Treml kept on cutting edge of technology

Former video director started on 'ground floor' under Lombardi

If anyone has seen the Green Bay Packers grow from a technological standpoint through the years, it's Al Treml. The team's first-ever video director went from using hand-held 16mm film to high-tech digital video all in an effort to help the Green Bay Packers win football games for nearly 40 years.

For his efforts, Treml was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame on Saturday night at the Lambeau Field Atrium.

Hired part time by Vince Lombardi in 1964, Treml broke down "the tape" before coaches and players would get their hands on it till 2001. Through the course of his career, he engineered video to specific plays or situations that the team used to help evaluate itself or prepare for upcoming opponents.

Treml says the advancements in technology have been stuck on fast-forward since he began with the Packers.

"It's unbelievable," said Treml prior to his induction on Saturday. "I started out with a hand-wound 16mm camera with black and white film. In 1985, the league went to videotape. In the early '90s, non-linear digital video was introduced and, at that time, the Packers became a test site and the only team in the league to be using a system that was being developed. With this system, we would play our digital video onto the hard drive of a computer, marry it up with the statistics, and then manipulate that with computer files. We would come out short yardage, goal line, two-minute offense, defense, every imaginable file you would think of, we had the video to go with it. We would then transfer these files to videotape for the coaches and players.

"When I retired in 2001, we had a large, centrally located storage unit that was networked to the video room, the coaches' offices and all the meeting rooms. The video could be projected, viewed, or edited at any station along the network. Since then, it's continued to be used, and now they're shooting directly onto the hard drive, eliminating the steps of having to transfer to a computer when they get back (from a game). That's a pretty big transition."

Former Packers quarterback Bart Starr inducted Treml. They have maintained a friendship since 1967. Starr says he has been a longtime proponent of Treml's induction into the Packers Hall of Fame.

"We have been pushing and promoting and campaigning, whatever words you want to come up with for a long, long time because of our immense respect and admiration for this gentleman, his creativity, his class, his character and 1,000 other words which we could pick that would be very appropriate for him," Starr said.

Treml was elected by his peers as the first chairman of the NFL Video Directors Committee in 1986, later serving as co-chairman of the committee from 1992 through 1998.

He said he never imagined being inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame.

"It was a situation in which I started out on the ground floor and grew with the job," Treml said. "I think the Packer coaching staff when I started was Coach Lombardi and five coaches. We had one PR director, one trainer, one equipment guy. The Packers were the second team in the league to have a film or a video guy full time. I think I was in the right place at the right time and grew as the job grew."

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