Lombardi left legacy of excellence
Dec. 31, 1967 - For the NFL title game between the Packers and Cowboys, the mercury plummeted to 15 degrees below zero in Green Bay. Before the season, Lombardi had spent $80,000 on an electric heating system installed under Lambeau Field's turf. But on this day, it would be rendered useless.
Dallas rallied from a 14-point deficit to take a 17-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. Starting with 4:50 left and the ball on their own 32, the Packers made one final drive. Quarterback Bart Starr moved the team to the one-yard line with 16 seconds left and the Packers called their last timeout. Lombardi had two choices: Go for the win or kick the short field goal to force overtime.
As Starr approached the sideline, Lombardi had already ruled out a field-goal attempt. The Packers would go for the victory. Starr suggested a wedge play in which running back Chuck Mercein would bulldoze through the middle. "Run it!" Lombardi said. "And let's get the hell out of here."
Starr called the play for Mercein, but without telling anybody changed his mind as the Packers broke the huddle, deciding on a quarterback sneak instead before he feared Mercein might lose his footing. Following the blocks of guard Jerry Kramer and center Ken Bowman, Starr lunged across the goal line to give the Packers a 21-17 victory.
"The Ice Bowl," as the game would come to be known, was Lombardi's last at Lambeau Field. He would retire as Packers coach in two weeks after winning Super Bowl II.
Lombardi by the numbers
|1959||Green Bay||7||5||0||.583||3 NFL-W||--|
|1960||Green Bay||8||4||0||.667||1 NFL-W||0-1|
|1961*||Green Bay||11||3||0||.786||1 NFL-W||1-0|
|1962*||Green Bay||13||1||0||.929||1 NFL-W||1-0|
|1963||Green Bay||11||2||1||.846||2 NFL-W||--|
|1964||Green Bay||8||5||1||.615||2 NFL-W||--|
|1965*||Green Bay||10||3||1||.769||1 NFL-W||2-0|
|1966^||Green Bay||12||2||0||.857||1 NFL-W||2-0|
|1967^||Green Bay||9||4||1||.692||1 NFL-C||3-0|
^ NFL Champion; won Super Bowl
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