Packers by the Numbers Update: #42

Curly Lambeau himself was the first man to wear 42 in Green Bay. In his time he was followed by backs Harry O’Boyle (1932), Bob Monnett (1934), Andy Uram (1939-43), Paul Duhart (1944), Bruce Smith (1945-48) and Ken Kranz (1949), as well as linemen Dustin McDonald (1935) and Roy Schoemann (1938).

In the modern era, the number has been worn by four defensive backs and ten runners:

DB: Wally Dreyer (1950), Corey Dowden (1996), Darren Sharper (1997-2004) and Morgan Burnett (2010-17).

RB: Al Cannava (1950), Al Carmichael (1953-54), Don McIlhenny (1957-59), John Brockington (1971-77), Walt Landers (1978-79), Gary Ellerson (1985-86), Walter Dean (1991), Harry Sydney (1992), Leshon Johnson (1994-95) and DeShawn Wynn (2007-09).

There were significant gaps in the use of 42 from 1960-70, 1980-84 and 1987-90.

Lambeau, of course is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Monnett, Uram, Carmichael and Brockington are all members of the team’s Hall of Fame. Burnett and the embarrassing Sharper wore 42 for the longest, eight years. They and Brockington were also the best players to wear it.

1928clambeau  1935dmcdonald

1940auram  1945bsmith

1954bacarmichael  1957tdmcilhenny

1971tjbrockington  1986tgellerson

1992hsydney  1996cdowden

All custom cards aside from Brockington, Sydney and Dowden are colorized.


National Chicle: Coaches and Front Office

Running thin on actual National Chicle backgrounds, I have branched out. For this group of coaches and front office people, Lombardi, Holmgren and McCarthy front actual NC backgrounds (Vince aptly uses the one for Knute Rockne). Bengtson, Shurmur and Thompson use paintings by Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte and the other three use backgrounds from Goudey baseball cards from the time.

ncvlombardi  ncmholmgren


ncpbengtson magritte son of man  ncfshurmur magritte time transfixednctthompson magritte happy donor

ncjvainisi  ncppeppler


Lombardi, Peppler and Vainisi custom cards are colorized.

Packers by the Numbers Update: #41

No Packer has really made 41 his own. The longest anyone has worn the number in Green Bay is three years by safety Tom Flynn, although Hall of Famers Arnie Herber and Clarke Hinkle briefly wore it, as did Packer Hall of Fame member Joe Laws.

The number was first donned by back Harry O’Boyle in 1928 and he was followed in the Lambeau era by backs Dave Zuidmulder (1931), Herber 1932-33, Laws (1934), Hinkle (1936) and Ralph Earhart (1948-49) and by tackles Champ Seibold (1937-38 and Paul Kell (1939-40).

In the modern era, 41 has been worn by four runners, 12 defensive backs and two ends:

RB: Bill Robinson (1952), Junior Coffey (1966), Dave Osborn (1976) and Torrance Marshall (2002).

DB: Marvin Johnson (1952-53), Lou Mihajlovich (1954), Doyle Nix (1955), Bobby Freeman (1959), Jim Burrow (1976), Tom Flynn (1984-86), Kenneth Johnson (1987), Chuck Compton (1987r), Eugene Robinson (1996-97), Jerron Wishom (2005), Frank Walker (2007) and Lenzy Pipkins (2017).

E: Paul Gibson (1972) and Spencer Havner (2009-10).

There have been six stretches of at least five years when no Packer wore 41: 1941-47, 1960-64, 1966-71, 1977-83, 1988-95 and 2011-16.

1928hoboyle  1936chinkle2

1937ycseibold  1949lrearhart

1952bbrobinson  1953bmjohnson

1955bdnix  1985ttflynn

1996erobinson  2010shavner

First seven custom cards are colorized.

In the Style of National Chicle

Having used up all 36 backgrounds of the real National Chicle cards, I decided to get a bit creative and paired colorized images of Lambeau era linemen with the period industrial-style paintings of artists Charles Sheeler and Charles DeMuth, both of whom are often referred to as realists or precisionists.

Bill Lee, Baby Ray, Charlie Brock, Cal Hubbard, Lon Evans and Whitey Woodin appear in front of Sheelers while Buckets Goldenberg and Cub Buck front Demuths. Mike Michalske’s background is an art deco illustration.

ncblee csheeler 5   ncbray csheeler mills  nccbrock csheeler 6

ncchubbard csheeler stacks

nclevans csheeler townscape

ncwwoodin csheeler 7

ncbgoldenberg demuth2

nccbuck demuth3

ncmmichalske artdecotrain

All custom cards colorized.

Billy Butler’s Birthday

One of the 1959 Packers of Lombardi turns 81 today, halfback/return man Billy Butler. Butler hailed from Berlin, Wisconsin and attended the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. The 5’10” 185-pound local hero was selected by Green Bay in the 19th round of the 1959 NFL draft.

According to the David Maraniss biography of Lombardi, when the slightly-built Butler went to check in to training camp, Vince barked at him, “What the Hell are you doing here? This line isn’t for kids.” Butler was cut from the team on August 29, but was re-signed a month later on September 30 after Lombardi cut rookie running back Timmy Brown due to his fumbling.

Bill appeared in the 11 remaining games of the season on both offense and defense, but his biggest highlight was returning a punt 61 yards for a touchdown in the 28-17 loss to the Bears on November 8.

Butler was lost to Dallas in the 1960 expansion draft and thus became one of three players (with Nate Borden and Don McIlhenny) to play for both Lombardi and Tom Landry in their first seasons as head coaches. Butler played one year in Dallas, one in Pittsburgh and three in Minnesota before finishing his playing career with Saskatchewan in the CFL in 1965.

He returned to Wisconsin after retiring and had coached high school football until he turned 73 in 2010. Four years after that, he made some local news by donating his 1959 Packers’ team blazer as well as his uniform from the Packer basketball team to the Packer Hall of Fame.

When interviewed by Maraniss in the 1990s, Butler said, “Lombardi was the biggest asshole I ever met in my life.” However, when the Green Bay Press Gazette spoke to him about the coach in 2014 because of his donation to the team’s Hall, he was much more circumspect with a measured response, saying, “I don’t badmouth him, don’t praise him. I really appreciate what he did, and he really made it a strong organization.”

1959tbbutler4  1960tbbutler

Custom cards in Topps styles.

Packers by the Numbers: #40

Ivan “Tiny” Cahoon was the first Packer to wear 40 in 1929. He was followed by seven other linemen during Curly Lambeau’s reign: tackle Cal Hubbard (1930, 1932), guard Mike Michalske (1935), end Bernie Scherer (1936), tackle Bill Lee (1937-42, 1946), tackle Ade Schwammel (1943), guard Aldo Forte (1947) and guard Roger Eason (1949).

Since 1950, 20 Packers have worn 40–one end, 10 defensive backs and nine runners.

E: Stretch Elliot (1951).

DB: Ben Aldridge (1953), Dale Hackbart (1960-61), Tom Brown (1964-68), David King (1987r), Johnnie Jackson (1992), Chris Hayes (1996), Pat Terrell (1998), Jason Moore (2000), Joe Porter (2008) and Josh Gordy (2010).

RB: Joe Johnson (1954-58), Earl Gros (1962-63), Dave Kopay (1972), Pete Van Valkenberg (1974), Willard Harrell (1975-77), Eddie Lee Ivery (1979-86), Tony Fisher (2002-05), Brandon Miree (2006) and Joe Kerridge (2016-17).

Hubbard and Michalske are Hall of Famers, of course, but 40 was longest and with the most distinction by Eddie Lee Ivery, whose potential was derailed by injuries and drugs, but still performed well enough to be a member of the Packer Hall of Fame. One other player of note is tackle Bill Lee, who was chosen for the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 1930s but is oddly not a member of the team’s Hall. That is an omission that should be corrected.

1929tcahoon  1936bscherer

1946blee  1947aforte

1953bbaldridge  1956tjjohnson2

1960tdhackbart4  1967ptbrown2

1975twharrell  1982telivery

1987xtdking  1996chayes

First six custom cards plus Ivery are colorized.