Letters To Lee Remmel

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Hey Lee, what game are you looking forward to seeing the most this season? The Packers have to have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. Personally I'm looking forward to the Atlanta Falcons game, but there are a lot of tough choices. - Mike (Kansas City, Mo.)

Mike, I would say the Monday night game in Lambeau Field on Nov. 21 when we will host our division and neighborhood rivals, the Minnesota Vikings.

Hello, Mr. Remmel, What year was Old City Stadium dismantled? Was there any ceremony associated with it, and what happened to the remnants of the stadium? Thank you. - Dave (Des Moines, Iowa)

Dave, the Packers last played in Old City Stadium on Nov. 18, 1956, a day on which, regrettably, they lost their "finale" to the San Francisco 49ers. As to when it was "dismantled," the caption beneath a photograph which appeared in the Green Bay Press-Gazette disclosed, "The last remains of City Stadium were torn down on July 12, 1966," or approximately 10 years after the Packers played their final game there. In the photo those witnessing the demolition included several former Packers players, among them F. L. "Jug" Earp, Gus Rosenow, Bernard "Boob" Darling, John Martinkovic and John DesJardins.

The stadium site, by the way, is still in use. Green Bay East High School has continued to play its home games there, in front of "new," scaled-down stands (aluminum bleachers) seating approximately 2,200. The stadium's capacity, prior to the "dismantling," was 24,800.

Hi, Mr. Remmel, with a lot of the teams these days changing uniform styles, do you think the Packers will ever come up with a new uniform? Not that I want them to, I like what we have had all these years. I just thought I would get your insight on the subject. Thanks for your time - Keith (Anwan, Ill.)

Keith, according to Packers President/CEO Bob Harlan, there are no plans at this time to make any changes in the Packers uniform. He did say that when Ron Wolf was serving as the team's general manager, Wolf had given consideration in the mid-'90s to changing from the current gold of the uniform to the Notre Dame gold, but when there was immediate and vocal opposition after word of the suggested change got around, the idea was promptly abandoned. I have heard nothing to suggest that any changes in the uniform are on the horizon. Personally, I think our uniform is distinctive as well as historic and see no particular reason to change it.

Hi, Lee. I was wondering about the origins of the term "Cheesehead." I have heard that a Chicago Bears fan came up with the idea, thinking of it as an insult. Is that true? - Nick (Davis, Calif.)

Nick, as far as I can determine, there is no authenticated "story" of how the cheesehead identification came into being. However, according to a website listed as www.cheesehead.com, it may have sprung from the circumstances you outlined in your question. The cheesehead website says, I part, "Riding high from their only Super Bowl victory (following the 1985 season), 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 -- three straight NFC Central championships and back-to-back trips to the Super Bowl for the Packers in the '90s, not to mention another "trifecta" of division titles the past three years.

Why didn't the Packers sign Reggie White after he retired, and he went on to play for the Carolina Panthers? - Ethan, (Onalaksa, Wis.)

Ethan, at the time Reggie decided to end his retirement, he was officially on the Packers' reserve/retired list and he and then-General Manager Ron Wolf discussed his possible return to the team's roster as an active player but reportedly could not reach agreement on appropriate "compensation." When Carolina subsequently expressed interest in signing Reggie at a figure he was comfortable with, Ron agreed to permit Reggie to come out of retirement and sign with the Panthers.

Why did they stop selling stock for the Packers? Will they ever sell it again? - Grayson (Merrill, Wis.)

Grayson, the Packers stopped selling stock in 1998 in response to the law of supply and demand. When the fourth and most recent issue was made available, sales were initially strong, according to Packers President/CEO Bob Harlan, but subsequently declined at almost the same rate, prompting the organization to end the sale before the deadline that had been set for terminating the sale of stock.

With respect to the future, Harlan said, "We may sell stock again some day, but there are no plans to do so at this point."

Lee, I vaguely remember the Packers in the 1950's had an equipment truck fire that nearly put them out of business. Could you please clarify this for me? Mahalo! Steve (Hilo, Hawaii)

I have done some extensive research on this subject, Steve, and I have been assured that there never has been a fire of significant proportions involving a truck and Packers equipment. You may be thinking of the fire which destroyed Rockwood Lodge in January of 1950, a conflagration for which the Packers were reimbursed to the level of $75,000 via insurance.

I've heard that Vince Lombardi's quote: "Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is" is often misquoted as "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." Is that correct? Thanks. - Brian (Los Angeles, Calif)

Brian, Lombardi delivered a number of "quotes" on the subject of winning over the course of his coaching career. He insisted he never said, "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." One statement he did make on the subject was, "Maybe winning isn't everything, but it sure comes away ahead of whatever is second."

Lee, I heard that a professional wrestler by the name of Lex Luger once played for the Green Bay Packers. Is there any truth to that? What was his real name and when (if at all) did he play for the Green and Gold? Thanks so much for all you do for the Packers and the fans. - Josh (Beloit, Wis.)

Josh, the "real" name of the wrestler Lex Luger was Larry Pfohl. As it turns out, he never played in a league game for Green Bay and thus is not listed on our all-time roster. He did, however, spend the entire (strike-shortened) 1982 season on the team's injured reserve list with a groin problem incurred during training camp. He subsequently returned to training camp in 1983 but was released before the regular season began. A University of Miami (Fla.) product, he joined the Packers as a guard and later was transferred to tackle before being moved back to guard in '83. Pfohl had been a two-year starter for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (in 1979-80) before coming to Green Bay.

Hello Lee, what can you tell me about a player named Joseph "Red" Dunn? I was surprised when I saw his portrait in the Packers Hall of Fame last year. He shared his name with my great-grandfather. - Jeff (Hartford, Wis.)

Jeff, Joseph "Red" Dunn, a blocking back and tailback, was a Marquette University alumnus who joined the Packers in 1927 and played a key role as they became the first team in NFL history to win three consecutive championships (1929-30-31). Dunn, who retired following the '31 season, played in 58 games and passed for 31 touchdowns while scoring six himself. Red played with Milwaukee (1924) and the Chicago Cardinals (1925-26) of the NFL before joining the Packers in 1927.

Hey Lee, I was just wondering if any teams ever tried initiating a trade with the Green Bay Packers for Brett Favre during his career. If so, when? Thanks. - Josh (Edgerton, Wis.)

Josh, Reggie McKenzie, the Packers' director of pro personnel, says that no other NFL team has made an attempt to trade for Brett Lorenzo Favre, presumably because there would never be any scenario under which he would become available. In essence, it would be unthinkable for the Packers to trade Favre.

Lee, you are providing great answers to good questions! Who first used the classic "G" on the helmet? Was it the Green Bay Packers or was it the Georgia Bulldogs? Thanks! - Dave (Fairfield, Calif.)

Dave, as far as can be determined, the Packers were the first team to use the classic 'G' on their helmets, a logo they adopted in 1961.

Why do the Packers have the colors Green and Gold? - Dan (Madison, Wis.)?

Dan, the gold, presumably, is a primary Packers color because of team founder Curly Lambeau's association with Notre Dame, where he was the starting fullback as a freshman in 1918, his only season in collegiate football. Gold is a major uniform color there. The green became a factor considerably later when then General Manager/Head Coach Gene Ronzani (1950-53) noted, "Since we are the Green Bay Packers, we should have some green in the uniform."

Lee, I understand why having fans storm the field in celebration is scorned upon by all professional sports teams. Nonetheless, can you confirm the last time such an activity took place at Lambeau Field? I recall an Oilers/Packers game in 1980 when a postgame celebration ensued. Thanks. - Marty (South Monckton, Md.)

Marty, Jerry Parins, our corporate security officer and longtime former member of the Green Bay Police Department, tells me that the last time "such an activity took place" in Lambeau Field was following a strike-shortened season on Jan. 8 1983, a day on which the Packers defeated the then St. Louis Cardinals in a Super Bowl Tournament game, 41-16. A host of rowdy fans, he remembers, had to be removed from the field following the game on that occasion.

What happened to Josh Bidwell? I remember he had cancer. Do you have an update on him? - Bob (Manassas, Va.)

Bob, Josh Bidwell became an unrestricted free agent following the 2003 season and subsequently signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for whom he currently is in his second season as punting specialist and doing well. The Packers presumably could have retained his services by exceeding Tampa Bay's contract offer but chose not to do so.

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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