You don’t need Google to understand the history of the Green Bay Packers.
It’s written on their unsponsored stadium, celebrated in their recently renovated Hall of Fame, honored among their alumni and built upon by one of the most successful franchises in the NFL.
Today, nearly 50 years after they beat them in the first Super Bowl, the Packers play the Kansas City Chiefs.
As is their style, they’ve prepared for the historic matchup by honoring the past. They’ve brought members of the 1966-67 team back to Green Bay and invited them to take the field at halftime tonight.
Players like Jimmy Taylor, Jerry Kramer, Boyd Dowler, Willie Davis, and Marv Fleming have spent the past week tooling around Wisconsin, signing autographs and telling stories.
“When we were rookies it was first guy on the bus drove the bus,” Jerry Kramer recalled. “One time Jimmy Taylor took the wheel and, as the bus was cruising down highway 41, he got up, walked back down the aisle and sat down. That was the last time a player drove the team bus. After that, they got us a driver.”
It’s easy to build camaraderie over a championship season. It’s tougher to maintain that friendship for more than 50 years. It’s even more challenging to extend that genuinely earned respect to the next guy to wear your jersey.
But, that’s what happens in Green Bay.
Watch the alumni as they take the field today. Several could look up and see their own names etched in honor on the stadium rim. But they won’t. They’ll be busy looking out, cheering on the current players, hoping for another championship season.
Curly Lambeau’s quote stretches across the new Packer Hall of Fame ceiling.
“Let’s act like champions, Let’s practice like champions, let’s play like champions, Let’s be like champions.”
From one generation to another today and every game day, you’ll hear them say, “Go Pack Go!”
This is a hallway in the new Packer Hall of Fame, honoring all those players enshrined in Canton.
This is former Packer Hall of Famer Marv Fleming taking a picture of Ruth Pitts next to Elijah Pitts’ image on the wall.
I love this picture of Ruth and Elijah.
Packer President and CEO Mark Murphy has been a gracious host throughout the 10-day reunion.
Check out this series of photos of Boyd Dowler I found in the Super Bowl I program. Here he is catching the football during the NFL championship game against Dallas…
He gets cut off at the knees by the Dallas defender Mike Gaechter.
And lands on his head in the end zone.
He is “momentarily stunned.” Fortunately, Mr. Dowler recovered quickly, played five more seasons and is having a great time this week at the reunion.
I love this headline from post Super Bowl coverage in the 1967 Los Angeles Herald-Examiner.
I liked this little story too, also in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner.
There was a lot riding on that game 50 years ago.
Packers probable starters in the first Super Bowl.