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Odd Wisconsin Archive

"Big Bay Blue" Lose to "Beloit Fairies"


After yesterday's one-sided victory, the Packers' astonishing 2007 season can no longer be chalked up simply to good luck. With Brett Favre surrounded by youthful talent and breaking a new record in almost every game, they're more fun to watch than they have been in years. Where did it all begin? And how did we get here?

It all began in 1919, when Curly Lambeau coached the amateur "Big Bay Blue" through ten straight wins, only to lose the final game of the season to the "Beloit Fairies" (before you conclude that football's macho image had not evolved very far by 1919, you should know that the team was sponsored by the Fairbanks-Morse manufacturing company).

Two years later the team went professional, only to find its franchise revoked before the start of the 1922 season because... Well, read about it yourself in "Big Bay Blue: When Curly, Johnny Blood, and Green Bay Showed the Way" in the Autumn 2005 Wisconsin Magazine of History.

Of course, to fans of a certain age (and with all due respect to Brett Favre & Co.), the 1960s were the real glory years. Biographer Michael O'Brien discusses the eight years he spent researching and writing a biography of Vince Lombardi in the Magazine's Autumn 1987 issue, including how he collected interviews and other unpublished source material.

All the yearbooks from the Lombardi Era are online at Turning Points in Wisconsin History, too. That's where you can see a wealth of early Packers photographs, game programs, tickets, and other memorabilia. And there are more rare photos in our online picture collection, Wisconsin Historical Images.

So before the next game, bone up on your Packers heritage. And if you want to share it with some young fan in your life, give them a copy of the new biography of Lambeau by Stuart Stotts.
:: Posted in on November 11, 2007

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