The Green Bay Packers are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports. The team famously got its start and iconic name from the Indian Packaging Company in Green Bay in 1919. At the time, Curly Lambeau solicited funds from his employer – Indian Packaging Company – for uniforms for the new team. Thus, the Green Bay Packers were born.
As someone who lives in Green Bay, this article may tiptoe the line of blasphemy, but I mean this in the most respectful way possible. What would the Packers be called if they weren’t called the Packers? Now there are a couple of different avenues that someone can take that question. From Green Bay’s small beginnings as a fur trading post to its strong German tradition, there are many influences that may help to find a new name for the Packers.
I also want it to be known that I do not want the Packers to change its name – this is merely a fun exercise.
Five New Names for the Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Fur Traders
Let’s start off simple here. As I said in the intro paragraph, the city of Green Bay can trace its roots back to a fur trading post. Samuel De Champlain, who founded New France, asked Jean Nicolet to form an alliance with the Native American Tribe living there. From there, Nicolet developed a fur trading post and, in 1634, Green Bay was born.
I think it would be cool to have a name reflecting the founding of the city. Throughout major sports leagues, many teams use symbols of cities, but none reflect the founding of it. Especially in a small, tight-knit town like Green Bay, honoring tradition would go over well with many fans. Obviously, Fur Traders is not a common nickname and may be thought of as dumb. But how dumb it may be, honoring a city’s tradition is definitely a unique name.
Also, imagine how funny it would be to hear Adam Schefter report on the Fur Traders making and actual trade.
The Green Bay Beer
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Beer is king in Wisconsin and what better team to portray that idea than the most popular team. Titletown Brewing has famously been the biggest brewery in Green Bay, but more have popped up recently. Badger State Brewing and Noble Roots Brewing Company are just two of the many popular in the city. Sticking with the strong German tradition in Green Bay, “Beer” would be a welcomed new team name from fans.
Beer is king when it comes to stadium foods and drinks in Lambeau Field and there would be no better way to honor that than naming the team after it. Obviously, the worry here is that the baseball team in Wisconsin is already called the Brewers. That shouldn’t play a huge factor though, because if you know Wisconsin residents, you know that every single one has Fridays circled on their calendar, waiting to meet their friends at the bar for fried fish and a cold beer.
The Green Bay Papermakers
Believe it or not, Green Bay is the “Toilet Paper Capital of the World.” This is due to the heavy impact that the paper industry has on the city. Companies like Fort Howard Paper Company and Northern Paper Company were some of the first paper companies in the city. In fact, in the 1930s, Northern Paper Company developed the first “splinter-free” toilet paper. The strong presence of paper companies in the city also helped to keep many afloat during the Great Depression.
Once again, honoring tradition and history is at the forefront of this team name. Kimberly High School already employs the Papermakers Moniker and with how respected they are in the high school athletic landscape, I think it would go over well with their residents. Not many people think of toilet paper when they hear Green Bay.
To me, it would be fun to change a name to something that I am sure a lot of NFL fans don’t know about.
The Green Bay Gray Wolves
Now that we have hit three historical aspects of the city, let’s go to a predator. Many teams have predatory animals as their mascot and team name. In the division alone, are the Detroit LIONS and the Chicago BEARS. If we were looking at a predatory animal in Green Bay, it is tough to find.
Outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin is still somewhat lacking in predatory animals. There are bears, deer, wolves, spiders and rattlesnakes. Spiders are not really synonymous with Wisconsin, so no. Bears are already the mascot of Chicago, so no. Deer is such a tame name compared to Bucks and that is the Milwaukee basketball team’s mascot. Rattlesnakes aren’t bad, but it would need the “Timber” classification in front of it. Since Timber Rattlers is a minor league baseball team in Appleton and the name in general is long, no.
That leaves the Gray Wolves. Gray wolves have recently been thriving in Northern Wisconsin. In fact, the number of gray wolves in the state has almost quadrupled over the last decade. With just over 1,000 gray wolves in the state, it has become obvious that Wisconsin is a home for them. A team with the Gray Wolves as a mascot would probably need a color change. With green and gray already in the name, that would likely be the choice.
The Green Bay Freeze
Maybe even more than beer, the most relatable out of those five team names is The Green Bay Freeze. It is no secret that Green Bay is cold in the winter. In fact, as I am writing this, it currently feels like 1 degree outside. I think that is an allure for a football team. Of course, it sucks being outside in below-freezing temperatures. It sucks even more to have your doors blown off in a football game in below-freezing temperatures.
Playing in the cold is tough and, while I don’t want to say that Green Bay has mastered it, but Aaron Rodgers has. Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson, Mike Daniels and David Bakhtiarti are a few other players who figured out how to play in the cold.
Green Bay should embrace its famous home-field advantage. There is a reason why Lambeau Field has not added a dome. There is a reason why fans sit on metal bleachers. There is a reason why players warm up without a shirt on in January against Green Bay. As weird as it sounds, people like the cold weather when it is involved with football. Changing its name to something along the lines of freeze or something to do with it being cold would be another fun addition.
Those are my five new name change options. I once again want to stress that I do not want the Green Bay Packers to change its name. In fact, I really like the history that “Packers” encapsulates. What would you change the Packers’ name to if given the chance? Let me know!