Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Keeping that Sod Warm

Today’s image from the Packerville archives is from our collection of press photos, complete with original caption attached. This is from December 28, 1967, three days prior to the famed “Ice Bowl” game on New Year’s Eve. General Manager Vince Lombardi had installed an electrified heating system for such an occasion, so that the Packers would not have problems hosting playoff games. The caption reads:

GREEN BAY, WIS., Dec. 28 -- LOMBARDI AND NEWSMEN** Packer Coach Vince Lombardi, right, explains how the Green Bay stadium “electric blanket” is keeping the playing surface soft for Sunday’s NFL championship game against Dallas Cowboys. Buried electric heating cables provide the heat. (AP WIREPHOTO) (pjs51755pjs-stf)1967.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Today we focus on one of the great defensive players in Green Bay football history. Herb Adderley was drafted by the Packers in the first round of the 1961 NFL Draft with the 12th overall pick. He began his professional career as a halfback, but was later switched to defense because the Packers already had good runners in Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor. Adderley was first moved to cornerback to replace an injured teammate. In 1962, the move became permanent and Adderley went on to become an all-NFL selection five times in the 1960s. Packers coach Vince Lombardi remarked, "I was too stubborn to switch him to defense until I had to. Now when I think of what Adderley means to our defense, it scares me to think of how I almost mishandled him."

Adderley seemed to be a natural at his new position, recording 39 interceptions in his nine seasons with the Packers. He holds the Green Bay records for interceptions returned for touchdowns in a career (seven, record tied with Darren Sharper), and interceptions returned for touchdowns in one season (three, in 1965).

Adderley started for the Packers from 1961–69, then played three seasons (1970–72) with the Dallas Cowboys. While with the Packers, he won rings in Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II. Adderley was a major factor in the Packers' Super Bowl II win over the Oakland Raiders, intercepting a pass by Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica in the fourth quarter and returning it 60 yards for a touchdown to put the game away. This was the first Super Bowl touchdown on an intercepted pass. After joining the Cowboys, Adderley became a vital cog in Dallas' "Doomsday Defense," assisting the Cowboys to a Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl V and a championship win in Super Bowl VI.

Adderley was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in the summer of 1973 but instead of reporting to the team, he retired on August 7. Along with two former Packer teammates — Fuzzy Thurston and Forrest Gregg — Adderley is one of only three players in pro football history to play on six World Championship teams. However, in a revised edition of Instant Replay, a memoir by former Packer teammate Jerry Kramer, Adderley is quoted as saying, "I'm the only man with a Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl ring who doesn't wear it. I'm a Green Bay Packer."

In his 12 NFL seasons, Adderley recorded 48 interceptions, which he returned for 1,046 yards and seven touchdowns, an average of 21.8 yards per return. He also recovered 14 fumbles (returning them for 65 yards) and returned 120 kickoffs for 3,080 yards and two scores.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Day at Practice

Today we have a photo of an ordinary day on the Green Bay Packers’ practice field, in what must be either 1959 or 1960 — coach Vince Lombardi’s first two seasons at the helm of the organization. We are narrowing this down thusly because there wouldn’t have been much reason for LIFE magazine to be there prior to 1959, and there are no "G" logos on the helmets, which came in 1961. It’s possible, of course, that they did not wear game helmets in practice, but when we’ve seen that to be the case previously, they often wore old-style helmets without face masks. So we’ll stick with our guess until a better suggestion comes along.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Practice Field Chalk Talk

Giving a spirited explanation of just how he wants a certain play to be run during practice, is coach Vince Lombardi in this photo from the 1960s. The chalkboard had its place on the practice field in those days, apparently, while the preference these days seems to be the dry erase board. This reminds us of the classic Lombardi NFL Films clip of the same subject matter, where he says, “what we're looking for is a seal here, and a seal here, and to run the play in the alley!”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On the Milwaukee Sideline

Today’s image is from a game at Milwaukee’s County Stadium in the later Lombardi years, although we’re not exactly sure when. Coach Lombardi is watching the field action, as is defensive lineman Willie Davis (#87, foreground). One interesting note about the old County Stadium, which was razed after Miller Park was built for the Milwaukee Brewers, was that both teams stood along the same sideline. This was in what was the baseball outfield, and this was done so that the crowd sitting in the infield lower box seats would not have their view of the action blocked by players standing along the near sideline.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Vince in Left Field

Many of the photos we have in our collection are not dated, so figuring out when they were taken sometimes takes extensive detective work — often to no avail. The locations are often easier to figure out, as in today’s image of coach Vince Lombardi walking deep in thought in Chicago’s Wrigley Field. We’re not sure if this is in pre-game warm-ups (most likely), but there are a few Bears fans in the stands in what looks to be an inclement day in the Windy City.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Vince with His Field Generals

At an unknown game, head coach Vince Lombardi meets with his quarterbacks on the sideline. Bart Starr, left, and we believe Zeke Bratkowski, right, talk strategy and game planning while the Green Bay defense is on the field.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Vince and the Fourth Estate

Today we see head coach and general manager Vince Lombardi talking with two members of the press after a game. We do not have any idea what the year was, or whether it was a loss or a victory, unfortunately. It’s a good thing that this wasn’t a televised interview, however, because just behind Lombardi is a player in his jockstrap bending over. That would’ve been too much for 1960’s television to take.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Locker Room Beefcake

Today’s photo is for the lady readers of the blog (if there are any), and it features Lombardi Era-greats (left to right) Jim Taylor, Max McGee, Paul Hornung, and Ron Kramer. Well, I guess the ladies that would be most interested are those that were single in the early Sixties, and more specifically, 1961 when this photo was taken after what was almost certainly a win. A couple of these guys are legendary for their off-field activities in that era, while the other two were more settled family men at the time. What we do notice is that the players of today are much more beefy and bulky in their appearance, and these fellows probably wouldn’t be in the NFL today at their 1961 sizes. But that in NO way diminishes anything they accomplished in what was just a different era altogether. It’s interesting how things change.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Your 1920 Green Bay Packers

The 1920 Green Bay Packers season was their second season of competition. Mostly playing other independent professional teams in Wisconsin (they would join the N.F.L. in 1921), the club posted a 9-1-1 record under player/coach Curly Lambeau. Playing games from late September to late November, the Packers lost only one game, tied another and won nine times. The offense scored more than 20 points per game while the defense posted shutouts in eight out of the eleven games. Overall, the team finished second among Wisconsin teams for the second consecutive year.

The Packers continued playing home games at Hagemeister Park. That year the city built stands on one side of the field. This was the first time the Packers were able to charge an admission. In the first year of professional Thanksgiving football, the Packers played and defeated the Stambaugh Miners 14-0 in Green Bay. This would be the first of only two occasions when the Packers would play at home on Thanksgiving, out of 33 total Thanksgiving games.

Over the offseason, Green Bay added eight players to the roster and lost six. In total, twenty-seven players competed for the Packers in 1920.

Season Results:

September 26, 1920 • Chicago Boosters (T 3-3; Home)
October 3, 1920 • Kaukauna American Legion (W, 56-0; Home)
October 10, 1920 • Stambaugh Miners (W, 3-0; Home)
October 17, 1920 • Marinette Professionals (W, 25-0; Home)
October 24, 1920 • De Pere (W, 62-0; Home)
October 31, 1920 • Beloit Fairies (W, 7-0; Home)
November 7, 1920 • Milwaukee All-Stars (W, 9-0; Home)
November 14, 1920 • Beloit Fairies (L, 3-14; Away)
November 21, 1920 • Menominee Professionals (W, 19-7; Home)
November 25, 1920 • Stambaugh Miners (W, 14-0; Home)
November 28, 1920 • Milwaukee Lapham A.C. (W, 26-0; Home)

W-L-T (Percent): 9-1-1 (.900)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy 1967 Sideline

There’s not a lot we can glean from this sideline image from the 1967 season, but something good has happened on the field, and Willie Wood (#24) and coach Vince Lombardi are certainly pleased. Probably an offensive touchdown, since the defensive starters are on the bench. We’re not sure who the opponent is, but it looks to be an early Fall warm-weather game. Good times in Lombardi’s last season on the sidelines in Titletown.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In the Heat of Summer — 1964

In another installment from our collection of old newspaper files and photos, we have this image from Green Bay Training Camp in 1964. The previous season, the club posted a 11-2-1 record under coach Vince Lombardi, earning them a second-place finish in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, both losses were inflicted by the eventual 1963 NFL Champions, the Chicago Bears.

The original caption (seen faded at the bottom) reads: “Lombardi Lectures -- Vince Lombardi, coach of the National Football League Green Bay Packers, gets facial expression and body action into play as he lectures in the training camp on the duties of offensive end Marv Fleming (#81). Paying attention are Gary Kroner (behind Lombardi), Boyd Dowler (#86) and Ron Kramer (#88).”

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tying the Twenties to Today

If we hadn’t just spent a week in Florida, your “Packerville” staff would most likely be at Packers Fan Fest in Green Bay this weekend. But we’re keeping tabs on the activities from afar, and one thing that caught our interest was the announcement that the team will be wearing “throwback” uniforms in at least one game this season. They harken back to the 1929 season, when Green Bay won the first of its 12 NFL championships. Seen modeling the “new” look are current Packers Brad Jones, left, and Jordy Nelson, right. The helmets, which can’t be fully seen, will be solid dark brown to represent the leather helmets of that time.

And, to get back to our normal subject matter of sharing old Packers material, below we have a fine photo of the 1921 Green Bay team, which finished with a 3-2-2 record:

October 23Minneapolis Marines (Win, 7-6 @ Home)
October 30Rock Island Independents (Loss, 3-13 @ Home)
November 6Evansville Crimson Giants (Win, 43-6 @ Home)
November 13Hammond Pros (Win, 14-7 @ Home)
November 20Chicago Cardinals (Tie, 3-3 Away)
November 27Chicago Staleys [Bears] (Loss, 0-20 Away)
December 4Racine Legion (Tie, 3-3 @ Home [Milw.])

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hutson Signs on as a Coach

Digging back further into the Packers’ history again, we today have a photo of Hall of Fame player Don Hutson signing on to be a full-time coach with the team in 1943. What makes this interesting is that Hutson indeed kept playing through 1945. He led the NFL in receptions eight times in his 11 seasons, including five consecutive times (1941-1945). He led the NFL in receiving yards seven times, including four straight times from 1941-44. He led the NFL in scoring five times (1941-45).

The photo’s original caption, in newspaper lingo, reads: “Editors: This picture is an advance for use in AMS of Sunday, Dec. 12) (CX2) GREEN BAY, WIS., Dec. 11-“STOP AND START” HUTSON IS AT IT AGAIN-Don Hutson (left), Green Bay Packers end who befuddled pass defenses by pretending to let the whole thing go and then start a winning sprint for the pigskin, wields the pen that stops one job and starts another for him. Through as a player for the pro eleven, he signed a contract today as full time assistant to coach E.L. (Curly) Lambeau (right) of the Packers. (AP Wirephoto)(See Wire Story)(e71314cor) 1943.”

CORRECTION: Yesterday’s post was incorrect as far as identifying the game after which the photo was taken. A keen-eyed reader informed us that it was taken immediately following the December 3, 1961 home game in Milwaukee County Stadium, where the Packers defeated the Giants 20-17. The posting has been edited to reflect this correct information. We strive for accuracy here at “Packerville,” but we’ve never claimed to be perfect. We welcome all input from our readers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

First Defeat of the Giants in 1961

The Packerville staff is back from a fine vacation, well-rested and somewhat ready to resume life as normal. We are also back to the blog here with a photo taken just after the final gun of the game on December 3, 1961 at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. The Packers defeated the New York Giants by a score of 20-17 in front of 47,012 fans in their second “home” field that day. Twenty-eight days later, they would meet for the NFL title in Green Bay.

New Year’s Eve was a fine celebration in Titletown that year, as it was the Packers’ fifth championship overall, but the first to be won at home in Green Bay (the 1939 title game — the only one not played on the road — was played in Milwaukee). The Packers steamrolled the New York Giants 37-0 in front of a then-record 39,029 at City Stadium. The Green and Gold erupted for 24 points in the second quarter, and scored seven times overall against the NFL’s top-ranked defensive team. Green Bay’s own defense intercepted four passes and recovered one fumble, and held New York to six first downs and only 130 total yards. Head coach Vince Lombardi, being hoisted here by his jubilant players, had his first championship over the team he previously served as offensive coordinator before coming to Green Bay.