Monday, December 30, 2013

Some Lombardi History

You know how we love to learn about and feature all things Lombardi and his Packers here in our little corner of the internet. Well, we were rooting around on the Packers’ website and came across a couple of clips from the NFL Network production “Vince Lombardi: A Football Life,” which aired earlier this season. So, we thought, why not take some screen captures and share them with our readers? Above is a shot which captures two major parts of the coach’s life: his faith and football. “God, family, and the Green Bay Packers,” right? Well, maybe not always in that order.

A re-creation of Mr. Lombardi’s office door in the Packers’ administration building at 1265 Highland Avenue. 

This would be your view if you were sitting and waiting to re-negotiate your contract with “Lombardi, the General Manager.” Remember, there were no agents in those days. 

Go ahead… take a business card. You may need to call him later. 

The shelf behind Mr. Lombardi’s desk. 

That’s a photo of the coach being carried off on his players’ shoulders after his first victory — a 9-6 win over the Chicago Bears on September 27, 1959.

The coach’s children, Susan and Vince Lombardi, Jr. 

The Lombardi family posing on the steps of their first home in Green Bay. Next to the coach is his wife Marie. 

A great shot of Lambeau Field as it looked in the later Lombardi era. It’s changed just a little bit. 

Lombardi drives his Pontiac to his offices at Lambeau Field. 

The coach’s hometown, Brooklyn, N.Y. A world away from tiny Green Bay, Wis.

Lombardi’s parents, Enrico “Harry” Lombardi (1889-1971) and Matilda “Mattie” Izzo (1891-1972). Harry operated a butcher shop with his brother Eddie in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan.

A young Vince Lombardi. 

Lombardi at age 15. 

In 1933, Lombardi accepted a football scholarship to Fordham University in the Bronx to play for the Fordham Rams and Coach Jim Crowley, one of the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame in the 1920’s. The next several photos are from those years.

In his senior year (1936), he became the right guard in the “Seven Blocks of Granite,” a nickname given to the Fordham University football team's offensive front line.

Fordham University. 

In a game against the University of Pittsburgh Panthers, he suffered a severe gash inside his mouth and had several teeth knocked out. He missed most of the remainder of the game, until he was called in on defense for a successful goal line stand that preserved a 0-0 tie. The Rams went 5-0-2 before losing in the final game of the season, 7-6, to NYU. The loss destroyed all hopes of Fordham playing in the Rose Bowl, and the loss taught Lombardi a lesson he would never forget — never to underestimate your opponent.
Sources:, Wikipedia

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Preseason Packers-Bears ’69

For something to watch in preparation for Sunday’s big NFC North divisional showdown, here’s a look at the NFL on CBS in 1969. This preseason game from August 16th of that year was the second of four exhibition games, and saw the Bears come out on top, 19-9 at Milwaukee’s County Stadium.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Vintage Lambeau Postcards

While in Titletown for the Steelers game, we visited one of our favorite spots and picked up a few things that will eventually be featured here in Packerville, U.S.A. These five vintage postcards of Lambeau Field give us some great views of how things were back during the Lombardi Era at 1265 Highland Avenue. Above is an aerial photo looking Northwest. This is a post-1963 shot, as the Packers’ headquarters building appears on the North end of the stadium. In the extreme upper right are the beginnings of the neighborhood of duplexes where we usually park.

Looking North, here we see some on-field action during a Packers-Eagles game, possibly the 1968 season-opener. We get a great view of how the Packers’ offices on the North end overlooked the field. The top row of seats on that end were at ground level, as the field level of Lambeau is below ground.

This elevated view of a Bears-Packers game was perhaps taken from the top of the Lambeau press box — then, as now — along the West side of the field. 

Here’s another view of the field looking North during pre-game warm-ups. This also gives a fine look at the still “open end” of the stadium in an unspecified year.

Lastly, here is some game action with K Don Chandler attempting a field goal, assisted by the hold of QB Bart Starr. Oddly enough, the caption on the reverse side says this is a game vs. the Detroit Lions, while the San Francisco 49ers can plainly be seen as the opponent in the photo.

Week 17 TV Map

**UPDATED**: The Week 17 TV Maps have been released, and a fairly large portion of the country will be able to see Aaron Rodgers’ return to the starting QB position at Chicago on Sunday. That’s right… he’s back. The area marked in red above will get the Packers vs. Bears FOX late game, which — *PLEASE NOTE* — has been moved to 3:25 p.m.
Map courtesy of 506 Sports

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours, from us and ours — from all of us here in Packerville, U.S.A.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Packers vs. Steelers

On this Christmas Eve, here are photos from Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lambeau Field. Above is the scene from our hotel window in the morning. It began snowing at about 3:00 a.m. and would continue all day and night.

Some snow accumulation.

Like the old newsrooms you see on television, our hotel has the times in each U.S. time zone, themed to an NFL city team.

More snow accumulation.

Here’s the procession of fans heading toward Lambeau Field along Armed Forces Drive.

They shoveled out Lambeau Field on Friday and Saturday, but the big snow on Sunday left the fans’ feet sitting in snow during the game.

Setting up the Packers’ bench area.

It must have been cold sitting in the new South end zone seats with the wind blowing in their faces. There was almost no wind in our North end zone location. The ribbons on the top of the goal post uprights were hang in straight down for pretty much the whole game.

LB coach Kevin Greene chats with a fan.

K Mason Crosby was out early as all kickers do — testing the turf and conditions.

Some Steelers trying to keep warm during warm-ups.

Cleaning the ice and snow from around the bench area.

Green as he chats with a fan behind the bench area.

LS Brett Goode snaps to P Tim Masthay, who holds for Crosby.

CBS camera man all bundled up, as is his camera.

QB Aaron Rodgers watches the players on the field along with injured WR Randall Cobb.

Ever wonder what the phones on the sidelines are connected to? Well, now you’re going to find out. The one on the left here goes to the person upstairs representing the league. The one on the right is labeled “offense” and goes to the offensive coaches.

The left phone here goes to the defensive coaches up in the booth, while the right one goes presumably to the press box, and is used for reporting injuries.

Lastly, the left one here goes to the opposing sideline, while the right one goes to the AV (audio-visual) Room.

A group of Packers comes out for their pre-game warm-ups.

QB Matt Flynn, still starting in place of the injured Aaron Rodgers, gets in some throws to QB Scott Tolzien along the Packers’ sideline.

Some of the defensive secondary players on the field.

Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger and his offense down in the North end.

Tolzien chats with WR Jordy Nelson.

CB Micah Hyde talks to the referee as he awaits the opening kickoff.

The Packers’ offense gets its first chance with the ball.

RB Eddie Lacy takes a handoff from Flynn.

Roethlisberger gets the Steelers’ offense ready to go.

Back on offense, RB James Starks is in to replace Lacy.

Flynn attempts a pass.

Everyone is all bundled up, crammed into their seats, and getting covered with a light dusting of snow as the game goes through the first quarter. People are more “bulky” in the winter with all of the warm clothing on. It is advantageous to get there early and stake out your “rear end space.”

LB Clay Matthews and S Morgan Burnett await the snap from the Pittsburgh offense.

LB A.J. Hawk and CB Sam Shields corral Steelers’ RB Le’Veon Bell.

Roethlisberger in the shotgun.

The Steelers about ready to score in the North end zone.

The Pittsburgh defensive line attempts to get ahold of Lacy. 

Flynn also working out of the shotgun formation.

The Packers’ bench area, seen through the constantly falling snow.

Steelers’ huddle.

Lacy gains some more yardage.

Flynn has a timeout conference with Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

Lacy comes to the stands to do a “Lambeau Leap.”

Workers use leaf blowers to remove snow from the yard lines and the hash marks. 

Hyde waits for another kick.

Looking South — down the field from our vantage point.

Lacy gets another handoff.

Flynn throws to the outside.

The ball is on the one yard line, and we are awaiting the snap of the ball.

And FB John Kuhn certainly scores!

Roethlisberger throws on the run.

Players warming up on the bench.

Nelson gets some yards after the catch.

Sadly, this was the final score.

Fans make their way out of Lambeau.

Somebody has some cleaning up to do.

We stayed Sunday night as well, and before leaving town we took some more photos. This is the Training Camp facility, which does not have all this snow in August.

The practice fields fences are covered with tarps once the season starts to guard against spies. This is the Ray Nitschke Field.

Looking up Armed Forces Drive towards Lambeau.

The Clarke Hinkle FIeld is also covered to avoid snooping eyes.

Official Packers plow!

There is no place like Green Bay.

Numerous businesses around town have company names based on the Packers.

The Donald Driver statue outside the Titletown Brewing Company (where we had lunch) looks wintery. We hope you’ve enjoyed these photos from what may be our last trip to Titletown for a while. We made a total of twelve trips to Green Bay this year, and it’s 208 miles each way. That’s almost 5,000 miles traveling to the best city in the world in one year. Yep, it‘s all worth it.