|Letters To Lee Remmel
Hi Lee, I want to have a jersey made with Clarke Hinkle's name & number. I know Hinkle wore many numbers during his career. What jersey number is Hinkle most recognized by? - Rich (Little Egg Harbor, NJ)
Rich, Hall of Famer Clarke Hinkle, one of the most talented and versatile players in Packers history, wore jersey number 30 for 7 of his 10 seasons in Green Bay. The "Bucknell Battering Ram," as he was known, wore numbers 27 and 33 as a rookie in 1932, number 39 as well as 30 in 1933, number 45 in 1934 and 41 in 1936.
The Packers have a 'fight song' that used to be played during kickoffs and at other times by the Packer Lumberjack Band of days gone by. I'd love to hear about the history of the song, and it would be nice to have an MP3 recording of it on the Packer web site for fans to download. What can you tell me about the song? - Don (West Bend, WI)
Don, the Packers 'fight song' was composed by a man named Eric Karll, a resident of Milwaukee, and as far as can be determined, was first played publicly in 1931 - the year the Packers won a third straight National Football League championship.
According to Lovell Ives, the longtime director of the former Packers Band, the recorded version of the song, played over the Lambeau Field sound system on game day, was taped 13 years ago. It is played each game day immediately following the Packers' player introductions and after each Packers extra point.
Pre-game, the song also is played "every fifth tune" by the "Packer Tailgaters," the three six-member musical units formed from the former band members, as they perform in the Lambeau Field parking lot during the two-hour span prior to kickoff on game day
The recording played over the stadium sound system was made, according to John Corcoran of Green Bay production company "Made Ya Look," because, when the weather was too cold, the band couldn't play the song."
At one time, incidentally, the rights to the song were owned by the late "Music Man," Lawrence Welk, who collected a royalty every time it was played while he owned the tune Welk, Ives informs, "did the first recording of the piece. He (his estate) may still own the rights to the song.".
P.S. - In response to your request, an MP3 recording of the song will soon be available on Packers.com, according to internet coordinator Jeff Harding.
Dear Lee, I just recently went to my first Packers game. On the stadium tour it was mentioned that Curly Lambeau began with the team colors blue and gold because he attended Notre Dame and loved those colors. My question: When did the Packers change to green and gold, and why? Thanks for your reply! - David (Taylor, TX)
David, the Packers formally - and officially - changed team colors from navy blue, green and gold to green and gold in 1964, eliminating navy blue. I can't tell you why it was done. However, Vince Lombardi was then the Packers' highly successful - and autocratic - head coach and general manager and I have the feeling the change was made because he wanted it made.
For more on the Packers' uniform history, click here.
What is the difference between retiring a number and retiring a jersey? - Dan (Indianapolis, IN)
Dan, I think the difference is simply explained. Retiring a jersey involves merely retiring a specific jersey, whereas retiring a number means that the given number will never again be issued to a player.
When I was at Lambeau Field this year, I saw the statue of Curly Lambeau pointing. Who or what is he pointing at? - Mike (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
Mike, I am reluctant to disillusion you but I don't think Curly's "pointing pose" has any particular significance. My impression is that he was posing for a newspaper or publicity photo when the picture - used as a basis for developing the statue - was taken.
Lee, In regards to the 61-7 loss to the Bears you mentioned in your article last month, I have heard in the past (although I cannot tell you where) that the Packers sent in both offensive and defensive play calls via hand signals from the sideline during the game, and someone from the Bears later admitted they found a way to "break the code" and knew exactly what plays the Packers would be running on both sides of the ball. Any truth to that? - Richard (New Lisbon, WI)
Richard, we went to the "source" for this answer. Larry McCarren, who was the Packers' starting center in that game, says of the report, "Zeke Bratkowski (then offensive backfield coach) did signal in the plays by hand. I've heard that rumor before (about the signals being intercepted) but nobody ever verified it...And that does not explain Walter Payton setting every record there ever was that day."
Mr. Remmel, who made up the very first Packer team? Were they local guys, college players, or what? I've always wondered this. Thanks for writing such a great column. It is always very interesting to read about the Packers history. - Matt (Houston, TX)
Matt, the members of the first Packers team - in 1919 - were essentially "local guys."
As far as I can determine, the first major college star to be signed by the Packers was tackle Howard "Cub" Buck of the University of Wisconsin, who joined the team in 1921, its first year in the then American Professional Football Association, which changed its name to the National Football League in 1922.
A couple of friends were trying to think of a Packer player that wore Jersey #6. We could not think of one. Is it retired or am I missing something? - Dave (Green Bay, WI)
Dave, three players in Packers history have worn jersey number 6 - all of them back in the early days of the team...the 1920s. End George Vergara of Notre Dame was the first, in 1925. End Dick Flaherty of Marquette was the second, in 1926, and halfback Mal Bross of Gonzaga was the third and most recent, in 1927.
For more on the Packers' jersey numbers, click here.
Continuing an association with the team that is more than 55 years old, Lee Remmel was named the first official Team Historian of the Green Bay Packers in February 2004. The former Green Bay Press-Gazette reporter and Packers public relations director, Remmel will write regular columns for Packers.com as part of his new assignment.
In addition to those articles, Remmel will answer fan questions in a monthly Q&A column. To submit a question to Remmel, click here.