<b>Super Bowl Frenzy:</b> Tales from Titletown - 1967


Super Bowl Frenzy: Tales from Titletown - 1967

By Jay Sorgi

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 - Much like this year's Super Bowl Packers, the 1967 Packers suffered from the injury bug.

Quarterback Bart Starr had to battle injuries to his throwing hand during the early portions of that season, and they were part of the reason he threw 9 interceptions in his first two games. 

That's three times as many as he tossed during the entire 1966 season.

The Packers' running back corps also was decimated, as they were forced to use third-stringers for much of the season.

The defense carried the team, giving up less than 100 yards passing per game.

Once Starr got healthy, the Packers got back in championship form.

They finished 9-4-1, winning the NFL's newly formed Central Division, but lost their last two games.

On Dec. 23 at Milwaukee County Stadium, they faced a Rams team who had lost just once, and had beaten Green Bay 14 days before.

As a method of motivation, Packers coach Vince Lombardi used words from one of St. Paul's letters.

"I'm not in the habit of quoting Scripture, but I was groping for something to give them a little bit of a lift," Lombardi said.

" 'Don't you know that while all the runners in a stadium are in a race, only one wins the prize, so run to win,' " he said, paraphrasing Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.

The Packers ran to win, as a team that had seen Hall of Famers Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor depart the year before used the legs of Travis Williams carry Green Bay to two of its four touchdowns on the day in a 28-7 triumph, a victory that many consider to be Lombardi's best coaching job.

Eight days later was the famous Ice Bowl, the 1967 NFL Championship Game against Dallas, and with the running game limited by the icy conditions, Green Bay rode Bart Starr to victory.

Despite being sacked eight times, he delivered scoring throws  of 8 and 43 yards to Boyd Dowler in the first half.

Then, after his team's offense produced -9 yards over a 35-minute period of the game, Starr led the team on a final drive for the ages, going 5-5 as he brought his team within a yard of the NFL Championship.

With 13 seconds left, he followed the initial block of guard Jerry Kramer, who with center Ken Bowman's assistance, drove out defensive tackle Jethro Pugh, and snuck into the end zone to give the Packers a 21-17 win, their record third consecutive NFL title and a trip to Super Bowl II.

After recovering from frostbite, the team flew to Miami and used Starr's arm - on a 62 yard scoring pass to Boyd Dowler - and a pick-six by Herb Adderley to put away the Raiders 33-14.

Packers Jerry Kramer and Forrest Gregg took Lombardi off on their shoulders to the locker room, ending his coaching tenure in Green Bay with the greatest winning percentage of any coach in NFL history - a mark that still stood 43 years later.