There aren’t many eye-popping pieces of Green Bay Packers memorabilia that Glen Christensen doesn’t own.
He has a collection that rivals the Packers Hall of Fame at Lambeau Field. It’s not a stretch to say Christensen possesses the best individual Packers collection in the world.
Christensen owns a rare football from the famous “Ice Bowl” in which the Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 31, 1967. It is the centerpiece of his collection.
The former Green Bay resident has game balls from the 1965 NFL Championship Game and two from Super Bowl II. His collection also features NFL Player of the Year trophies of Packers legends Paul Hornung and Ray Nitschke.
His Packers’ shrine is jam-packed into two rooms in his Grapevine, Texas house.
Christensen was a natural choice to be selected into the newly-established SCD Collectors Hall of Fame under the Man Cave category.
HIS OWN MINI MUSEUM
Christensen figures he has a couple thousand items on display and “five times” that many pieces in storage.
“It’s kind of mind-blogging somedays when I come up here, especially when I give a tour to friends or relatives that come into town,” Christensen said. “I start looking it over and I’m like, ‘My God, I don’t remember half the stuff I have in here.’
“Just to see the look on their faces when they look at the collection. I’m in my own little world here and when I see people’s reaction to the collection I’m just like, ‘Wow, this is more special than I even give it credit for.’”
Christensen — who for the last 20 years has owned Craftmark, a printing business in Fort Worth, Texas — has his main room dedicated to vintage items and former Packers legends. To add a museum touch, Christensen made a set of six wooden lockers with nameplates of his childhood heroes: Jerry Kramer, Donny Anderson, Nitschke, Hornung, Jim Taylor and Bart Starr. The lockers feature autographed jerseys of each player, signed footballs, helmets and game-used cleats for a couple of the guys.
Photo Gallery: Glen Christensen man cave
“As I collected, I looked for items that would go in their locker — certainly some of the first things I looked for were jerseys,” said Christensen, who would like to one day pass along his collection to his son. “And back then, there wasn’t eBay and anything, so a lot of it I got signed in person. I’d go to card shows or I’d go to signings that they were having here or there. That kind of filled up those spaces. Then I went on to getting helmets.
“Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to find game-used helmets of many of the players and game jerseys.”
Placed in Nitschke’s locker is his original player contract from 1968. The Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker made $33,000 per year. The contract is signed by Nitschke and Lombardi.
In Starr’s locker is his cold-weather sweater he wore on the sidelines. After purchasing it, Christensen sent it to Starr, who signed it.
The oldest pieces in Christensen’s collection include bulletins and pennants from the early 1920s, which can be extremely rare to track down.
“I absolutely love collecting vintage pennants,” Christensen said. “From 1920 to 1968, I have about 120 different pennants. That’s pretty substantial when you think about a lot of these. Some were hand-painted, printed very crudely, some were sewn letters on them, and for them to make it through the years is just amazing because of moths and basements.”
When Christensen’s son, Tom, went off to college, Dad decided to make his kid’s adjoining room into an extended Packers’ shrine. This room is dedicated more to modern-day Packers players. It’s his “new locker room.”
Christensen again constructed lockers, this time looking nearly identical to the ones currently used by players at Lambeau Field. There are eight locker stalls: Brett Favre, Reggie White, Ahman Green, Dave Robinson (the exception to the modern-day player), Donald Driver, Clay Matthews, Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson.
The 60-year-old Christensen said he’s had so much fun assembling the rooms and putting the historic pieces on display.
“I’ve tried to make it kind of a museum-ish look,” Christensen said. “That’s the one thing that everybody says about the collection when they see it is, ‘You’ve got great things but the way you have it displayed is incredible.’ I love that people appreciate that. I try to do it as a historical situation where I’ve got it assembled the way that I’d like to see it if I was looking at it.
“I absolutely loved being able to put this whole thing together over the years. It’s hard to believe it’s been 26 years since I started it. It doesn’t seem like it.”