essentially depicting them as country bumpkins.)

Continuing an association with the team that is more than 55 years old, Lee Remmel was named the first official Team Historian of the Green Bay Packers in February 2004. The former *Green Bay Press-Gazette reporter and Packers public relations director, Remmel will write regular columns for Packers.com as part of his new assignment.

In addition to those articles, Remmel will answer fan questions in a monthly Q&A column. To submit a question to Remmel, click here. *

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