A continuation of our series on world championships the Packers have brought home to Green Bay. In case you missed any, read them all right here.
Before the term three-peat ever became a part of American vernacular, the Packers had three-peated… twice. The first came in 1931.
In the heart of the Great Depression, families’ life savings disappeared, farms went belly up, and people learned to survive on odd jobs and pop corn. But in the little town of Green Bay, WI, the Packers once again reminded Americans that it doesn’t matter what odds are stacked against you, if you fight hard enough, you can emerge a champion.
At the end of the 1931 season, the Packers posted a 12-2 record. Once again their defense was outstanding. There were only three teams that were able to score double digits against them; the Providence Steam Roller, the Chicago Cardinals, and the New York Giants.
Once again, the Packers dominated from the start. The 1931 season began with a nine game win streak before the Chicago Cardinals brought the streak to an end. The 3-3 Cardinals shocked the Green Bay powerhouse 21-13 in a game where the Packers were heavy favorites.
While the population of Green Bay, WI was less than 40,000 at the time, home game matchups brought thousands to watch the world champs embarrass their opponents. When their rivals, the Bears, came to town 13,500 people turned out for the contest, and when the New York Giants arrived, the little town showed its love of the game as 14,000 people, attempting to survive the Great Depression, dug deep into their pockets to scrounge up the $2 necessary to buy a ticket.
Throughout the 1931 season, the Packers led in every statistical category except defensive points. The Packer offense scored 291 points that year while their opponents only scored 87. While the Packers were averaging 24.25 points per game their opponents struggled to muster an average of 7.25 points per game. Leading the charge for the Packers was scoring sensation Johnny “Blood” McNally with 87 points.
Also in 1931, Eric Karll wrote the words to a Packer fight song that would eventually inspire the “Go Pack go” chant heard at every Packer home game.
The 1931 championship was the first three repeat in the history of the NFL. This was a feat only matched by one other team in history but we’ll get to that in a future post.