Who were the Green Bay Indians?
Before the National Football League began in 1921 (called the American Professional Football Association for the first season), the Green Bay Packers played in 1919 and 1920 as a local semipro football team that was called the Green Bay Indians for their first game.
Sponsored by the Indian Packing Company, the football team was called both the Indians and the Packers by the local newspaper, according to team historian Cliff Christi. After that first game, the Press-Gazette referred to the Green Bay football team as both the Indians and the Packers. Later that week, the Press-Gazette dropped the Indians moniker and referred to the team as the Packers from that point forward.
By the time the APFA was created in 1921, the name Packers had stuck. The Green Bay Packers are the only team in league history to have the same name from the start of the league in 1921. The Chicago Bears were also members of the league in 1921, but were called the Decatur Staleys for the first season and didn’t become the Bears until 1922. In fact, the name Packers goes back to 1919, before the start of the NFL.
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