Thursday, June 6, 2013

Packers v. Lions, 1958

This photo was taken at New City Stadium (a few years away from being renamed Lambeau Field) on October 5, 1958, the second game of the season. The Packers had lost to the Bears in the season opener the week before.

A handwritten notation on the back of the photo indicates that "this field goal attempt by Jim Martin of the Lions was no good":

In the background, we can see the then-new Brown County Arena, which was due to open to the public approximately five weeks later. Green Bay residents will know it as the home of the city's hockey teams until 2002, but Packers fans are probably more likely to remember it as the original home of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame from 1976 through 2003.

I'm also transfixed by the crowd in what appears to be mostly topcoats and blazers, with some shirtsleeves thrown in for good measure; a far cry from the green-and-gold-sprinkled-with-blaze-orange you'll find today.

I'm also impressed by the size of the crowd; the Packers were a truly awful team in 1958. After dropping the first game, only this missed field goal allowed the Pack to salvage a 13-13 tie with the Lions on that November afternoon. This game was the last "1" in their 1-10-1 record for 1958, a record which cost head coach "Scooter" McLean his job and set the stage for the hiring of Vince Lombardi the following offseason.

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