New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers: franchise twins

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aaron rodgersbrady

In 1997, the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots came together for a Super Bowl in New Orleans. In 2007, the Pack finished a couple plays short of joining the NE Pats in the NFL title game once again. This season, a Packers-Patriots finale could very well happen; and it’s becoming a trendy pick to actually forecast this scenario.

As the NFL becomes more and more pass-happy, and more teams adopt the 3-4 defense to defend all that passing, the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots are two teams that end up looking more similar. When you take a closer look, you’ll see it’s not just the teams, but the franchises themselves who share commonality.

And it  goes well beyond sharing the first two letters in their nickname.

brady

Gisele Bundchen tom brady

Brash Young Superstar QB with a Celebrity hottie

Both starting QBs are without a doubt the current face of their franchises. This is often, but not always the case in the NFL. And both have a celebrity significant other. Aaron Rodgers went from Erin Andrews to Jessica Szohr to Olivia Munn.

Tom Brady ditched the baby mama drama of Bridget Moynahan for supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

Olivia Munn

aaron-rodgers-olivia-munn

Similar Upper Management

In both organizations, players are expected to get with the program, and place the team well above the individual. Although that sounds cliche, and indeed it is painfully trite, here it rings a bit more true. Study how both teams have handled personnel turnover and managing the roster under the salary cap, and you’ll see that shopworn publicly stated aphorisms actually do dictate policy.

Both teams like to build through draft. GM Ted Thompson is notorious for it, and he’s probably the biggest “value GM” of any in the league. And the Pats love adding draft picks. It’s become a joke every April- predicting when they’ll trade down to get extra picks. Come draft time, both front offices are very interesting to watch.

What’s not interesting are the press conferences of either coach. Both take pride in being as boring and useless as possible in the soundbites they give to the media. Obviously, a ton of media members are going to bang us over the head with the “Brady and Rodgers are so similar” storyline. Belichick answered that question with simply “they both wear #12.”

Nothing more, nothing less.

Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said only “they’re both from California.”

belichick

 

Franchise and Fan Identity

Both cold weather teams have INSANE fans who revel in their allegiance to their frozen Utopias. Coincidentally, both these rural meccas are located in the middle of absolutely nowhere (a rarity among NFL stadiums). Both teams have hosted and triumphed in legendary cold weather moments that added to the folk lore which fans embrace. The Pats won “The Snow Bowl” in 2001 and “The Snow Plow Game” in 1982. Both games featured iconic moments that you’ve seen incessantly on NFL Films.

Likewise for the 1967 the Ice Bowl, won by the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau. Even their fans’ nicknames are similar sounding and named for the region’s food:

Chowderheads vs. Cheeseheads.

Title Town meets The Patriot Way

Very few franchise can claim a dynasty. The Green Bay Packers can actually claim three, while the Pats were the unquestioned team of the 2000s. The Green Bay Packers have a record 12 NFL championships, winning three in row twice (1929-31, 1965-7) and another three in a different five year span (1936, 1939, 1944). The Pats made a similar run in a similar span. They hoisted the trophy named after the Green Bay legend Vince Lombardi in 2001, ’03 and ’04.

Paul M. Banks owns, operates and writes The Sports Bank.net ,which is partners with Fox Sports. Read his feature stories in the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. Listen to him on KOZN 1620 The Zone. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks). His work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including The Washington Post and ESPN 2

 

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Comments

  1. http://Nick%20Grays says

    Awesome piece Paul, I never really thought of these two teams in that way. Maybe that is why I strongly dislike the Patriots, because they are so much like the Packers.

  2. http://davidkay says

    yeah, clearly whoever thought of this idea came up with a stroke of genius…

  3. http://paulmbanks says

    agreed.

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