If You Could Have a "Last Dance"-Style Documentary for the Packers, What Would It Cover?

Which Packers story would you want to be turned into a featured docuseries?

Aside from the brief diversion caused by the NFL draft a couple weeks ago, basically the only thing happening in the world of sports right now that's capturing the public interest is the ongoing ESPN/Netflix documentary The Last Dance, which aired its seventh and eighth of 10 episodes last night. If you haven't seen it, you need to make it a priority. The documentary covers the final season of the Jordan-era Bulls, but offers plenty of context from the backgrounds of players like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, and covers pretty much the entire Jordan era from his time being drafted in 1984 to his final season in Chicago in 1997-1998.

A buddy and I were talking about the documentary and the subject came up of what a similar documentary would cover for the Packers.

There were two big possibilities we came up with:

The Brett Favre exodus of 2008

The Summer of Favre in 2008 will forever have a place in Packers infamy. It caused a massive schism in the fanbase, and got the Aaron Rodgers era off to an auspicious beginning. 

While the subject has been covered at length, there's probably so much we don't know (and may never know) about what happened behind closed doors at 1265 Lombardi, and about the mindsets of some of the key players in that saga. 

One could even see a similar Last Dance approach to the subject, contextualizing Favre's exit with his career in Green Bay, from getting drafted (and ultimately traded) by Atlanta to becoming the game's most dominant player at his peak and its most famous iron man. 

It's unlikely you'd ever get someone like Ted Thompson, a crucial part of the saga, to open up completely about everything that went down, and one would have to imagine Rodgers and some of the other key figures of that summer would also be quite hesitant to take part. But if it were to ever actually become possible, it would be fascinating to see the saga from multiple perspectives and to get the necessary background to show just how crucial of a moment it was in Packers history.

The end of the Lombardi era

Super Bowl II was more of an exclamation point to the Lombardi era than a memorable end--the real, ultimate finale was the prior game in the Ice Bowl against Dallas. The Ice Bowl has been covered numerous times in documentaries, and there has been plenty written and covered about the Lombardi era, but it would be fascinating to see a story of the final season of Lombardi's Packers as the aged, flawed, battered team they were, and contextualized with the dismal team Lombardi inherited, with lots of raw talent but little direction. 

The tough thing about such a documentary series would be that many of the most important figures are no longer with us. Lombardi has been dead for nearly 50 years now, and many of the most important and iconic players on the team have also passed. There's likely enough archival footage of players and coaches being interviewed to make it interesting, but the series would have to be approached in a bit of a different way than The Last Dance has been, and a big part of the fun of The Last Dance is seeing these players and coaches reflect on these events all these years later.

 

 

What are some moments or subjects in Packers history you think would make for a great The Last Dance-style docuseries, if one were to ever occur?

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Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

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Comments (13)

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Turophile's picture

May 11, 2020 at 06:18 pm

Brett Favre exodus wins for me. That breakup had everything necessary for compelling watching, a total soap-opera style series with so many threads to it that could be explored. However, turning a close-up spotlight on Brett at that time would be very damaging to him, as some of the worst things that happened then are thankfully much dimmer in the memory now.

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Beep's picture

May 11, 2020 at 12:15 pm

By far and away, the end of the Curly Lambeau era and the Rockwood Lodge's convenient fire...
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/9669836/mysterious-fire-1950-saved-g...

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cben67's picture

May 11, 2020 at 12:24 pm

I would like the story of how the title returned to the Packers. From Wolf's arrival in 91 to winning the super bowl at the end of the 96 season. I would like to hear it from the big three that engineered it; Wolf, Holmgren and Harlan

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fordguy's picture

May 11, 2020 at 02:14 pm

That would be good to see but without Reggie to say in his own words would be somewhat lacking but I guess old footage could fill in the pieces.

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flackcatcher's picture

May 11, 2020 at 05:15 pm

Oh yeah. Bob Harlan has been a king maker in Green Bay for so long now, his story would be fascinating in itself.

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13TimeChamps's picture

May 11, 2020 at 02:46 pm

Vince Lombardi leaving the Packers for Washington.
His name is so ingrained in Packer lore, that I wonder how many people under the age of 40 or so are even aware that he coached the Redskins for a year before dying. He was on the cusp of turning that franchise around as well.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 11, 2020 at 09:23 pm

I would ike to see the real story behind the disintegration of the 97 Packers with the Holmgren departure after a power struggle with Ron Wolf and then Wolf hiring and firing Ray Rhodes then walking away just 1 year later and leaving the GM role to coach Mike Sherman (we know how that turned out).

If only Holmgren didnt fritter away the second super bowl by the distractions of his overt flirtations with Seattle and if Sherman could have remained just the coach, there would be more SB Championships, I am sure.

What is the real story there?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2020 at 02:15 am

I am more interested in smaller stories. Short stories, I guess, since there have been no answers.

1. Tony Brown's departure.
2. Randall and the veteran's committee.
3. LeRoy Butler and his relationship with GB.
4. What was the reasoning for Sitton's departure?
5. Ditto for Woodson and Hayward, but might know those.
6. What really happened with Martellus Bennett. GB lost the appeal?
7. The real relationship btw. AR and MM. I doubt it can be done now.

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Mark King's picture

May 12, 2020 at 07:01 am

Though not perfect, Bart Starr gave his heart and soul to the Packers as a coach / GM. Even after they fired him he did commercials to help raise money for the stadium renovations. A piece on his post playing days would be my pick.

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RedRight49's picture

May 12, 2020 at 10:47 am

The arrival of Coach Vince Lombardi to the Green Bay Packers and his turning a moribund team into footballs' and, all of sports most storied franchise.

Lombardi changed a culture of loosing and accepting losses into a culture of winning and, winning with perfection, soon after his arrival.

His legendary adherence to the fundamentals and his insistence on every player knowing and being able to execute his assignments 100% quickly became the only norm for those in Green and Gold.

How Lombardi was able to motivate tough, grown men, some with years of NFL experience into digging down deep inside themselves and becoming better, tougher players. was unrivaled and worthy of ongoing discussion.

Behind his mile-wide smile was a technician, tactician and motivator unrivaled in all of sports.

The record books speak volumes about his accomplishments as a Coach and the record books speak volumes about his teams and the record books speak volumes about many of his heralded players.

Yes, there are books and movies about The Man and yes, there is always room for another well done and micro detailed documentary about Coach Lombardi and his arrival and revival of the Green Bay Packers!

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marpag1's picture

May 12, 2020 at 08:27 am

Michael Jordan remains the greatest basketball player ever to step onto the court.

That said, I don't give a pinch of owl dung about that documentary, and I wouldn't be much interested in creating a Green Bay Packer version, either. But I suppose others can watch Real Housewives of Green Bay if they want to. lol

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Johnblood27's picture

May 12, 2020 at 10:33 am

Unless you are an active player, coach or front office executive of the team, we are all Real Housewives of Green Bay Packer Football.

So come down off your pedestal Mr Bignutz. You aint anything special.

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flackcatcher's picture

May 12, 2020 at 07:06 pm

While it has been written about, the 1999 health crisis that changed the course of the entire organization and the league itself.

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