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SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame Nomination #5 - Curly Lambeau

Just a reminder, as I get into some big names on the top 10 all-time Green Bay Packers, I'm running a series of nomination posts for the SBN Wisconsin hall of fame and I'm posting the list alphabetically. We voted earlier this month to select the top 10 Packers, and the entire Wisconsin based SB Nation community will vote for the top 10 for all of Wisconsin next month.

What can't be said about Curly Lambeau? He literally did more than anyone else has ever done for the team:

  • He founded the team, convinced the Indian Packing Company to become the original team sponsor, and joined the NFL in 1921.
  • He coached the great Packer teams in the late 1920s and early 1930s which helped keep the team financially alive. This was a major moment in the team's history. As the great depression began, many NFL teams in small northern cities folded. If the Packers hadn't won the league championship every year from 1929 through 1931, then the city might have lost interest at a time of financial crisis, and the Packers existence in Green Bay would have just been a historical footnote in the city's history, such as the fact that Dayton, Ohio once had an NFL team, the Dayton Triangles
  • He was a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. And, of course, he got the stadium named after him.

If there is a blemish on his tenure, it was how it ended in the late 1940s amidst losing seasons and financial woes which began with his disastrous decision to buy the Rockwood Lodge. It was a poor 5 year ending to a great 25 year beginning, but those first years were what literally made the team.