Monday, April 12, 2010

The Ill-Fated Toburen

Head coach Vince Lombardi is seen today with Packers’ linebacker Nelson Toburen in this practice image from 1962. Toburen was a 14th round pick from Wichita State who played with the team for two seasons — 24 games in 1961 and 1962. He was the Packers' 14th-round draft pick out of Wichita State in 1961. His career ended when he broke his neck (according to the 1963 Packers Yearbook, it was a “serious back injury”) while tackling Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas in the Packers' 17-13 win over Baltimore at new City Stadium on Nov. 18, 1962. He spent a year in a body cast, then attended law school — with Lombardi’s kind help, some say — and became a lawyer and judge in Kansas.


Packer Historian said...

Recieved this photo from John Biever from archives. It was tagged as Leland Bondhus from training camp 1961. 19th pick from South Dakaota State.

Anonymous said...

I am also related to Nelson. I saw the play, which was a kickoff by the Packers. He was in on the sideline tackle and apparently hit his neck on the triangular yard markers they used to have. Do he didn't tackle a quarterback, but the kickoff returner.