Have the Green Bay Packers Become the NFL's Most Storied Franchise?
The 2011 Super Bowl was full of excitement and the Green Bay Packers are worthy champions.
It was the Packers' ninth NFL championship and fourth Super Bowl victory. They are the current champs and the original champs.
The game featured two of the most historic franchises in the league. The two small-market teams have unique ways of running their teams and have been able to have sustained success for 70-plus years.
What other teams are in the conversation?
Here is a look at the 10 most storied franchises in NFL history.
10. Denver Broncos
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The Broncos have won two Super Bowls and six AFC championships.
They have four players in the Hall of Fame, including John Elway, Floyd Little, Gary Zimmerman and 2011-inductee Shannon Sharpe.
Mile High Stadium had a legendary home-field advantage and is regarded as one of the best venues in the NFL. The Broncos had the best home record in pro football from 1974-2006 (191-65-1).
9. Philadelphia Eagles
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The Eagles may not be the most successful franchise, but the fans are some of the most hardcore in the NFL. It's pretty tough to earn their respect—they are famously remembered for booing Santa Claus,.
The Eagles have won three NFL titles and made two Super Bowl appearances.
The Andy Reid era has been one of the highlights of this franchise. In the past 11 seasons, the Eagles have made the playoffs an impressive nine times.
The 23 playoff appearances are a great accomplishment...but winning a Super Bowl is still on the wish list.
8. New England Patriots
The Pats have been around since 1960 and have been the best team of the last decade.
The Patriots are one of only two teams in history to appear in three Super Bowls in four seasons (2001-05). While they may have never won a Super Bowl until 2001, the Pats' last decade grabs them a spot on the list.
The Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era has produced three Super Bowl titles and four appearances in the big game.
The fan base is one of the most loyal on the list and they are currently the model franchise in the league.
7. New York Giants
The Giants are one of five teams that joined the NFL in 1925, but they are the only team that is still in existence.
The Giants have seven NFL titles. Four of them came in the pre-Super Bowl era (1927, 1934, 1938, 1956) and three since the Super Bowl era (1986, 1990, 2007).
Only the Bears and Packers have more titles.
They have 15 players in the Hall of Fame and possibly the greatest linebacker ever in Lawrence Taylor.
The Eli Manning-to-David Tyree helmet catch ranks as one of the most memorable moments in NFL history.
6. Washington Redskins
The franchise has captured 10 divisional titles and six NFL conference championships. The Redskins are sitting on three Super Bowl championships and 22 appearances in the playoffs. Only four teams have appeared in more Super Bowls than the Redskins.
They have 20 Hall of Famers, highlighted by Sammy Baugh, John Riggins and Russ Grimm. Doug Williams was the first black QB to ever win a title.
The fans are loyal and also really dedicated. The waiting list to get Redskin season tickets is 30-40 years.
5. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys joined the NFL in 1960 and have been one of the most popular teams ever since.
The Cowboys are second all-time in Super Bowl appearances with eight. The ‘Boys are the only team to have a winning record in 20 consecutive seasons (1966-1985). During that span they only missed the playoffs twice.
The Cowboys are the highest valued sports franchise in America and generate almost $269 million in revenue every year.
From Roger Staubach to Troy Aikman and now Tony Romo, the Cowboys are known for their franchise QBs.
4. Chicago Bears
Da Bears have won nine NFL championships, but only one of them has been in the Super Bowl era.
That 1985 championship team is regarded as one of the best NFL teams ever. The Mike Ditka-led defense is widely regarded as the toughest unit of all-time.
The Bears have also recorded more regular-season and overall victories than any other NFL franchise. They reached the 700-win milestone in November.
The Bears also have more players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame than any other team. The list is quite impressive: Ditka, Gale Sayers, Dick Butkus, Walter Payton, Mike Singletary and Red Grange, just to name a few.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are the fifth-oldest team in the NFL and the oldest in the AFC.
Pittsburgh has won more Super Bowl titles (six), won more AFC Championship Games (eight), played in more conference championship games (15) and hosted more conference championship games (11) than any other team.
Their extensive list of Hall of Famers includes Terry Bradshaw, “Mean” Joe Greene, Chuck Noll, Franco Harris, John Stallworth and Lynn Swann.
The Rooney family has owned the team since its inception and are considered to be among the best owners in the NFL.
2. San Francisco 49ers
While they may have hit a bit of a rough patch lately, the 49ers are one of the best franchises in the sport.
The heyday of the 49ers in the 1980s and early 1990s is the greatest stretch for any team in NFL history. The Niners won 10 or more games in 16 straight seasons. The 49ers ripped off 15 playoff appearances in 16 years from 1983-1998.
Joe Montana is widely regarded as the greatest QB of all-time. Jerry Rice is the undisputed greatest receiver in the history of the NFL.
Bill Walsh was the head coach during this period and is considered to be the creator of the West Coast-style passing offense.
The team is the oldest major professional sports team in California, as well as the first.
1. Green Bay Packers
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The second-oldest team in the NFL, the 2011 Super Bowl champs were founded in 1919.
The Packers have won 13 league championships—more than any other team in the NFL—including nine NFL championships prior to the Super Bowl era and four Super Bowl victories.
The Pack have the most legendary coach in sports in Vince Lombardi. They named the Super Bowl trophy in his honor.
The Packers are the only non-profit community-owned franchise in all of professional sports.
Green Bay has the second-most players in the Hall of Fame with 21. Some notable names include Reggie White, Bart Starr and, of course, Lombardi.
The 2011 champs represent the NFL like no other team in the league.