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Are You Ready For Some Football? Touring Green Bay Packer’s Hall of Fame

Green Bay  Packer’s Hall of Fame at legendary Lambeau Field.

WHY?  I am a Green Bay Packer fan and although I no longer live in Wisconsin, I am a Wisconsinite at heart.   I love to see “stuff,” on my travels and wanted to check out the new renovations that have been done in The Hall of Fame, or H.O.F.

Here is my experience.  Oh, and if you are not a GB Packer fan, no worries, I can not tell you how often I meet fantastic people from every N.F.L corner who have traveled to Green Bay to experience this historical story.  Incidentally, yesterday, August, 11th,2016 was the packer’s 97th birthday.  Here’s to a fantastic 98!

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Green Bay Packer’s Training Camp in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Training camp wrapped up early this year so that the team could travel to Canton, Ohio to play the game that was canceled due to field conditions. I love watching training camp at Lambeau Field.  So tonight, there is a pre-season game in Green Bay.

Stepping into the atrium of Lambeau field always gets me pumped up for football.

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The Atrium of Lambeau field

Just off the atrium,  I stepped into the impressive 15,000 square foot, a two-story homage to the Green Bay Packer team of yesterday and today. (Obviously, this photo was a winter visit, on the day that I visited, it was 96 degrees and humid.)

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Immediately reminded that the history of the Green Bay Packer’s is a unique story within the NFL.

 

A story of people who took this small town team from humble beginnings to a place that now holds a lot of bling.

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The Greatest Story In Sports

I have a brain that works in mysterious ways that I do not understand. I had to begin my visit with how this team came to be.  Meaning,  I began on the upper level with the old school Packer history and memorabilia.      The guide map suggests a path to The Resilience Gallery, Discipline & Love Gallery, Pride Gallery with a display in the center called the History Gallery.

Above the stairway, this 3-D display shows the uniform history from the era of 1919-1989.

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Green Bay Packer’s Hall of Fame-Uniforms throughout history. 1919-1988

On the first few wall panels of this second floor, I loved looking at the story of how football came to Green Bay in 1895. It was a game of different rules and described as brutal often bloody in a hard-working town.  My ancestors lived in and around Green Bay during those years and I wonder if they attended a game?

The exhibits are interactive and this area spoke to the early years of financial struggle, hardship and the Curly Lambeau era and legacy.

Each Champion era get’s to shine.

It was fun to hear and witness the unexpected rise of this small-city team that shocked the football nation and put Green Bay on the map. And, a dynasty was born.

And, a dynasty was born.

In the center of the upstairs is a circular exhibit of Packer ‘firsts’ and history. And here are just a few of my favorite “firsts.”

  1. First NFL team to travel by plane.
  2. First ever NFL National Championship 3 Peat’s 1929-1931 and
  3. Win three straight titles under the playoff format 1965-1967.
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And how they came to call this place “Titletown U.S.A.”

 

And how even World War did not interrupt football.  I love the old shoes, helmets, and footballs.

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And, why do I complain about today’s seats?

The next area that I visited seems to be a favorite of visitors. A replica of Lombardi’s office loaded with a treasure-trove of personal and professional pieces all displayed in an interactive atmosphere that makes you feel as if you were truly in coach Lombardi’s office. MEGatip– when the phone rings, DO answer the call.

 

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The Lombardi Era

This office has an awesome view.

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The Lombardi Trophy replica viewed from Vince Lombardi office

View  from the entrance into the awesome Pro-Shop at Lambeau Field of this 50-foot trophy replica. (American Family Entrance.)

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What a fantastic entrance to the Pro Shop

True story, I was with a friend who was brought up in a Minnesota Viking home.  She asked,  “What is that?”  I was speechless for just a moment and said “said every Vikings fan ever.” That conversation will go down in my history book. Word.

While the office display drew me into the room, I equally loved the wall panels. I felt that they spoke not only to the professional coach was but also gives testament to the man that Vince Lombardi was at heart; and why he was and is so loved in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

I felt pride and admiration when I looked at the “Breaking Down Barrier’s display.  Sometimes, all it takes is small steps to contribute to  world  change. Discipline and Love!

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“…Nobody had more impact in creating diversity in the NFL than coach Lombardi.”

Moving towards the Pride Gallery, I saw several displays of old school trophies, Bart Starr’s super bowl ring, and M.V.P. award.

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Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame historical memorabilia .

Moving from past history to current history, the exhibits move into current championships and pride. There is information on how “The Lambeau Leap” came to be, a square of “Frozen Tundra,” and the Wheaties box.

This area also holds a large area dedicated to the history of the Green Bay Packer’s-Chicago Bears long held rivalry.

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One of a few displays dedicated to this age-old Packer’s – Bears rivalry .

I especially liked one of the displays that spoke about how a Sunday mass at St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Green Bay,  scheduled mass at 5:15 A.M. so that the parishioners could catch the train to support their home team. Oh, and on that 1950’s train, the company had to convert the train into a bar for “a party on wheels.” And, yep, that sounds like Wisconsin.

 

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Ever want to be at THAT Ice Bowl?

 

Had I begun my tour like the average visitor, I would have started on the first floor in the Commitment Gallery, the Field Gallery, and the Theater.

I think kids would love this spot. I did also. The NFL of today has an added emphasis on safety. I thought this exhibit  (below) was an eye-opener.

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Evolution of equipment.

 

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The Ron Wolf Era

I really loved the Community Gallery. Since this team is the only  NFL team owned by their community, there is a wall dedicated to “it’s owner’s.” Packer fans are beyond fiercely proud of their publicly owned status. This unique ownership began in 1923 when Curly Lambeau and four Green Bay business owners came up with the idea to save the team by selling 1,000 shares at $5.00 a pop to save this team from financial ruin.

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Community owned team

I absolutely LOVE this display of bikes.

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The bike tradition.

It is unknown how the tradition of Packer players riding kids bikes came to be. For a great read and historical pictures, check out this write by a Packer historian. Tracing The Roots of Players Riding Bikes by Cliff Christl    It is a tear-jerker.

By favorite part of this museum is the Excellence Gallery and the Championship Gallery. In the Excellence Gallery, I found a long hallway with the Hall of Fame inductees. Since 1970, there have been 154 inductees. (1) Each inductee has their name engraved ball.

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Packer’s Hall of Fame inductees

 

One of my personal favorite players, Reggie White.

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Reggie White, R.I.P.

 

I really loved looking at the 24 lockers area. This is an area of honor given to Packers who were made members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Yep, Brett Favre already has his in place.

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24 locker’s hold personal memorabilia from the players who were given the honor of being inducted into The pro-Football Hall of Fame.

And here are two of my personal favorite all-time players.

Don’t forget to look up for this profound display!

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Famous words by Curly Lambeau

Of course, the culmination of this experience was the impressive Crown Jewels. With rings, trophies, platters and other treasures, I loved learning about all of the loot.

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Explanation of some of the trophies

This display left me holding my breath!  Very well done.

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This impressive room of jewels left me feeling sparkly

And then there was this.  Here is to adding another one during this 98th season. Go Pack Go!

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The much sought after Lombardi Trophy. Here’s to the 2016 season. Go Pack Go!

As a Packer fan, I have always been proud to bring my guests to the H.O.F. However, the updates and new exhibits have come a long way since a Packer fan founded the very first hall of fame in 1966 to honor an American Football Team. Fact. Thanks to the foresight of this fan, sixty years later this exhibit is a world-class tribute to historical “America’s Team.”

MEGastars 5 ***** I had a few issues with the layout but woul recommend this tour to any football or history fan. Very nicely done!

MEGatips-

  1. I dislike planning ahead but planning for your visit is a MUST. The Hall of Fame is busy during training camp and on game day. The Hall of Fame website has a graph that shows hour by hour anticipated attendance. Do check that out if you are the impatient type.
  2. Located at 1265 Lombardi Avenue in Green Bay, Wisconsin The website details visit information. Vist Lambeau Field
  3. According to the website, an average visit would be 2.5 hours.
  4. Ticket prices cost more during “high season,” defined as May until the end of football season. There are discounts for military, students (with college ID,) seniors and children. Kiddies under 5 are free.
  5. Combination admission pricing is available for the Hall of Fame and Lambeau Field/stadium tours. See website for details.
  6. Do tour Lambeau Field. It’s a great tour with knowledgeable guides.
  7. Generally, open from 10 AM-6 PM and 10-5 on Sundays. DO check the website before you visit. During  a game day and other special events, the stadium is closed to the general public.
  8. Even if your personal allegiance lies with another NFL team, do visit the historical Lambeau Field and The Green Bay Packer’s Hall of Fame.
  9. Do pick up a pamphlet that includes the layout of the exhibits. I had to go back and search for the trophy room.   I thought this was just me, but I read a few other comments stating the same experience.
  10. If you prefer chronological order, beginning on the upper floor is a how I might suggest this visit. To me, the layout was a bit strange, I felt a bit like I was “bouncing around in time.” I am certain that this planning was intentional; I just didn’t get the concept.
  11. If you are able to visit at night, do check out that 50-foot replica that lights up as a beacon to this mecca.
  12. Do eat at 1919 Kitchen and Tap.

(1) Packers.com Hall of Famers

 

 

 

 

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