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When was the last time Green Bay packers won a Super Bowl? How many have they won?

The most unique and storied of the NFL franchises, the Green Bay Packers have won more championships than any other team, but not Super Bowls

The most unique and storied of the NFL franchises, the Green Bay Packers have won more championships than any other team, but not Super Bowls

The Green Bay Packers are perhaps the team that is most closely associated with gridiron greatness. It is the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, dating back to 1919, and is the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the United States. They are a symbol of everything great about American sports; passion, local pride, and tradition.

But for a team whose name is so evocative of NFL greatness, so intertwined with the Super Bowl, it is somewhat surprising that they have only won four of them. This puts them behind the Steelers, Patriots, 49ers and Cowboys in the all-time win list. The New York Giants have the same number of wins as the Packers.

Green Bay have actually won 13 league championships, by far the most in NFL history. The problem is that most of their wins, nine of them, came before the first Super Bowl. In fact, the first two Super Bowls were won by the Packers, who were, at that time, the dominant force in football. No one could have guessed at the end of Super Bowl II, that it would be 29 years before they won another one. Their third win would come in Super Bowl XXXI when they defeated the Patriots 35-21. The last time they brought home the trophy was in Super Bowl XLV when they beat the Steelers 31-25 to cap off the 2010 season.

The last of the small town teams which were so common in the early days of professional football, Green Bay traces its lineage through semi-professional teams dating back to 1896. It was very common for these early teams to be located in places like Akron, Pottsville, Canton, Duluth, Muncie, and Kenosha. Green Bay’s survival is a direct link from the 21st century back to the late 19th and the very dawn of the game. Teams were community based and often community funded. For example, the great Hall of Famer Jim Thorpe was player-coach and recruiter for the Oorang Indians, a team manned entirely by native Americans, making their mascot name actually descriptive of the team itself. They were based in LaRue, Ohio, a village of only 747 people.

The Green Bay Packers is a line that connects us all to our collective roots, a team with no owner. Or more accurately, owned jointly by the Green Bay Packers fans. A franchise operating in a profit-driven world, but set up with a non-profit charter. Rather than being owned by an individual, partnership, or corporate entity, they have 361,300 stockholders with not one allowed to hold more than 200,000 shares, representing approximately four percent of the 5,011,558 current shares. When the NFL's current ownership policy was established in the 1980s stipulating a maximum of 32 owners per team, with one holding a minimum 30% stake, Green Bay was grandfathered in. As a publicly held nonprofit, they are also the only North American major league sports franchise to publicly release its annual financial balance sheet.

Everything that the public hates about the NFL, the greed, the closed-door policy on finances, the elevation of the profit margin above the integrity of the game itself, is flaunted back in the league’s face by the Packers. And it works. Despite being by far the smallest professional sports market in North America, Forbes ranks the Packers as the world's 31st most valuable sports franchise, with a value of just north of $3 billion. A socialist organization in the heart of America’s Game beating free-market capitalists at their own game? Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but only very slightly. But perhaps if Green Bay can do this, then there is hope that their brand of success may extend to include more wins in January. The Super Bowl trophy is named the Vince Lombardi Trophy, after all.

The Vince Lombardi Trophy with its namesake
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The Vince Lombardi Trophy with its namesake

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