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1921 Green Bay Packers Program - Second Ever & One of the Finest Known

1921 Green Bay Packers Program - Second Ever & One of the Finest Known "Dope Sheets"

One of two known specimens of the second Green Bay Packers program in their century-long history. Furthermore, this is one of the finest known condition copies of ANY "Dope Sheet," the earliest of Packer programs. Only a handful of these monsters of football publication collecting exist, and this is one of the finest. It is amazing that this treasure survived, let alone in this near-immaculate condition. Constructed of the most delicate pulp paper, it is as fresh and supple as when it was first distributed on the fields of Hagemeister Field in 1921, the first season in the American Professional Football Association. The APFA became the National Football League in the following season (1922). A sports microscope peering into the roots of this iconic franchise as well as the league that is the the juggernaut of sports, the program is like new (not dried out) unlike other examples of "The Dope Sheet" which are chipped, marked up and torn. Even the inaugural issue previous to this one (also an incredible piece), recently brought over $14,000 at auction in condition that does not even come close. The only defects of this "Dope Sheet" are a a few of the tiniest edge tears averaging 1/8" in size. From the October 16, 1921 game, the fourth in Packers history, this is only their second ever program. Eight pages in length featuring a scorecard in the middle of this game versus the Beloit Fairies (!) who according to the cover are, "the only team that has defeated the Packers in the three years of their existence." Fittingly, the cover idol is none other than Curley Lambeau, their founder, original coach and star. Articles in and out include a preview for a Packers vs. Minneapolis Marines game, an introduction to Curly Lambeau as coach, total amount of points scored by the Packers in the team's existence, previews for the rest of the Packers schedule and more. Ultimately the Packers shut out the Fairies 7-0. The score sheet is unscored with no writing anywhere. This is as good as it gets. One of the finest condition original Green Bay Packers program extant and one of the finest pieces of early football ephemera known. And when they finally grade and encapsulate such pieces this will be one of the ultimate and most valued of all.

Addendum: We have been alerted of one other specimen of this program in a private collection. As for condition, whether this is the finest condition example of any Packers Dope Set is arguable. But this is certainly ONE of the finest.

Interestingly, pictured prominently on the cover as the first coach is NOT Curly Lambeau but is in fact Joe Hoeffel- who was rightfully the first coach of the NFL team. The other known copy of this Dope Sheet was used in an effort some years back to get Joe Hoeffel installed in the record books in his rightful place as first coach. Joe's grandson, United States Congressman from Pennsylvania and others, went to the NFL with this clear evidence.  In their inimitable wisdom the NFL decided it wasn't worth the time and money to make this change and used the excuse that coaching from sidelines at the time "illegal". They stuck with 'on field coach' Lambeau and ignored the truth that is made abundantly clear by reading this very program. 

So, this program is the singular evidence that the first coach of the storied Green Bay Packers was in fact Joe Hoeffel, and NOT Curly Lambeau. Many thanks to Packer historian Mark Schenider for his valuable assistance. 

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