Sunday, November 30, 2008

You’d Better Hide...

We don’t know who was going to be on the receiving end of coach Vince Lombardi’s wrath after this photo was taken, but whoever it was, they probably were looking for a place to hide on the sideline at this 1962 game.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Henry Jordan and His Friends

Today we have Packers’ defensive lineman Henry Jordan (#74) and his co-workers on the defense battling the Baltimore Colts in a game at City Stadium (later Lambeau Field) in November 1962. Green Bay was victorious that day, 17-13 in front of 38,669 home field fans.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Isometric exercise is where “the joint and muscle are either worked against an immovable force (overcoming isometric) or are held in a static position while opposed by resistance (yielding isometric).” In the early 1960’s the Green Bay Packers were one of the first to buy into and use this form of exercise, in addition to traditional weight training. Accordingly, we see Packer guards Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston and Jerry Kramer working their muscles against fixed bars at the training facility in 1962.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

1962 Championship

Bart Starr looks downfield for a receiver as his line gives him protection during the December 30, 1962 NFL title game in Yankee Stadium, New York. On a bitterly cold and windy day, the Packers defeated the Giants 16-7. It was their second defeat of the New Yorkers within a year, as they had also beaten them for the ’61 title game in Green Bay.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Good Chewing Out

Never one to hold his feelings in, Coach Vince Lombardi gives an unidentified young player “the business” during practice in November 1962. Despite having to take the coach’s abuse, the player earned a championship ring later that season as the Packers repeated as NFL Champs.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Muddy Championship

As we’ve spotlighted before, the 1965 NFL title game was a muddy affair on January 2, 1966. Played in Green Bay, the wet, sloppy snow conditions translated into a field of mud for the game. In today’s photo, Cleveland’s Vince Costello (#50) wraps a tackle around Green Bay’s running back Jim Taylor (#31). The Packers won the game 23-12, securing their third NFL title of the Lombardi Era.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Five TD’s for Hornung

From the LIFE magazine archives, today we have a photo of the Green Bay Packers' running back Paul Hornung (#5) eluding the Baltimore Colts defense to score his fifth touchdown of the game, leading the Packers to a 42-27 victory at Memorial Stadium on December 12, 1965.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Taylor Hits the Hole

Through the courtesy of the LIFE magazine archives and Google, we have a treasure trove of Green Bay Packers photos to share here in the blog. Today, we have an image of Packers’ running back Jim Taylor taking the hand off from quarterback Bart Starr and hitting the hole in a November 11, 1962 game with the Philadelphia Eagles. In front of 60,671 fans at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field, Green Bay whipped the ’Birds that day, 49-0. Only two years earlier, they had lost the NFL Championship game to the Eagles on this same field — Vince Lombardi’s only playoff loss as head coach of the Packers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three Yards and a Cloud of… Mud

Green Bay Packers action from 1923 is the subject of today’s entry. Things have changed a little bit in the ensuing eighty-five years, wouldn’t you say? This action takes place at Bellevue Park, Green Bay, near the Hagemeister Brewery in the 100-200 block of North Main Street. This year, the Packers finished with a record of 7-2-1 for a third-place tie in the League standings.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


After a couple of days off to attend and thoroughly enjoy the Packers’ win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday, we’re back with a photo featuring Green Bay running back John Brockington, who came out of Ohio State University and played for the team from 1971 through 1977. Brockington was the Packers’ First Round draft choice, the ninth selection overall, in 1971. He was the first NFL player to ever rush for 1,000 or more yards in each of his first three seasons and was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for 1971 by the Associated Press. Brockington was named All-Pro in 1971, Second Team All-Pro in 1973 and All-NFC in 1972. Brockington was also selected to 3 consecutive Pro Bowls (1971-1973).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Packer-Bear Game INT —1972

Since the Packers will be taking on the Chicago Bears on Sunday, we present an image of Green Bay linebacker Jim Carter (#50) intercepting a Bears’ pass during the October 8, 1972 contest. The home team won at Lambeau Field that day, 20-17 in front of 56,263 Wisconsin fans. Carter, who played collegiate ball at the University of Minnesota, played in 106 games for the team from 1970-1975, and again from 1977-1978.

Since your “Packerville” editor will be attending the game, our happy little blog here won’t be updated until Sunday night at the earliest.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Green Bay’s Hotel Northland

In 1924, the Hotel Northland was constructed at the corner of Pine and Adams streets in downtown Green Bay, just a couple of blocks east of the Fox River. Walter Schroeder, a Milwaukee businessman, built the Hotel Northland as part of one of the largest hotel chains in Wisconsin during the 1920s. The facilities of the hotel were used to the fullest with numerous conventions, political rallies, and Green Bay Packers business meetings held at the hotel. Many visiting teams stayed there, as well as League officials, broadcasting personnel, etc. over the years. Frank Gifford recalled staying there the night of the “Ice Bowl” game, and being awakened by the hotel operator cheerfully telling him “Good Morning, it’s 13 degrees below zero outside!” The hotel is now used as residential apartment housing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More “Dogfaces”

To follow up on yesterday’s blog entry, we present the rest of the “dogfaces” of the 1960 Green Bay Packers: Tackle Bob Skoronski (#76), Center Jim Ringo (#51), Tackle Norm Masters (#78), and Tackle Forrest Gregg (#75). They would make stars of Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor in the years to come.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The “Dogfaces” Up Front

In military terms, a “dogface” is the term given to the front line infantry soldiers who slog through the mud and gore of battle. In football, the 1960 Packers yearbook referred to the offensive linemen by this same term. As the article stated, “If the holes are there, any back can eat up a few yards. But if the holes just aren’t holes, nobody, not even the sleekest of halfbacks, is going to bowl over one of the 250 pound defensive linemen. That’s probably why the Green Bay Packers have improved their rushing attack by 486 yards during the 1959 season over the 1958 season. The dogfaces were doing their job.”

Here we see Packer guards Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston (#63) and Jerry Kramer (#64) leading the way for fullback Jim Taylor (#31).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coaches Summit

A fine photo of four one-time NFL coaches is the subject of today’s post. This image was taken at an unknown date at an unknown function, but features three Packer coaches — (from left, Earl “Curly” Lambeau, Liz Blackbourn, and Gene Ronzani) — along with longtime Bears’ coach and founder George Halas. Also shown in an inset is Packers’ coach Ray “Scooter” McLean. Between them all, they accounted for 579 wins, 355 losses, and 55 ties in National Football League competition.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Packers vs. Vikings in the Outdoors

Today we present an image from a Sports Illustrated cover of Vikings’ quarterback Fran Tarkenton at work against the Green Bay defense on September 30, 1973 in old Metropolitan Stadium (in Bloomington, MN). The Vikings prevailed that day by a score of 11-3 in front of 48,176 fans. We at Packerville believe that all football games should be played outdoors, and heartily endorse the demolition of the dome in downtown Minneapolis.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Knafelc Karried

We’ve posted a blog entry before on Packers’ receiver Gary Knafelc being carried off the field after a win over the Lions in 1955, but here’s another one with a different photo. Knafelc (pronounced “Knawfull” with a hard “K”) is noted for scoring the final touchdown in the old City Stadium and the first touchdown in the new City Stadium (now Lambeau Field).

Knafelc worked in front of the microphone during his football career and after his playing days in a Packer uniform were done. He overcame a stuttering problem to host several banquets and public speaking engagements while working in public relations for Miller Brewing Company.

His voice work included gigs in front of the camera. He hosted the first Packers television show called "Packerama." Under the stage name Gary Kincaid, he even had a role in “Palm Springs Weekend” but did not pursue a full-time career, choosing his family and profitable school supply business over the tinsel of Hollywood. That business would merge with Valley School Supply, owned by former Packers Willie Davis, Ron Kostelnik and Bob Skoronski.

His experience with the Packers also made him a natural choice as P.A. announcer. Knafelc would arrive to each game two-and-a-half hours before kickoff to work on pronunciations and read through his announcements, presentations and advertisements. His son Greg, who worked for the Packers as a spotter, would identify the defensive players while Gary identified the offensive players.

As the years went by, the job became more demanding. The amount of copy greatly increased. The P.A. announcer must read five times as many commercials and several more special events than when Knafelc first started. He began those duties 50 minutes before each game and had to refrain from speaking when the Packers huddled or lined up for a play. "It's kind of hectic," he said.

After 40 years of service, he announced his last Packer game in 2004. Knafelc has a winter home near Orlando, Fla., and a daughter and two grandchildren. With the NFL regular season now running into January followed by playoff games and an increasing number of games falling on holidays, he was spending and less and less time with them.

Those of us with Packers tickets remember his work with the team fondly.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bart and “Big Daddy”

Today we see Packers’ quarterback Bart Starr trying to elude Baltimore’s Eugene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb (#76) during a regular season game on October 25, 1959. Green Bay lost that day, 38-21 on the way to a 7-5-0 record. One thing of note is the plain Packers’ helmet which does not contain the “G” logo. They were not added until the 1961 season.

Lipscombe is one of the dad stories in pro football. Born in Uniontown, Alabama, he never knew his father, and moved to Detroit with his mother at the age of three. When he was 11, his mother was murdered in the neighborhood where they lived and he moved in with his maternal grandparents.

Lipscombe didn't attend college and was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Los Angeles Rams. He played for the Rams for three seasons from 1953-1955. He then played for the Baltimore Colts for five seasons. In two of the seasons he played for the Colts, 1958 and 1959, he earned a spot in the Pro Bowl. He then went on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers for two seasons. In his last season, 1962, he earned his third trip to the Pro Bowl. During one game against the Minnesota Vikings, after chasing scrambling Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton and finally tackling him, Lipscomb is reported to have said, "Little man, what you run so much for?"

On May 10, 1963, Eugene Lipscomb's 10 year NFL career and life ended. After a night of drinking and partying with two women, Lipscomb collapsed in a kitchen in Baltimore. He had overdosed on heroin. According to the Sports Illustrated profile, the city's assistant medical examiner, Dr. Rudiger Breitenecker, found enough dope inside him to have killed five men. Lipscomb died in the ambulance at the age of 31.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Lombardi’s First Victory

Vince Lombardi being carried off the field after his first victory as the Packers’ head coach is the photo we’re presenting today. On September 27, 1959, Green Bay met their Western Conference rival, the Chicago Bears, at City Stadium for the season-opener. In front of 32,132 fans, they came out on top of the visitors from the Windy City, 9-6. The scoring for the Packers on that day consisted of a touchdown run of five yards by fullback Jim Taylor (with the ensuing extra point by Paul Hornung), and a safety by defensive lineman Dave “Hawg” Hanner. Under center that day was Lamar McHan, who completed three of 12 passes.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Nixon at City Stadium, 1957

For Election Day 2008, we have a taste of politics combined with the history of the Green Bay Packers. Our photo depicts then-Vice President Richard M. Nixon on the platform at the City Stadium dedication. Joining him in the festivities are the reigning Miss America, Marilyn Van Der Bur (left), and National Football League commissioner Bert Bell (right).

Monday, November 03, 2008

Jim Taylor — 1962

Today we have an illustration of Packers’ fullback Jim Taylor from a 1962 publication. In that year, Taylor rushed for 1,474 yards on 272 carries — and scored 19(!) touchdowns. He also caught 22 passes for 106 yards.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Ron Kramer in the End Zone

Packers’ tight end Ron Kramer catches a touchdown pass in the 1961 championship game. This added to the final score of 37-0 in their rout of the New York Giants. Kramer scored two touchdown’s on the day — 14- and 13-yarders.

Twice an All-American end at the University of Michigan, in 1955 and 1956, Kramer also starred as a center on the basketball team and as a high jumper and weight thrower on the track team. He captained the basketball team as a senior and set a school scoring record of 1,124 points, which stood until 1961.

During his three years as a starter in football, he caught 53 passes for 880 yards and 9 touchdowns, kicked 43 extra points and 2 field goals, punted 31 times for a 40.6-yard average, and excelled on defense.

The 6-foot-3 Kramer weighed 220 pounds as a college player but beefed up to 240 pounds as a professional tight end with the NFL's Green Bay Packers in 1957. He served in the Air Force in 1958 and returned to the Packers the following year. A strong blocker, Kramer was also a sure-handed receiver who was often used on short routes to pick up first down yardage.

Kramer played for two NFL champions in Green Bay, in 1961 and 1962. He starred in the Packers' 37-0 victory over the New York Giants in the 1961 title game, catching 4 passes for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was named an All-Pro by the Associated Press in 1962.

The Packers traded Kramer to the Detroit Lions in 1965 and he spent three seasons there before retiring. In his 10 NFL seasons, he caught 229 passes for 3,272 yards and 16 touchdowns.