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More than 15 former Packers became board members

What Packers from Super Bowls I & II are still living?

Former back Charlie Mathys
Former back Charlie Mathys

Mike from Seguin, TX

Tony Canadeo and Buckets Goldenberg were once members of the Packers' board. Were there other ex-players who were members?

Let's start first with the Green Bay Football Corporation, which was created in 1923 as the original community-owned entity. Before it folded in January 1935, after going into receivership 17 months earlier, one ex-player served on its executive committees: former quarterback and Green Bay native Charlie Mathys. He was elected in either 1927 or 1928 and served through 1934, including a two-year stint as vice president. H.J. "Tubby" Bero, one of the original Packers, served on the Green Bay Football Corporation's board of directors from 1929 until it went into receivership.

The Green Bay Packers, Inc., was formed in 1935 and still operates the franchise today. Here's the list of former players who have served on the executive committee over the 86 years since and the years they served: Bero, 1935 to April 1959; Curly Lambeau, 1940 to February 1950; Verne Lewellen, 1950 to December 1953; Bernard "Boob" Darling, 1955 to April 1959; Tony Canadeo, 1958 to May 1993; and Jim Temp, 1993 to July 2004. Bero and Darling were dropped from the committee when it was trimmed from 13 to seven; Lambeau resigned to become coach of the Chicago Cardinals and Lewellen to become general manager of the Packers; and Canadeo and Temp became emeritus members at retirement age. Bero also served on the board of directors from 1935-61; Lambeau, from 1940-50; Lewellen, 1950-53; Canadeo, 1955-99; Darling, 1955-68; and Temp, 1987-2004.

As for other ex-players who were board members of the current corporation, here's a list that I believe is complete: Mathys (1935-80), Don Hutson (1952-80), Buckets Goldenberg (1953-85), Willie Davis (1994-2005) and Bryce Paup (2006-13). Current members and the year they were first elected to the board include: Johnnie Gray (2009), George Koonce (2019), Larry McCarren (2015), Dexter McNabb (2017) and Eric Torkelson (2019). Eddie Garcia will join the board this month.

Doug from Green Bay

Does Charlie Mathys have the longest tenure with the Packers organization?

Mathys played from 1922-26. That's five years. He was elected to the Green Bay Football Corporation's board of directors no later than 1928 and served through 1934 when it folded. That's seven years. Then he served on the Green Bay Packers, Inc., board of directors from 1935 to 1980 when he was moved to emeritus status. That's another 45 years for a total of at least 57. I write "at least" because there is a possibility that he was elected to the Green Bay Football Corporation board in 1927. That's the only year of the corporation's more than decade-long existence where I haven't found a list of board or executive committee members. So if you have any information on the 1927 board, please let me know.

As far as others, Lee Joannes was a member of the board from 1923-80, including his 17 years as president. That's also a span of 57 years. The only other person I'm aware of who played, worked or served the Packers in an official capacity for more than 50 years was Canadeo. He played for 11 and was on the board for 44.

I believe Bud Jorgensen, former property manager and trainer, served in what's now referred to as the football operation longer than anyone. Jorgensen assisted property manager and trainer Pat Holland on road trips in 1924, then replaced him and worked until 1970. That's 46 years. Dave Hanner played for 13, served as a coach for 15, was in quality control for one and worked as a scout for 15. That's 44 years. Red Cochran was a coach and scout for 42 years.

Jim from Milwaukee

Why were the Packers' team photos from 1964 to 1970 taken at Milwaukee County Stadium?

Chuck Lane, who was hired as the Packers' director of public relations in 1966, tells me it was because of Wally Cruice, who served as a part-time scout for the Packers for more than 30 years and worked full time for Pohlman Studios, commercial photographers in Milwaukee. Pohlman shot the team photos. Cruice scouted for every Packers coach from Curly Lambeau to Bart Starr. Most of that time he was what they called an advance scout. He'd scout the Packers' upcoming opponent the week before each game.

Richard from Canton, OH

I'd like to know what members of the first two Super Bowl teams are still living.

I asked former Packers running back Tony Fisher, our player/alumni specialist, if my information was up to date and he tells me yes. Here's the list from the Super Bowl I team: Donny Anderson, Ken Bowman, Tom Brown, Bill Curry, Carroll Dale, Boyd Dowler, Marv Fleming, Jim Grabowski, Dave Hathcock, Jerry Kramer, Bob Long, Dave Robinson, Phil Vandersea, Jim Weatherwax and Steve Wright. Additional players from the Super Bowl II team: Dick Capp, Jim Flanigan, Don Horn, Bob Hyland, Chuck Mercein, John Rowser and Ben Wilson.

Ron from Broken Arrow, OK

I had an opportunity to watch some old Packers games from the 1970s. During the broadcasts, the announcer would update scores from around the NFL and the quarters didn't match up with what I was watching. I always thought kickoff for the early games was noon Central time, 1 p.m. Eastern. Do you know the year that noon Central kickoffs became standard?

In 1977, kickoff time for the seven Packers' home games played in Green Bay and Milwaukee was listed at 1 p.m. In 1978, the first year of a 16-game schedule, kickoff time was still 1 p.m. for seven of the eight home games. The home opener, played Sept. 10 at Milwaukee's County Stadium, started at noon. It was originally scheduled for a 1 p.m. start, but changed. Over the next three years, the Packers had a mix of noon and 1 p.m. kickoffs for their home games. In 1982, for the first time, the NFL schedule called for all eight of the Packers' home games to start at noon, but four weren't played because of the strike that season.

Matt from Wauwatosa, WI

Do you know the reasoning behind the Packers' irregular schedule for the 1989 season? That year, the five-team NFC Central played cross-conference games against the four-team AFC Central. How was it determined that the Packers were not to play the AFC Central teams? How did the NFL decide to schedule Miami and Kansas City as the Packers' only AFC opponents?

The Packers' fifth-place finish in 1988 dictated it. There were four divisions with five teams and two with four. Thus, the two fifth-place teams played a home-and-home series against the other fifth-place team in its conference. That's why the Packers and Dallas played twice that year. Remember the 1988 season when the Packers blew the Troy Aikman Sweepstakes to the 3-13 Cowboys, the last-place team in the NFC Eastern Division? The fifth-place teams also played the two fifth-place teams in the other conference. In 1988, Miami and Kansas City each finished fifth in the AFC. The scheduling formula had been modified in 1987 and that's why parts of it were new.

Alan from Green Bay

Could you elaborate on roster numbers from past years? I remember a time when there was a 36-player limit and no taxi squad or practice squad.

The roster limit was 36 in 1959, and in 1961 and '62. It was raised to 37 in 1963 and 40 in 1964. It remained at 40 through 1973. It was bumped to 45 in 1978. From 1991 through 2019, it was either 45 plus a third quarterback or 46. In 1989, the NFL created a five-player developmental squad and changed the name to practice squad a year later. Prior to that, going back as far as the 1950s at least, there were usually taxi squads governed by loosely regulated rules. John Maxymuk, who has written several books on pro football, has done considerable research on the Packers' taxi squads, especially in the Lombardi years, and you should be able to find it online. In the Curly Lambeau era, he and maybe other coaches simply stashed extra players in the event of an emergency.

Jared from Manassas, VA

I came across an Oct. 25, 1923, Green Bay Press-Gazette article about the Packers acquiring Jack "Dolly" Gray from the St. Louis Browns. When I looked up Gray's name, I found articles suggesting he was an imposter. Can you provide more insight as to who this player was and what became of him?

Hopefully, this link, from a story I wrote in 2014, my first year as Packers historian, will provide some answers for you, although the player's true identity is unknown, as far as I know.

Linwood from Travelers Rest, SC

My family's history goes back to the 1960s when my four brothers, and my mom and dad were living in Green Bay up to 1967. My dad, Gilbert F. Hagin, was a USAF recruiter. I remember him telling of an event he organized for halftime of a Packers game. He'd have the latest class of recruits recognized on the field. Would you happen to know of that event or have any stories or pictures?

He started what was called the "Green Bay Packers Buddy Flight," where several new Air Force recruits were introduced at a Packers game. Your dad spent five years in Green Bay before being reassigned in the summer of 1967. It sounds like it was an annual event, but I'm not sure of the year it started nor the specific dates. Sorry, but I'm not aware of any pictures, either.