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The snowy surface of Lambeau Field
There used to be a time when the Packers couldn't attract players to live in Green Bay, or at least that's what legend would have you believe.
The line of thinking was that players would rather live in a bigger city that offered more entertainment. The cold winter weather that inspired the "Frozen Tundra" moniker played into the idea, too.
While there's probably been a few players whose preference would be to avoid the small-town atmosphere, perhaps the bigger reason behind the aversion to Green Bay was the bleak years in the 1970s and 1980s.
The time period between the eras of Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren is one most Packers fans would like to forget. In the 20 combined years between those two decades, the Packers had only four seasons with a winning record, one of them being the strike-shortened 1982 season.
Ever since Holmgren was hired as head coach, there's been a winning attitude ever since.
Helping put to rest the notion that players didn't want to live in Green Bay was the signing of Reggie White, arguably the biggest free-agent signing in NFL history.
Since that time, the Packers have signed other big-name free agents such as Sean Jones, Santana Dotson, Charles Woodson and, most recently, Jeff Saturday.
Players have realized they have a good chance to win in Green Bay, which certainly helps in the recruitment of free agents.
The Packers have also done whatever is in their power to make living in Green Bay more attractive by paying players to stay there in the offseason to work out.
"We made it a priority to change the attitude about the program, negotiating offseason workout bonuses into all veteran contracts," said former Packers vice president Andrew Brandt in a 2010 interview.
Perhaps the biggest compliment came this past April when the head coach of the NHL's Winnipeg Jets, Claude Noel––who lives in the smallest market in professional hockey––had to address similar doubts about luring players to Winnipeg.
"Green Bay wins," Noel told the Ed Tait, of the Winnipeg Free Press. "What the hell's in Green Bay? You been to Green Bay? I mean, I've been to Green Bay. It's a nice town, but... Winnipeg's going to be a good place to play. I think players really like it and the response we get from our players is they love playing here. It won't be for everybody. So be it. Some guys might want to golf all year round. Go ahead.
"I learned a long time ago you don't sell your soul to get a player to come. You get him to come for the right reasons and you'll win."