Sunday, March 27, 2011

“We Played for Lombardi”

For today’s journey through football history, we’re stopping in the early fall of 1970, just after the death of Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi. LIFE magazine had a two-page article written by Packers’ guard Jerry Kramer. It features some remembrances from the players’ standpoint of this great man.

On the cover was political activist Angela Davis. She was was associated with the Communist Party U.S.A., the Civil Rights Movement, and the Black Panther Party. On August 7, 1970, Superior Court Judge Harold Haley, along with several other hostages, was abducted from his Marin County, California, courtroom and murdered during an effort to free a convict. The firearms used in the attack were purchased by Angela Davis, including the shotgun used to kill Haley, which had been purchased only two days prior. Davis became a fugitive and fled California. She evaded the police for more than two months before being captured in New York City. In 1972, she was tried and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. The mere fact that she owned the guns used in the crime was not sufficient to establish her responsibility for the plot. She is presently a retired professor with the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is the former director of the university's Feminist Studies department. And that’s it for today’s history lesson.