By Doug Russell Special to Published Jul 19, 2012 at 6:40 PM

The problem with history is that someone needs to take the mantle of leadership to continue to tell the stories.

In Wisconsin, the great sports historians have provided us valuable insights into what got us to the places we are as a sports society.

Former Milwaukee Sentinel Sports Editor Bud Lea has been invaluable in the retelling of the tales of the Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Braves. Likewise, Bob Buege's tireless contributions to the meticulous chronicles of baseball have ensured that there is a permanent document of what has been so far, Milwaukee's only World Series championship.

But as Bud and Bob's careers enter their respective sunsets, it becomes incumbent upon a new generation of storytellers to dig even deeper in order to further enrich the tales of our glorious sports past.

Enter William Povletich.

Povletich, 40, is based in Southern California, but was born and raised in Mequon. His childhood was spent fascinated with the history of the teams previous generations cheered for.

Povletich's first effort in chronicling Wisconsin sports was the film adaptation of Jerry Polling's book about Henry Aaron's first season of professional baseball in Eau Claire titled, "Henry Aaron's Summer Up North," released in 2005.

Also that year, Povletich penned his first book about Wisconsin football when he wrote "Green Bay Packers: Legends in Green and Gold."

From there, the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker and author wrote "Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak" and produced its accompanying film, "A Braves New World" in conjunction with Milwaukee Public Television.

Now, Povletich is back with another chronicling of the inner workings of the Green Bay Packers in his remarkable "Green Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs, and Tradition," published by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

"This book focuses on what happens behind the curtain," Povletich says. "It's (about) the men and the community that supported the Packers from their inception."

The book features a foreword by former Packers President and CEO Bob Harlan and includes dozens of rarely seen photographs, something that has become a Hallmark of Povletich's unique and meticulous storytelling.

Who were the "Hungry Five" and why were they critical to the Packers mere survival? Why did the NFL try to move the Packers to the much larger metropolis of Milwaukee in the formative years of the league? How did Vince Lombardi personally insure that no other football team could ever play at County Stadium?

We all know what has happened on the field. What we didn't know until now was how the most unique franchise in major professional sports was even allowed to exist.

Doug Russell Special to

Doug Russell has been covering Milwaukee and Wisconsin sports for over 20 years on radio, television, magazines, and now at

Over the course of his career, the Edward R. Murrow Award winner and Emmy nominee has covered the Packers in Super Bowls XXXI, XXXII and XLV, traveled to Pasadena with the Badgers for Rose Bowls, been to the Final Four with Marquette, and saw first-hand the entire Brewers playoff runs in 2008 and 2011. Doug has also covered The Masters, several PGA Championships, MLB All-Star Games, and Kentucky Derbys; the Davis Cup, the U.S. Open, and the Sugar Bowl, along with NCAA football and basketball conference championships, and for that matter just about anything else that involves a field (or court, or rink) of play.

Doug was a sports reporter and host at WTMJ-AM radio from 1996-2000, before taking his radio skills to national syndication at Sporting News Radio from 2000-2007. From 2007-2011, he hosted his own morning radio sports show back here in Milwaukee, before returning to the national scene at Yahoo! Sports Radio last July. Doug's written work has also been featured in The Sporting News, Milwaukee Magazine, Inside Wisconsin Sports, and Brewers GameDay.

Doug and his wife, Erika, split their time between their residences in Pewaukee and Houston, TX.