Perhaps the biggest and most annoying criticism of opposing fans towards the Green Bay Packers is that they have had Hall of Fame quarterback play for 30 years and just two Super Bowl wins to show for it. It’s dumb, really, as most of those come from Bears, Vikings, and Lions fans who have one combined Super Bowl win between them in their history. That being said, it is a fair question: why haven’t the Packers won more than two Super Bowls in 30 years. Well, Green Bay Packers legends Gilbert Brown and Dr. George Koonce have a very interesting interesting answer to that question.
Green Bay Packers Legends Talk on the Importance of Leadership
If you’re a regular reader, you know by now that Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer Gilbert Brown has a weekly segment on The Earl Ingram Show. During this segment, Gilbert not only talks about football, but life as well. So far, he and Earl have had some very notable guests on to talk about a variety of topics (Santana Dotson and former Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Larry Hisle, among them).
This week, Gilbert invited former Packers linebacker (and Super Bowl Champion) Dr. George Koonce onto the show. Of course, a great deal of time was spent talking about the current Aaron Rodgers situation. Earl asked the pair why they think the Packers only won two Super Bowls under Brett Favre and Rodgers. Their answer: leadership.
The following is a direct quote from Dr. Koonce:
“It really has nothing to do with either Aaron or Brett. The missing piece, for both of them, is Reggie White. Now, you’re probably asking yourself, ‘How did Reggie get into this conversation?’ To be a quarterback in the National Football League, that’s a lot of weight, a lot of responsibility.
“You’re face of the organization. You’re probably the highest paid player on the team, right? You’re the spokesperson. So, that’s a lot of weight, and then they expect you to go out there and perform, put up the points, and get the W, and all that.”
“See, Brett Favre didn’t have to be Brett Favre at that time because he had Reggie White taking that heat, taking that leadership, which let him go out there and do what he wanted to do, which was have fun. And we had a chance to experience, to see that.”
“Brett was in Green Bay for 16 years. Brett and Reggie were together for six. Those six years, they went to two Super Bowls. After our late Reggie White passed on, Brett was in Green Bay for a total of a decade. Never went back. Never went back to a Super Bowl.
“So now you’re saying, ‘Okay, now how does Aaron Rodgers fit into it?’ Same thing. Money. Which is great. Leadership. You got a player, you got to go out there and have fun, you got to go out there and lead. Who was there to help him? In the beginning, it was kind of hit and miss. Then the Packers made a move and went out and got a guy by the name of Charles Woodson.”
Gilbert and Dr. Koonce discuss how Reggie White and Charles Woodson took the leadership roles on the Packers’ Super Bowl teams. That allowed their quarterbacks, Favre and Rodgers, to just play the game without the pressure of being the leader. After they both left Green Bay, the Packers did not return to the Super Bowl under those quarterbacks.
Who Was the Real Leader of the 1996 Green Bay Packers?
Now, we are not going to sit here and disrespect the great Reggie White and LeRoy Butler. However, it is worth noting that Gilbert Brown identified George Koonce as an underrated and important leader in the Packers locker room during that time.
By the way, Dr. Koonce has a PhD in Sports Management from Marquette and he was the Athletic Director at UWM from 2009-2010. He is one of just two players in Packers history to have earned a PhD.
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