GREEN BAY — The sight of Bart Starr and Brett Favre hugging, and then Aaron Rodgers and Favre hugging at Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving night will be long remembered by Green Bay Packers fans. The exploits of those quarterbacks will be too — thanks in part to a new book.
Packers fans in their early 20s have never known the team to have a “bad” quarterback.
Brett Favre leading into Aaron Rodgers has meant high hopes every season since 1992.
Slightly more mature fans grew up with Bart Starr, as the league grew up on the American sports scene.
If it seems like Green Bay has been led by three of the best ever at football’s most important position, that’s because it has — so says Rob Reischel, author of “Leaders of the Pack.”
“When I started doing the math and the numbers and the homework, and lined Green Bay’s three up against all these other teams, it was pretty clear pretty quickly that Green Bay wasn’t just going to win, but they were going to win in a runaway,” Reischel said.
San Francisco had Joe Montana and Steve Young. Indianapolis had Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning, but those are duos. There’s nothing like the Titletown Trio.
“Honestly, I think the biggest thing that might have surprised me is maybe the gap between one and two or one and three and one and four when you break down those other teams. I thought it would be a little bit closer. You know, San Francisco’s two in the book, the Colts are three, Dallas is four. The separation between Green Bay and some of these other teams is really a lot steeper than I thought going in,” Reischel said.
Reischel has been covering Favre and Rodgers and the Packers since 2001 and he’s become steeped in Starr knowledge, as well. That comes across in the latest book featuring the green and gold.
“Unfortunately because of Bart’s health, a lot of the stuff I used in the Bart chapters is an enormous amount of stuff that I just haven’t had a place to put through the years. I covered the last seven years of Brett, and then obviously all the Aaron years. They both were pretty, extremely cooperative with the project. They both were on board. They really liked the idea and they both gave me an enormous amount of their time,” Reischel said.
Packers books sell well — partly because of all those fans of different ages who have seen Starr and Favre and Rodgers operate at the highest level. Maybe the biggest story is that they wound up in Green Bay in the first place.
“Let’s start with Bart Starr — sitting there in the 17th round in 1956. Nobody in the Packers organization could have ever envisioned what he would become. We talk Brett Favre and Ron Wolf, continuing to call Atlanta three or four times a week from December of 1991 to February of 1992 when he finally was able to get that trade finalized. People will argue it saved Packers football. Lucky again that in April of 2005, March of 2005, Rodgers is sitting there at 24. 21 teams passed on Aaron Rodgers. Two teams passed twice. I mean, how remarkable is that?” Reischel said.
The “Leaders of the Pack” is the seventh original book that Reischel has written about the Packers.
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