Hornung lights up scoreboard
Dec. 31, 1961 - After going 11-3 in the regular season to win the Western Conference for the second straight season, Paul Hornung and the Green Bay Packers were back in the NFL championship game they had lost last year.
But it didn't appear as if Hornung would be able to play against the New York Giants because he -- along with linebacker Ray Nitschke and wide receiver Boyd Dowler -- had been activated into the National Guard because of the Berlin crisis. That's when the friendship between Packers coach Vince Lombardi and President John F. Kennedy came into play.
Lombardi, according to his son Vince Jr., called up the President to have him speak to Hornung's commanding officer to let him out for the game. Soon, Hornung -- as well as Nitschke and Dowler -- was back in Green Bay.
Although he had just one practice, the Golden Boy was sterling. He scored the game's first points on a six-yard run in the second quarter that triggered a 24-point Green Bay onslaught before halftime. By day's end, Hornung kicked field goals of 17, 22 and 19 yards and made all four of his conversion attempts to give him 19 points, still a championship game record.
In winning the first of his four titles as a pro, Hornung was named the MVP of the Packers' 37-0 victory.
|Hornung's Rushing by the Numbers|
|Hornung's Scoring by the Numbers|
Odds 'n' Ends