A capital match.


Sep 4, 2008
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Who did the Green Bay Packers meet and beat in their first ever appearance in a National Football League Championship Game? If you were asked that question in a game show and answered the Washington Redskins you would be buzzed wrong. It was the BOSTON Redskins in that 1936 title game; which was just the fourth official NFL Championship Game in history.

Since the Packers had won the NFL title 3 times already in the pre-Championship Game era, their 21-6 victory is credited as the club's fourth of their all-time 13 NFL World Championships.



Immediately after that game, however, owner George Preston Marshall moved his club to Washington DC, where they have remained and become one of the marquee franchises of the league.

The Packers and Redskins have met only 34 times in the 84 years they have both been in the NFL, with Green Bay currently holding the edge at 19-14-1.


While the rivalry is infrequent there have been several notable events in their history, particularly that 1936 championship game, another playoff 36 years later in 1972, an historic Monday Night Football shootout in 1983 and the unique tie of having both been coached by Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi.


The Packers and Redskins met in another playoff game in 1972, when both seemed to be teams on the rise in the NFL. That year Green Bay jumped back into the playoff circle after a four year absence with a 10-4 season in which they won the NFC Central Division title. Washington, in their second season under Hall of Fame head coach George Allen, was the NFC "top seed" at 11-3. While the 'Skins would be a perenniel playoff team under Allen during the 1970's the Packers would be a one year wonder.

The two had faced each other a few weeks before in the regular season at Washington in a playoff preview. http://www.packershistory.net/1972PACKERS/GAME11.html

When they met again in the playoff at old Robert F. Kennedy Stadium the Packers came in riding success on the strength of their defense, the running of bull backs John Brockington and MacArthur Lane and the kicking of sensational rookie Chester Marcol. But quarterbacks Scott Hunter and Jerry Tagge couldn't mount a passing game and the Redskins pounced on that one-dimentional situation.

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Washington would go on from that win to play the undefeated Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VII. They would be beaten in that one 14-7 in a game not quite as close as the score suggests but despite Miami being unbeaten that year the Redskins were actually the slight favorites going into that game.

In this 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl the most memorable play of that game that will no doubt be played over and over in the pre-game hype before this year's game. http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-videos/0ap2000000146968/Garo-Yepremian-attempted-throw.

Undoubtedly the best known and greatests game ever played between the Pack and the Skins was the epic Monday Night Football meeting at Lambeau Field in 1983. The game that is still the highest scoring in MNF history and kept the nation riveted into the wee hours of the morning.



Every one knows the place of Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi in Packers' history. Both, however,also had short head coaching stints in Washington after leaving Green Bay.

Lambeau, 3 years after departing the Packers, coached the Redskins for 2 season in 1952-53, compiling only a 10-13-1 record. In '52 he became the only former Packers' hc to face the Packers as coach of an opposing team. Lambeau's Redskins met the Packers twice that year; in a preseason and regular season game and the Packers beat him both times.


Far more momentous and well known is Washington's luring Vince Lombardi out of his one year retirement from coaching and away from Green Bay in 1969. Lombardi was head coach, general manager and part owner of the Redskins in that deal.


Every one knows Lombardi's legacy with the Packers. In his only one season coaching in Washington he also established a new winning attitude with the Redskins club as well. Prior to Lombardi's arrival in Washington the 'Skins hadn't had a winning season in 13 years. Hadn't been in a playoff or championship game in 15. And hadn't won a championship in 18 seasons.

Lombardi squeezed a winning record out of the team in his first year, before succumbing to premature death by cancer in 1970. Although his beginning was carried forward by other coaches, in the 45 years since the Washington Redskins have had 18 playoff seasons and played in 5 Super Bowls, winning three.

One of the big "what if's" in Packers history in the 1970's also had a Washington connection. Both the Packers and Redskins were seeking new head coaches in 1971. The hot prospect on the market that year was George Allen. Allen had turned around and produced consistent winning and playoff teams with the Los Angeles Rams, before being fired in a "personality conflict" with the Rams owner.

How serious the Packers were about Allen has been subject to debate. It has been reported that the Executive Committee at the time was reticent about bringing in another dominating personality after their years with Lombardi.

At any rate the Redskins, determined not to lose the momentum started by their hire of Lombardi, signed Allen to pick up where he had left off. Over the next 6 years Allen would guide the Redskins to 5 playoff appearances and a Super Bowl and a record of 61-29-1.

The Packers during the same period would go 34-46-4 under Dan Devine and Bart Starr.One can only wonder how different the story in Green Bay in the '70's and '80's might have been had Allen followed Lombardi here instead of in DC. http://www.redskins.com/team/history/greatest-redskins/george-allen.html


Washington hasn't entirely ceased going after Packers' talent in current times. Their General Manager Scot McCloughan was a regional scout for Green Bay under Ron Wolf from 1994-99.http://www.redskins.com/team/staff/scot-mccloughan/c4047c52-5819-4caa-a64d-0f87745100c6

Here's the full story of the Washington Redskins. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Washington_Redskins
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