Photo of Green Bay Packers Helmets laying on the field.

The Green Bay Packers are perhaps the most storied franchise in the National Football League despite what Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers fans may tell you. The origins of the iconic "G" on their helmet recently generated a lot of discussion after a Tiki Barber interview with Green Bay Packers players at Super Bowl XLV. So what does the "G" on the Packers helmet stand for if it doesn't stand for "Green Bay"?

 

It stands for "Greatness", not "Green Bay". Right? According to Green Bay Packers historian Cliff Christl, people within the Packers organization have no evidence to support this claim. Packers coach Vince Lombardi did indeed want a logo made for the team's helmets in 1961 and for the G to be in the shape of a football. Long time equipment manager George "Dad" Brashier (1956-1976) and his assistant, John Gordon are credited as the founding fathers of the logo. Gordon was actually also an art student at St. Norbert College at the time. Some years later, Gordon changed the logo from football-shaped to it's current design. Here is a brief Youtube video discussing the history of the logo's design.

So where did Tiki's misconception come from? Some suspect the DVD "The Legend of Lambeau Field" which came out in 2003. At one part during the documentary, the narrator says "When Lombardi added the G to the Packers' helmet, it meant "great". No one other than Tiki, however, accepted this claim as the true meaning of the logo at the time. Flash forward a few years later and thanks to Tiki, the misconception still dominates social media as you can see below.

 
 
To further support the debunking, we looked for the meaning of the logo on the two most popular Packers uniform databases on the web at Packers.com and at PackersUniforms.Blogspot.com. No luck. We were able to find out, however, that the Green Bay Packers have given the University of Georgia and Grambling State University permission to use similar logos on their football helmets (as seen below).
 

Georgia and Grambling State Logos

 

 

So no, while the "G" on the Green Bay Packers helmets may not stand for "greatness", the Green Bay Packers are still great. For many years, the Packers had perhaps the greatest coach in NFL history in Vincent Lombardi. The team collectively has 13 titles; 11 NFL championships (pre Super Bowl titles) and 2 Super Bowl titles. The Packers play at the most iconic football stadium in the National Football League (Lambeau Field) and every game at Lambeau Field has been sold out since 1960. At the center of all of this tradition is the fact that the Packers have the most passionate fan base in all of professional football.
 
  
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