Super Bowl Frenzy: Tales from Titletown - 1961
Left to right: Norm Masters (78), Bart Starr (15), Paul Hornung (5). | File Photo: Milwaukee Journal
Next game: February 6th at Super Bowl XLV vs. Pittsburgh
Packers Gameday at 3:00 p.m. on Newsradio 620 WTMJ with coverage on Live at 10 on TODAY'S TMJ4 and Super Bowl Frenzy coverage online here.
GREEN BAY - 1961 was the 3rd season for Vince Lombardi as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, and the team was coming off came off a painful 1960 championship loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
"We were still a little bit affected by that 1960 Championship Game, and didn't ever want to have that feeling again," said guard Jerry Kramer.
That squad rattled off an 11-3 record and won the Western Conference, but often, they won games without some of their key cogs: running back and 1960 MVP Paul "Golden Boy" Hornung, linebacker Ray "The Judge" Nitschke and wide receiver Boyd Dowler.
They were serving in the Army.
When the title game against the Giants came around, Coach Lombardi placed a call to the army's commander and chief, President John F. Kennedy, and asked what President Kennedy could do to help his football team.
Mr. Kennedy made sure all three Packers were in football uniforms, and not army uniforms for the title game.
All three played huge roles in a dominating NFL Championship Game win on Dec. 31 over the Giants, a team they barely beat 20-17 earlier in the month.
Hornung scored 19 points off a touchdown, three field goals and four extra points.
Dowler caught a touchdown pass from Bart Starr in a 24-point second quarter.
Nitschke hounded quarterback Y.A. Tittle on a day where he completed just six passes, but threw four interceptions.
The Packers produced a 37-0 win, their first-ever title won in Green Bay.
After the game, a fan came up with the nickname that still lasts for Green Bay: Titletown, U.S.A.