On February 1, 1950, Earl “Curly” Lambeau, co-founder of the Green Bay Packers, resigned from his head coach following 31 seasons and six championships.
The Green Bay native played fullback at Notre Dame but fell ill at the end of his freshman year and had to leave school. After leaving South Bend he went back to Green Bay to work.
Lambeau started working for the Indian Packing Company as a shipping clerk in 1918 for $250 a month. A year later the he was named coach and captain of the newly formed company football team. The team was given the name, The Packers, thanks to the line of work the company provided.
The Packers went 10-1 in their first season as they took on other local teams.
The Indian Packing Company was bought out by Acme, and after some convincing, the company backed the Packers in applying for an American Professional Football Association membership (now the NFL).
The Packers were the first team to utilize a forward pass and later passing pasterns to give themselves offensive power teams focused heavily on defensive tactics. With the assistance of Green Bay’s Vince Lombardi and Chicago Bears coach, George Halas, the National Football League started to grow into popular American culture.
Green Bay’s size gave the Packers their own set of obstacles. Financial troubles plagued the team at times, but with help from local residents, sports writers and other team owners the team was able to get through the hard times. With talent like Bart Starr and Don Huston Green Bay was finding its place on the map as a football city.
Lambeau also worked with the Chicago Cardinals and Washington Redskins before retiring.
Shortly after Lambeau’s passing in 1965, the Packers eternalized him in the memory football fans everywhere by naming their home field in his honor.
“Football is like life — it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” -Vince Lombardi