“America’s Team” is a term that was originally coined in a 1978 NFL films production about the Dallas Cowboys, and since that time the organization that truly deserves this title has always been in question. While some people consider teams with more recent success such as the Chicago Bears or Pittsburgh Steelers to be America’s team, a great deal of people still think of America’s team as the Dallas Cowboys. This has to be due in large part to the brand name that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has turned the franchise into; the Dallas Cowboys’ star is as recognizable as any logo in professional sports. That being said, describing an organization as America’s team has to be based on much more than public recognition, which is why the Green Bay Packers have taken the reigns from the Dallas Cowboys as the new America’s team.
The most important component of America’s team also happens to be the main reason the Dallas Cowboys are out: winning tradition. While Dallas may have more Super Bowl trophies all-time than Green Bay, it’s been almost 17 years since they’ve made it back to the big stage. Since that time the Packers are 2-1 in the Super Bowl, and there’s no question that they look better prepared than the Cowboys to continue that winning tradition for the next five to ten years. Dallas may have built up a winning tradition through the mid 90’s, but since that time it has been an up and down road for the organization without any true franchise players to lean on.
One of the reasons the Dallas Cowboys were originally described as America’s team in 1978 is because the filmmakers felt that the players “appear on television so often that their faces are as familiar to the public as presidents and movie stars,” according to NFL correspondent Simon Samano. While this may have been the case in 1978, the Cowboys have suffered a severe loss of identity since then, with Tony Romo being their only recognizable player to the general public. On the Packers; however, I’d bet a lot of money that Clay Matthews, Aaron Rodgers and B.J. Raji get recognized almost anywhere they go due to their many commercial appearances.
The last aspect in defining America’s team is where the Green Bay Packers really separate themselves from the competition: the long-standing culture and tradition of the organization. One of the first teams to ever play in the NFL and the winners of the first two Super Bowls, the Packers are simply unrivaled in their rich football history. The culture of football in the Green Bay area is something that cannot be taught or rendered anywhere else, as it goes back a long way to when the program was first founded and immediately beloved in the state of Wisconsin. And although the new Cowboys Stadium may be the largest and most impressive stadium in the NFL, the $1.2 billion spent to build it couldn’t buy the charm you find at Lambeau Field.