Fantastic Football

Why on earth don’t the Green Bay Packers have a mascot

Claire Schoenemann

More stories from Claire Schoenemann

Fantastic Football
December 13, 2022
Fantastic+Football

Photo by Marisa Valdez

In true Wisconsinite fashion, I will admit it, I slept through the Packer game on Sunday morning. 8:30 a.m. kickoff time just wasn’t happening for me on the morning after my cousins wedding festivities and Blugold homecoming. 

Honestly, I am not super upset that I slept through the game. In case you missed it, on Sunday, Oct. 9, the Packers lost to the New York Giants. 

Despite my enthusiasm, or lack-there-of, it was a very exciting game. The two teams kicked off the game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, located in London. 

The Packers had momentum going in the first half. Of their 22 total points, 20 of them were scored in the first two quarters. 

Green Bay was, figuratively, put back into place. Coach Matt LeFleur was even quoted saying that New York outcoached and outplayed the Packers. 

But, in true Midwesterner fashion, I really don’t want to talk about the loss. Instead, I was reminded this weekend that our beloved ‘Packers’ didn’t always look the way they do now. 

While at home this past Saturday, Oct. 8th, I opened my childhood closet and saw something that unlocked a memory in my brain. 

Hanging on the inside of my wooden, swinging closet door is a flag with the words ‘Acme Packers’ sprawled across it. 

As I looked in my closet, I came to the realization that not every Wisconsinite, and certainly not every football fan, knows the history of the Acme Packers, and how our beloved team came to be. 

This is the story I have elected to tell this week. 

In the early years of the football team, all the way back to 1919, the founding of our Packers began with Curly Lambeau.

Lambeau worked at a Green Bay company, called the Indian Packing Company at the time. Lambeau began the football team, and the Indian Packing Company sponsored the football team in both 1919 and 1920. 

In addition to Lambeau, other original players such as Wally Ladrow worked at the Indian Packing Company. 

The cooperation between the Indian Packing Company and the team didn’t go unnoticed by Green Bay residents. 

Employees of the Indian Packing Company were commonly nicknamed, ‘the Packers.’

When the first story covering the team’s success was published in the Press-Gazette, the football team was nicknamed in conjunction with their sponsor. From then on, the Packers stuck with the team. 

After their sponsorship in 1919-20, the Indian Packing Company was bought by Acme Packing Co., a larger company based out of Chicago. 

The Packers were then admitted to the American Professional Football Association under the name ‘Acme Packers,’ on Aug. 27, 1921.  

This name didn’t last long, though. By 1922, the Acme Packing Company and the Packers had cut ties because of debt reasons, and the team was being run by Green Bay Football Club. 

At this time, Press-Gazette owner Andrew Turnbull took the reins, creating the Green Bay Football Corporation before the start of the 1922 season.

At this point, the team was community owned. By their fans. You could say this is why Wisconsinites are such dedicated Packers fans today. 

Fast forward ten years, and The Green Bay Packers Inc. was created in January of 1935. The corporation creation was followed by a second stock-sale, and the name has remained the same since. 

In 1997, ‘The’ was removed, and the Packers have been the same ever since. 

So, the next time someone asks why we don’t have a mascot, just think about the origin of our meat-packing sponsors back in 1919 and smile back. 

Or just do what my dad did, and say that the flag in the back of my closet is vintage, and leave it at that. 

Either way, the Packers play the New York Jets on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 12 p.m., and now you know an extra bit of history for football Sunday. 

Schoenemann can be reached at [email protected].