Green Bay Packers: Are They The Dirtiest Team In NFL History?

Richard FloodContributor ISeptember 28, 2010

Matt Forte Gets Slammed After the Whistle
Matt Forte Gets Slammed After the WhistleJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The purpose here is to determine whether or not the Green Bay Packers are the dirtiest team in NFL history. While most teams have or have had dirty players from time to time, i.e., Richie Incognito of the Dolphins, Hines Ward of the Steelers, and even Conrad Dobler of the Cardinals to name but a few, rarely have teams historically held onto a concept of committing flagrant, intentional penalties against opposing players, whether for the purpose of injuring or intimidating them, or merely when the game isn't going their way. The Green Bay Packers however, appear to be such a team. Is this tendency to commit flagrant penalties, late hits, and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls just emotional meltdown in the heat of battle, or a trait that is taught within their organization as a whole? Or perhaps a team that believes that it can take advantage of preferred treatment by the NFL hierarchy? In any event, the Packers have historically employed dirty play as part of a team concept to win at any cost and as such should by now be recognized as the dirtiest team in NFL history. I will not go into a complete list of dirty plays over 90 something years of Packer history, but rather illustrate a few examples to make my point.

Last night's game against the Bears was a typical example of the Packers resorting to unsportsmanlike conduct, particularly when an opponent gets physical with them. Did they intentionally send Zongo to try and injure Cutler? It certainly appeared that way. It will be interesting to see if the NFL fines him for the flagrant hit. He came up under Cutler's jaw and launched his helmet like a boxer's uppercut, which is a knockout punch. Then there was the late hit on Forte that was way after the whistle blew the play dead, which was reminiscent of the late hit on Jim McMahon in the 1980's that injured his throwing shoulder and effectively ended his career. How about their entire O/L leg-whipping and tripping Julius Peppers last night? Even the supposed second-coming of Ray Lewis (Clay Matthews Jr.) was up around the helmet of Cutler whenever he got a chance. Where does this tendency come from? Don't the Packers believe that they can compete within the rules? Is this just residual effect from the Forrest Gregg era or a systematic characteristic of "Titletown" Wisconsin?

Ray Nitschke was no Dick Butkus for certain, so he played dirty in order to keep up with his contemporary. Zongo is no Lance Briggs and we have the same results. Forrest Gregg was no Mike Ditka and the Packers were clearly the dirtiest team of the 1980's. They just couldn't compete with those Bears teams within the rules so they attempted to maim players as a consolation. So with the mountain of evidence that is NFL game tape, just when will the league step in and send a message to "Titletown" Wisconsin that even they have to play the game within the rules, win or lose? Don't hold your breath because the Packers have been ordained champions already at 2-1, something which they haven't earned. What they have earned is the label of being the dirtiest team in NFL history.