Thursday, January 31, 2013

Instant Replay (1968)

“In 1967, when Jerry Kramer was a thirty-one-year-old Green Bay Packers offensive lineman, in his tenth year with the team, he decided to keep a diary of the season. “Perhaps, by setting down my daily thoughts and observations,” he wrote, “I’ll be able to understand precisely what it is that draws me back to professional football.” Working with the renowned journalist Dick Schaap, Kramer recorded his day-to-day experiences as a player with perception, honesty, humor, and startling sensitivity. Little did Kramer know that the 1967 season would be one of the most remarkable in the history of pro football, culminating with the legendary championship game against Dallas now known as the “Ice Bowl,” in which Kramer would play a central role. Nor could he have anticipated that his diary would evolve into a book titled Instant Replay, first published in 1968, that would become a multimillion-copy bestseller and be celebrated by reviewers everywhere, including the Washington Post’s Jonathan Yardley, who calls it “to this day, the best inside account of pro football, indeed the best book ever written about that sport and that league.”

“This groundbreaking look inside the world of professional football is one of the first books ever to take readers into the locker room and reveal the inner workings of a professional sports franchise. From training camp, through the historic Ice Bowl, then into the locker room of Super Bowl II, Kramer provides a captivating player’s perspective on pro football when the game was all blood, grit, and tears. He also offers a rare and insightful view of the team’s storied leader, Coach Vince Lombardi.”

— Amazon Book Description 

Inside front flap

Photos in the book were taken by longtime Packers photographers John and Vernon Biever. 

Back inside flap

Back cover

Find your copy here.

Instant Replay
The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer
Edited by Dick Schaap
World Publishing Company 1968
281 Pages

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Quarterbacking (1967)

The quarterback gets all the attention, and it was no different in the Sixties. Packers Hall of Famer Bart Starr is featured again today with his 1967 book Quarterbacking. “For the first time,” according to the flap, “a book on the art and science of quarterbacking, and of all football, has been written. This book by Bart Starr is a handbook for aspiring players, a primer for coaches, and, for the fans, the most enjoyable and informative book written about the most important position in football.” We agree.  

The book itself, minus the dust cover, features this fine illustration of Bart. 

The inside front cover and first page. 

 Mr. Starr tells us how to stay in shape by exercising.

Later on, we get detailed about the “X’s” and “O’s” of football. 

The final page and inside back cover. 

The back cover.

There are a few copies available here.

By Bart Starr
Prentice-Hall, 1967
306 Pages

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bart Starr (1967)

Moving our way through the Sixties, today we have a little book we picked up in elementary school. It is a kids’ biography titled simply Bart Starr. We don’t know about your childhood, but in our school, you could order paperback books from the Scholastic folks, and then you’d get them a couple weeks later. If there ever was a more exciting day at school than when the books showed up, we don’t know what it would be. And if the book was about your childhood hero, then all the better! Who knows, they might still do this, and somewhere there’s a kid waiting for his biography of Aaron Rodgers to show up. 

A sample of a couple of the photo pages. Looks like Bart’s going to have a headache following Super Bowl I.

Back cover.

There are a few copies available here.

Bart Starr
By John Devaney
Scholastic Book Services, 1967
143 Pages

Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Pass, Kick, Run, Block (1965)

This nifty little book — How to Pass, Kick, Run, Block — was brought to the youth of America by the North American Phillips Corporation, or more specifically, Norelco®. This great instructional guide provided kids with passing advice from Packers’ QB Bart Starr, kicking advice from Cleveland’s Lou Groza, punting tips by the Lions’ Yale Lary, and general info on other positions. Also included is background info on the NFL, rules of the game, the language of football, popular formations and plays, and the 1965 league schedules. It is a quite interesting read, if you can find a copy. 

Sample pages from the Bart Starr section.  

A synopsis of the Packers… and the Los Angeles Rams. 

Of course, it’s brought to you by the fine folks at Norleco®.

Though this book is out-of-print, you can find a few cheap copies here.

How to Pass, Kick Run, Block
The Game… The Techniques… of Pro Football
North American Phillips Corp., 1965
121 Pages

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Football and the Single Man (1965)

Back in the book spotlight again is Packers RB Paul Hornung, who was the subject of another book just two years after the last one. This version, a somewhat hard-to-find book titled Football and the Single Man, was published in 1965. While the previous Hornung book was aimed at the wholesome youth market, this one teases with the angle of his swinging lifestyle and being a ladies’ man. It also deals with his suspension for the entire 1963 season due to his gambling activities.

Both front and back flaps together. 

The back cover. 

As can be seen by the caption to this photo, the book takes a look at Hornung’s swingin’ bachelor lifestyle.

Though this book is out-of-print, you can find copies by searching online, or by going here.

Football and the Single Man
By Paul Hornung, as told to Al Silverman
Double and Company, 1965
252 Pages

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Run To Daylight! (1963)

In our third post in the series of books about the Green Bay Packers, we’re already at an all-time classic — Run To Daylight! From the publisher: “If pro football is warfare, then the battle is won or lost in the six days before Sunday. Written by legendary head coach Vince Lombardi, the book details a week in the Green Bay Packers' 1962 championship season. Lombardi assesses the grit of players and coaches. A must read for all true fans of pro football. A sports classic.”

"All week long there builds up inside of you a competitive animosity toward that other man, that counterpart across the field. All week long he is the symbol, the epitome, of what you must defeat…"  — Vince Lombardi

"Tightly written and sharply focused....The book gives splendid insights into the complexity of the pro game, the lightning improvisations coaches must make and the selflessness of the Green Bay players." —The New York Times

"The book that defines [pro football] best, and with the most literary distinction....As [Lombardi] describes a man's job on the field, he also probes his psyche--his strengths and weaknesses as a human being." — Book Week 

Inside flap

Back flap 

Back cover 

The book is filled with great photographs (if you get one of the old editions), and Robert Riger’s illustrations, like this one in the book’s title pages.

You can pick up a current edition here

Run To Daylight!
By Vince Lombardi with W.C. Heinz
Prentice Hall Inc.; Eighth Edition

Here is a 1964 documentary based on the book’s concept. There is some great history here: St. Norbert’s College for training camp, the Oneida Street practice fields, etc. A magical time captured on film for future generations.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Paul Hornung: Golden Boy (1962)

Next up for our listing of books about the Green Bay Packers is this biography of Packers’ RB Paul Hornung, titled Paul Hornung: Pro Football Golden Boy. This is a “SPORT Magazine Library Book.” It covers Hornung’s life from boyhood through the 1961 championship season with the Packers. Other books in this series profiled Johnny Unitas, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and others. This was the golden era of sports heroes for the youth of America. 

You can find copies of this book online now and then, and depending on condition, the prices widely vary.

Paul Hornung: Pro Football Golden Boy
An Original Life Story
By Dick Schaap
Macfadden; First Printing edition, 1962
140 Pages

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Green Bay Packers (1946)

As we come to grips with a long offseason ahead of us, we’ve decided to embark on a lengthy feature on books about the Green Bay Packers through the years. It won’t be every book ever published on the team, but it will be the majority of them, and you will be surprised at how many there are — and more are added each year. We started collecting yearbooks first, then books over 40 years ago. So, we hope at least some of you will find this series interesting, and we will interrupt it when events dictate.

First on the list is The Green Bay Packers, by Arch Ward, written back in 1946. This first history of the team was written by the veteran Chicago sportswriter who created both the Baseball All-Star Game and the football College All-Star Game. One reviewer has commented that this is “a mostly anecdotal history that hangs a great deal of legend and myth on a framework of facts.”

You can find copies of this book online now and then, and depending on condition, the prices widely vary.

The Green Bay Packers: The Story of Professional Football
By Arch Ward
G. P. Putnam's sons, 1946
240 Pages

Saturday, January 19, 2013

1983 Playoffs in Green Bay

Instead of playing in tomorrow’s NFC Championship Game, the Packers will be home watching it on television just like the rest of us. So, to give us a small taste of football involving the team, we’re featuring some selections from the game program of the 1982 first-round playoff between Green Bay and St. Louis (Cardinals, that is) in Lambeau Field. If you recall, this was after a strike-shortened season that saw the Packers wind up with a 5-3-1 record. Seven regular season games were lost to the work stoppage that year. 

Head coach Bart Starr and his staff of assistants for the 1982 season. 

And what American boy wouldn’t want to go to sleep under the warmth provided by all of the NFL franchises? 

Check out the little story on the Packers’ Domenic Gentile, who served as head trainer for Green Bay for 24 years.

Did anybody bring one of these to the stadium in the old days?

An ad for the fine radio team of Jim Irwin and Max McGee, who were fixtures in the homes of millions of Packers fans for decades. Sadly, they are both gone now. We have many of their games recorded on audio cassette to enjoy when we’re feeling nostalgic.

Offensive lineman Greg Koch endorses Bertrand’s Sporting Goods in Green Bay. Kock played for the Packers from 1977-85, and was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2010.

Some game action from 1982. Players include C Larry McCarren, WR John Jefferson, and RB Del Rodgers.

 On this page, we see K Jan Stenerud, QB Lynn Dickey, T Tim Huffman, CB Mark Lee, and McCarren again.

 Here we see RB Eddie Lee Ivery (twice), TE Paul Coffman, and Jefferson again.

Lastly, DE Casey Merrill, RB Gerry Ellis, and Del Rodgers again, in action against Atlanta.

For all you youngsters, this is what we used before iPods.

In a story about NFL defenses, RB Harlan Huckleby is upended by the Bears’ defense — in color. 

The next three pages bring the 1982 Green Bay Packers back to your memory. These players experienced something that no others did in the 27 years between 1967 and 1994 — they played in a home playoff game at Lambeau Field.

 The full roster of the Packers in that year.

The starting line-ups and rosters for the playoff game. 

 The 1982 St. Louis Cardinals. That feels kind of funny to say, no?

 The Packers’ 1982 statistics.

 A bit of info about the 1983 Packers Hall of Fame enshrinees.

Unfamiliar Packers songs. Guess they didn’t stand the test of time. 

Finally, we end with QB Lynn Dickey behind C Larry McCarren in this issue’s “Packer Profile.” On this day, Green Bay defeated St. Louis overwhelmingly by a score of 41-16 in front of a Lambeau crowd of 54,282 on a 20-degree day. The fans stormed the field and tore down the goal posts, just like the old days (try that now and it’s about an $800 fine for stepping one foot on the grass). If you’d like to see the stats from the game, please click here.  The next week, they went to Dallas and fell to the Cowboys by a score of 37-26.