Friday, December 30, 2011

Photo Gallery: The Ice Bowl

AP Photo
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith (17), white jersey at center, falls back on top of a Green Bay Packers player as players chase a fumble during the NFL Championship game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc., on Dec. 31, 1967.
The 1967 NFL Championship Game, determining the winner of the NFL crown and representative to the second Super Bowl, was held 44 years ago tomorrow, on December 31, 1967.

Today, the game is much better known by its sobriquet "The Ice Bowl" for the treacherously cold conditions under which it was played. Gametime tempuratures were down as low as -15°F with a wind chill measured at 48 below zero. This was also one of the brief period (1966-69) when because of the AFL/NFL rivalry the NFL title game didn't also decide the "World Championship." has a mavelous photo gallery of the game up now.

We begin with this shot of Coach Lombardi, taken four days before the game as he shows reporters the elaborate $80,000 system of heating coils embedded in the playing surface to ensure that conditions stayed optimal for football.

AP Photo/Paul Shane
Packer Coach Vince Lombardi explains how the Green Bay stadium "electric blanket" is keeping the playing surface soft for Sunday's NFL championship game against Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 28, 1967 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Buried electric heating cables provide the heat.
Unfortunately for Coach Lombardi, and the players, the system famously failed on the day, resulting in a frozen, rocky surface.

National Football League
Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr in a action in a 21-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys in a NFC Championship game on December 31, 1967 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
In many of these photos, you can clearly see the full stirrups under the Packers' low whites.

For the record, and just because its such a common mistake, Mr. Starr is wearing them the correct way; big hole goes in the back.

Here's The Coach himself, prowling the sidelines in his camel-hair coat and cleats. I love the white detailing around the opening of cleats from this period. I wonder if it was merely decorative, or served some sort of purpose?

Of course, no Ice Bowl retrospective would be complete without John Biever's iconic photo of Bart Starr sneaking in for a touchdown at the end of the game.

Another (albeit well-known) facet of the game is that was reportedly the only time this particular style of pennant was sold at Lambeau Field.


Because of their provenance, and the Ice Bowl's hold on football fans' imaginations, the pennants draw a pretty good price at auction. This autographed example sold for over $800 at MEARS last January.


Anonymous said...

The cleats that Coach Lombardi wore for the Ice Bowl game were made by Riddell. The white band along the top functioned like a 'belt' with eyelits that the shoelaces were strung through.

Anonymous said...

The white detailing you are referring to on Lombardi's cleats is actually part of the Riddell 'snug tie' lace system. They used them on a lot of their cleats (football, baseball, etc.) in the 60's and 70's.

Chance Michaels said...

That makes sense. I presumed they would have some practical value, aside from the aesthetics.