The Ice Bowl

Tonight the MJS started a month long review of that iconic game from New Years Eve 1967.  It made me think about the following:

  Although it was almost 50 years ago I can still remember how excited I was for the Packers to get Dallas in GB after that nail biter in the Cotton Bowl the year before, but also worried at how the Packers looked old at the end of the season and perhaps too old.  The trashing of the Rams in the Western Conference Final that year buoyed my 14 y/o spirits and how all of a sudden all my friends wanted to be Travis Williams when we played touchball.

  Of course the quick 14 the Packer put up in that game made me think it was going to be the Rams game all over again.  Reality set in and I can still remember how brutal the game was.  Starr got hit so many times and the whole offense so inept I was sick at the thought of InVicible Vince losing one at home.  It was late in the game but before the final drive when my dad (who was a big Johnny Unitas fan)  started to chirp a little about the Cowboys and that Doomsday defense. 

  I started thinking not about the game but about all the stories I had heard from my uncle and those friends of his who had been in North Korea (Chosin Reservoir) in the winter of 50-51 and how tanks and trucks froze to the ground and bullets wouldn't fire, and I started to  think about how 22 men were standing out there in long sleeve shirts(in the same weather) and I marveled how freaking cold it was,  and I just wondered how they did it.  I also admired their tenacity-  even the  hated Cowboys with  their big mouths and fastest man alive, and of course those guys on defense. 

   Just when I was sure my dream about those  3 consecutive world championships were over, the Packers came out for that final drive.   I still remember how calm and poised Starr was and it forever cemented my respect for the guy!   I still remember him calmly setting the offense unworried about the possibility of getting ragtagged again and slowly willing the team down the field before scoring the winning TD. Of course the victory was what made my teenage heart pound, but in  later years I dwelt on the adversity both teams faced and how strong a will almost everyone on both sidelines displayed just to be on that field.   It is obvious it was a zenith and valley moment for the participant's but how all of them remember it as a defining moment in their careers struck me even though most of the Cowboy players on that team would win a world championship a few years later it seems they all define their career by their participation in that game!

Pack88

 

Original Post

Good post.  Too funny.  Same with the kids in my small home town:  Everyone wanted to be the "Roadrunner".  The way Williams glided across the field was a thing of beauty.   He did add excitement to the "old" Packers, too. 

Thanks for bringing back fond memories of that game. 

These days, I struggle to not forget what I go into the next room for, but I can remember watching the game on TV with Dad like it was yesterday. On the old black and white console, with rabbit ears, no less!
I had asked him a question or made a remark about it looking like 'smoke' being in the stands, and him explaining how cold it was, how you 'see your breath' in cold weather, how we had no idea what that kind of cold felt like, and more.

It was also the first time I learned just how important having the will to win was, and being able to summon courage under the most extreme circumstances when the other guys were giving up is the stuff manly men are made from.

That final drive is the single greatest drive in the history of football. Period.

Timmy! posted:

That final drive is the single greatest drive in the history of football. Period.

Considering the conditions, I agree.

The Montana drive in the SB to beat Cincy was pretty good. 92 yards, 3 minutes.

my first Packer memory. My dads and brothers were Cowboys fans so I had to be different. Been a Packer fan since. I think that game comeback with Starr at the helm brought in a new generation of fans that are still supporting today. The 70s and 80s were really tough but it has been pretty sweet since 1992. 

Great post and great comments.

When you consider everything -- for starters, Vince, Bart and the rest of Vince's boys, the aging dynasty, Landry, little Green Bay, Chuck Freaking Mercein, the first NFL team to win three straight titles, the weather, the fans, the end of an era, that last drive, I could go on and on -- there is no more iconic single sports event in U.S. history.  

This is a cool thread. Being born in 1973 I obviously don't have the same lineage you guys have, but it is why I like x4 so much and feel fortunate to be a GB fan. I really think it's a unique thing especially if you're from the state. Here's hoping for another year of special memories. I really appreciate these years and don't want Vikings fans to share in my experience.

 

Edit: Keep the stories coming too because I love sharing with my kids and passing on the tradition.

I am not surprised so many readers had thoughts comments but the ones about the black and white TV's and the surreal look of the game because of the cold really struck a note!  I also reflect on how so many have similar thoughts about the game and it relation to life. I have often written about my deep admiration of folks who struggle in difficult situation's and being human enough to accept you might not win but you aren't gonna quit!   So I thank everybody for sharing their memories I enjoyed comparing them to my own.  

 

I was 18, away from home for the first time, working for Uncle Sam in the Coast Guard.  I remember watching the game with a some other Coasties and how proud I was.  I think that with the enthusiasm  I exhibited I possibly recruited a couple of new Packer fans that day.

As Edith Bunker screamed..."those were the days".

Great thread Pack88.

I was 7 and I'd be lying if I told you I remember the game (was it broadcast in Milwaukee?) I remember two things about watching Packer road games in the mid to late 60's. 

1) Me and my two brothers would jump up and down in front of the tv whenever the Packers scored--and our Dad would yell at us to calm down.

2) We'd be so fired-up to play football at halftime, we'd go outside and get so into playing that we'd miss the second half.

The Ice Bowl was the first pro football game I ever watched. I was in 7th grade and was watching the game on our B&W Zenith tv. On the edge of my seat during that huge series on the goal line, pacing the floor yelling for the Pack to punch it through the Cowboy defense. Then Jerry Kramer blocks Jethro Pugh and Bart Starr slides into the end zone for the go ahead score! I've been a Green Bay Packer fan ever since! GO PACK GO!

Ice Bowlmrtundra posted:

The Ice Bowl was the first pro football game I ever watched. I was in 7th grade and was watching the game on our B&W Zenith tv. On the edge of my seat during that huge series on the goal line, pacing the floor yelling for the Pack to punch it through the Cowboy defense. Then Jerry Kramer blocks Jethro Pugh and Bart Starr slides into the end zone for the go ahead score! I've been a Green Bay Packer fan ever since! GO PACK GO!

 

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I was 9 years old and watched the game at home in Milwaukee.  My stress level was so intense.

I just remember that as time proceeded, the Packers offense got less and less effective.  It got to the point that it couldn't do anything.

Then all of a sudden, when it was the last time and everything was on the line, it awakened and it seemed Starr had so much to do with that.  It was great seeing someone like Mercein be so instrumental.

I don't recall the Packers first two TD's, but the Cowboys two TD's were not exactly due to any high octane offense.  The fumble of Starr picked up and taken in and the halfback option from Dan Reeves to I forget.

Given everything on the line, it is hard to imagine anything else that rivals it.

Thanks pack88 for starting this thread.

NoDonkeyFan posted:
Blair Kiel posted:

 

2) We'd be so fired-up to play football at halftime, we'd go outside and get so into playing that we'd miss the second half.

This!  There were 4 brothers - VERY competitive!

yep.  The neighbors next door had 3 other boys and we would play 2 on 2 touch during halftime...come back in and find out the 3rd quarter had already been half gone.  I think the halftimes back then were longer than they are now, too!

 

We used to head outside and play tackle football in the yard.  We had about 15 boys in our country "neighborhood" and we would spend many a second half of Packers games in the 70's and 80's playing tackle football.   My front yard was huge (lived on a Wisconsin farm) and we actually had it marked out for a 60 yard field. 

It was especially fun when we got the lake effect snows and played football in 4 inches of snow.  Sounds corny but man I would love to go back just once.

Found on internet: The length of the NFL halftime was reduced from 15 minutes to 12 minutes prior to the 1990 season.

SanDiegoPackFan posted:
Fandame posted:

.... I had a hard time just going outside to feed the farm animals in the warm barn much less thinking about playing outdoors!

warm barn?  in December?  in Wisconsin?

wow, you must have been one of those rich farmers!     

Nah, we were darn-poor country folk. But the barn was an old Wisconsin traditional barn with stone walls about three feet thick and built into the hillside. In the summer it was always about 60 degrees inside when it was 90 outside, and in winter it was about 50 degrees when it was -10 outside. Today the sheds they build are a poor imitation of a "real" barn.  

Fandame, don't forget how humid it was inside the barn in the winter. Cows! The old Surge milkers and carrying them to the milk cans when each was filled. The "Barn Show" playing on the radio. We still have the barn, just not in as good a shape anymore, and all that's living in it is one horse and some barn cats. 

QuietOne posted:

Fandame, don't forget how humid it was inside the barn in the winter. Cows! The old Surge milkers and carrying them to the milk cans when each was filled. The "Barn Show" playing on the radio. We still have the barn, just not in as good a shape anymore, and all that's living in it is one horse and some barn cats. 

We had horses, chickens and a cow. Cows give off a lot more heat and humidity than do horses, so in the winter we always added a bit more hay to the sides to help keep it warmer. The cats learned to bunk in the horses' hay feeders. But yes, it was still humid!

QuietOne posted:

Fandame, don't forget how humid it was inside the barn in the winter. Cows! The old Surge milkers and carrying them to the milk cans when each was filled. The "Barn Show" playing on the radio. We still have the barn, just not in as good a shape anymore, and all that's living in it is one horse and some barn cats. 

We'd walk into the barn to milk cows at 5:30 when it was 15 below zero outside and the inside of the windows would look like it was raining. We milked 64 in stanchions.

Did you have those big, ol' milk cans? My relatives did; when you hauled those things around you didn't need no stinkin' gym! My sister and her spouse used to milk 98 head three times a day. They were in stanchions, too, but with hoses. Still a lot of work. It's a tough life as a family farmer, but an awfully good one if your body can hold up and you can stand eking by. 

Fandame posted:

Nah, we were darn-poor country folk. But the barn was an old Wisconsin traditional barn with stone walls about three feet thick and built into the hillside. In the summer it was always about 60 degrees inside when it was 90 outside, and in winter it was about 50 degrees when it was -10 outside. Today the sheds they build are a poor imitation of a "real" barn.  

The north side was built into the hillside (so you could drive into the haybarn).  The design really was smart, until the damn January south wind, those were a bitch.  You really needed more cow farts to keep the water running on those days.  

Nah. My mom was prone to watching me climb a tree and yelling, "When you fall out of that tree, don't come running to me!" My answer: "Guess I won't." When I was in the hospital for five days after major knee surgery and got home with a hip-to-toe cast, I lay on the couch and said, "I'm really thirsty." Mom: "Get up and get some water!" She was tough, and a very hands-off mom -- except when it came time for discipline!  

Reading all the farm stories brought back my own personal Ice Bowl. Christmas Day 1983.  Way below zero temps and strong winds. Got up at 5:30 to milk the 30 cows we had then.  All but 4 drinking cups in the barn were frozen. Went in for a quick breakfast at 9:30 or so Back outside and worked until 2:00. Christmas dinner was grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Our 1st daughter was only almost 2 at the time so Christmas didn't mean much to her. Opened what few presents we had and back outside doing chores until 9:30 P.M.  Until you have had to water 20+ thirsty cows with a hose and buckets you have not really worked. 

wow. That is tough, Ammo.  Hard work for sure.

I do remember that Christmas of '83.  I had just moved out to CA and came back to see my folks for Christmas.  My sister's car froze up and my dad and I are outside trying to put a new battery in to get it started.  Later discovered she just flooded it.   But I do remember the wind and sub-zero wind chill with it...brrrr...

 

 

 

SanDiegoPackFan posted:

wow. That is tough, Ammo.  Hard work for sure.

I do remember that Christmas of '83.  I had just moved out to CA and came back to see my folks for Christmas.  My sister's car froze up and my dad and I are outside trying to put a new battery in to get it started.  Later discovered she just flooded it.   But I do remember the wind and sub-zero wind chill with it...brrrr...

 

 

 

Oh god I remember that winter I am shivering just thinking about it.  That may have been the year that we didn't get above 0 from the first of December until maybe New years day of 1984.  In NE Wisconsin right on the lake I think the warmest that month was something like -2.  Then on New Years day it got up to forty something and we were in the street playing football in t shirts.

Then there was the Super Bowl weekend when the Dolphins played the 49ers.  The regular temperature was something like -15 but with the wind chill it was something like -80/90 (could be a little off but it was freaking cold)

Then there was the Christmas of 1993.  I was stationed in North Carolina and it was 83 degrees when my plane took off.  When I got to the GB airport the pilot said it is a balmy -7. 

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