Green Bay Packers (11-3) 37, New York Giants (10-3-1) 0
Sunday December 31st 1961 (at Green Bay)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(GREEN BAY) - The Packers are world champions. They won the title by completely dominating the Giants in the first title game ever played at City Stadium Sunday afternoon. The final score was a resounding 37 to 0, the worst licking Green Bay ever handed a title game fore. The Packers' defense overpowered the Giants' offense, intercepting four passes, recovering one fumble and twice taking the ball away on downs. The Packers' offense, guided carefully by Bart Starr, rolled relentlessly all afternoon. The Bays scored four touchdowns, and Paul Hornung kicked three field goals. That was it - one unit tackling every red and white jersey in sight and the other blocking out all enemies. It was a shocking display of effort and desire. This was a great performance by the Packers - a team that was transformed by Vince Lombardi from a one-victory performer in 1958 to a world champion three years later. The crowd numbered 39,029, the largest ever in the stadium. They stayed right to the end, despite the score and the 20-degree weather. And, in unbelievable tradition, the more fanatical backers actually tore down the four-inch steel-pipe goal posts. Perhaps the Packers were keyed to a steel-breaking frenzy. They never gave the Giants a chance.
24 POINTS IN SECOND
The Packers socked home 24 points in the second quarter after a feeling-out first game frame and the just about settled it with 10 in the third period. They counted three in the final quarter as the crowd started to go beserk. To add to the drama of the finish, Lombardi pulled out some of the day's big stars, giving the crowd an opportunity to salute each one. First it was Hornung, then McGee, then Dowler, and finally Starr, who received the biggest applause and, like Hornung, a standing ovation. The Packers, every one a hero Sunday, were offense-powered by the fabulous Paul Hornung, the soldier who demonstrated why he's the NFL's most valuable player. Hornung scored 19 points on the game's first TD, three field goals and four extra points. He led the Packers' rushing, perhaps adding some of the punch lost due to Jim Taylor's injury, with 89 yards in 20 cracks. He caught three passes for 47 yards. Hornung's 19 points set a new NFL playoff scoring record. His 19-yard field goal with 6:48 gone in the fourth period gave him his total, shattering the old mark of 18 set by famed quarterback Otto Graham of Cleveland against the Detroit Lions in 1954.
Paul, with only a full week of practice under his belt, kicked two field goals Sunday to provide the difference in the Pack's title clinching victory over these same Giants Dec. 3. Starr was the killer of the day, pitching three touchdown passes, two to Ron Kramer and one to Boyd Dowler. Operating behind a five-man offensive line - an iron wedge most of the day (Bob Skoronski, Fred Thurston, Capt. Jim Ringo, Forrest Gregg and Norm Masters), Starr engineered 19 first downs, a total 345 yards against the Giants' great defense, and 10 completions in only 19 pass attempts.
The tank-like Kramer, probably the most deceptive player on the field because of his speed, caught four passes for 80 yards and snared 14 and 13-yard slant-ins for TDs, once knocking over Sam Huff and Jimmy Patton near the goal line. Soldier Dowler caught one touchdown pass on a great move under the north crossbar and added two catches. The other passes were caught by Hornung. Taylor, badly hurt two weeks ago, was not himself but he was a raging runner, finishing with 69 yards in 14 trips. Tom Moore replaced Taylor off and on and gained 25 in 6. The Packers' defense was perfect, judging by that shutout.
BEARS BLANKED 'SKINS
It was the largest shutout victory since that 73-0 job the Bears did on Washington in 1940 and the first title game blanking since the Eagles beat the Rams 14-0 in the rain and mud of Los Angeles in 1949. The Packers defense, led by the fighting foursome of Willie Davis, Hank Jordan, Dave Hanner and Bill Quinlan, held the Giants to just six first downs - only one by rushing. The linebackers, Capt. Bill Forester and Dan Currie and alternating Tom Bettis and Ray Nitschke, filled beautifully and the secondary of Jess Whittenton, Willie Wood, Hank Gremminger and Johnny Symank did the rest.
GROUNDS DOWLER PUNT
Nitschke, Gremminger, Whittenton and Herb Adderley, who went in near the end, intercepted four passes. The fumble recovery? It was made by an offensive player, Mr. Gregg, who grounded a fumble Dowler punt in the third period. The Giants were boiled down to 130 yards for the day, including 31 yards rushing. They got into Packer territory twice all day and both times lost the ball on downs. Y.A. Tittle and Charley Conerly tried 29 passes and completed only 10. Their leading rusher, Alex Webster, had to settle for 19 yards in seven attempts. New York got only 2.2 yards per attempt rushing. Even old Ben Agajanian figured in the fun - and strategy. The 42-yard old kicking phenom did all the kicking off and he booted to spots - mostly short (around the 10 or 12) to the Giants' right side, allowing the Packers to concentrate their tacklers. Another time, when the Giants spread their returners, Ben booted straight down and two yards behind the goal line. Ironically, the Giants made the game's first down. Like a couple of fighters, the two clubs felt each other out with a punt exchange. The Giants then put together two first downs, reaching the Packer 46, where the Packers receive a third and 10 break. Kyle Rote dropped Tittle's pass on the 35. So Don Chandler punted into the end zone.
PIECE BY PIECE
The Packers started from the 20 and marched 80 yards in 12 plays to take a 7-0 lead. This was the first indication that the Giants could be had. The Packers had pierced, piece by piece, the Giants' great defense. The big play was a third and 10 pass from Starr to Hornung for 26 yards to the 50. Then, Starr called Hornung and Taylor on six straight plays for 30 yards, cracking both ends of the Giants' line to the 20. Erich Barnes, irritated no end by Dowler, interfered with Dowler on the seven and Hornung scored two plays later, roaring around right tackle and then bursting through two tacklers on the goal line for the score.
Now the Packer defense went to work. Jordan deflected a pass by Tittle and Nitschke intercepted, giving the Pack possession on the Giants' 34. Six plays later, it was 14-0. There were two big plays, Starr hurled to Kramer up the middle for 16 yards and then pitched to Dowler up the middle on a slant for the TD. The Packers made it 21-0 in a hurry. Gremminger imitated Nitschke, stealing Tittle's pass right in front of Rote and returning 13 yards. This time the Pack took eight plays. Taylor and Hornung ran the first 22 yards in seven plays. On Play 8, Starr hit Kramer on a left side slant and the big end knocked over three Giants en route to the TD.
The Giants, with tennis-shoed Conerly at QB, hit Rote on a 35-yard pass and the Giants got the Packer 15. The crowd seemed to murmur, "a shutout," and the Bays responded. On fourth and two, Bob Gaiters was rushed in passing to wide open Rote and the ball was never near. Just before the half, Hornung ran 17 and 7 and then Starr passed to Kramer for 37 yards to set up Hornung's field goal from 17 yards to peg the score at 24-0 at the half. Dowler and Gregg collaborated for another field goal early in the third period, clinching the rout. Dowler punted 64 yards and Morrison and Wells both fumbled the bouncer and Gregg recovered on the Giants' 22. Four plays later, Hornung kicked a 22-yard field goal for 27-0.
SETS OFF CLINCHER
Green Bay settled it a moment later with its final TD. The Bays moved 43 yards in five plays after a Giant hit Willie Wood after he made a fair catch of a punt. Starr's two passes to Dowler, for 11 and 13 yards, set off the clincher, a 13-yard pitch to Kramer, who had eluded Patton in the end zone. That was it. The Giants and Packers fought tooth and nail but the issue was settled. As a parting gesture, Hornung kicked a 19-yard field goal - set up by an interception by Whittenton in front of Shofner. The crowd yelled for more in those final minutes and the Bays had another shot at the end. Adderley intercepted a Tittle pass thrown from the "shotgun" formation on the Giant 16. John Roach held the ball on the Pack's last play while time ran out. The audience just stood there - cold but happy, and perhaps a few of us oldtimers had a lump or two in the throat.
NEW YORK - 0 0 0 0 - 0
GREEN BAY - 0 24 10 3 - 37
NEW YORK GREEN BAY
First Downs 6 19
Rushing-Yards-TD 14-31-0 44-181-1
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 29-10-119-0-4 19-10-164-3-0
Sack Yards Lost 2-20 0-0
Total Yards 130 345
Fumbles-lost 5-1 1-0
Turnovers 5 0
Yards penalized 4-38 4-16
2nd - GB - Paul Hornung, 6-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
2nd - GB - Boyd Dowler, 13-yard pass from Bart Starr (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 14-0
2nd - GB - Ron Kramer, 14-yard pass from Starr (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 21-0
2nd - GB - Hornung, 17-yard field goal GREEN BAY 24-0
3rd - GB - Hornung, 22-yard field goal GREEN BAY 27-0
3rd - GB - Kramer, 13-yard pass from Starr (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 34-0
4th - GB - Hornung, 19-yard field goal GREEN BAY 37-0
GREEN BAY - Paul Hornung 20-89 1 TD, Jim Taylor 14-69, Tom Moore 6-25, John Roach 1-0, Elijah Pitts 3-(-2)
NEW YORK - Alex Webster 7-19, Joel Wells 3-9, Phil King 2-5, Bob Gaiters 1-2, Y.A. Tittle 1-(-4)
GREEN BAY - Bart Starr 17-10-164 3 TD, Paul Hornung 2-0-0
NEW YORK - Y.A. Tittle 20-6-65 4 INT, Charlie Conerly 8-4-54, Bob Gaiters 1-0-0
GREEN BAY - Ron Kramer 4-80 2 TD, Paul Hornung 3-47, Boyd Dowler 3-37 1 TD
NEW YORK - Kyle Rote 3-54, Del Shofner 3-41, Alex Webster 3-5, Joe Walton 1-19
LOMBARDI TELLS PACKERS: 'YOU'RE THE GREATEST IN THE NFL TODAY'
JAN 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - "You're the greatest team in the NFL today." This, a beaming and somewhat bedazzled Vince Lombardi confided, was the first thing he told his shiny new world champions second after they boisterously clumped into their dressing room beneath City Stadium's frigid, wind-swept stands Sunday afternoon. "And," he added with a proud smile, "I mean it." Informing a rapt press-corps that jammed his sanctum sanctorum "they played a hell of a ball game." Lombardi further volunteered, "Defensively, I thought we were outstanding." Any explanation for the Packers' spectacular improvement upon last year's title-losing 17-13 performance at Philadelphia? "Yes, we had one year's experience in a championship game going into this one. We had a little poise today, which we didn't have a year ago. We were tense that day." "What about your game plan?" a New York scribe asked, sandwiching his query between photographers' pleas for "just one more picture, Vince."...NOTHING DIFFERENT: "We didn't do anything different, as anybody who has seen us all year can tell you," was the dedicated Italian's forthright reply. "We did the same thing we have been doing every week." And what about record-breaking Paul Hornung? "He played a tremendous game," Vince declared. "But that's been his history. The bigger the game, the better he plays. He's a great competitor." Had it been the plan to use the NFL's Player of the Year so extensively? "Yes, it was. We used him more than we ordinarily would have for two reasons - because Jim Taylor was hurt and to cross up the Giants." (Taylor ground out 186 yards in the Packers' title-clinched 20-17 conquest of the Giants at Milwaukee Dec. 3 and they were expected to key on him.) At this point Giant President Jack Mara whisked up to Lombardi's desk, whispered briefly in his ear, then wished his former New York colleague, "Happy New Year." To which Vince beamed, "Thank you, same to you, Jack." Another question and the Packer headmaster returned to the business at hand. The surprising answer? Good as it was, he said, he didn't feel the day's performance had equaled the Pack's 49-17 decimation of the Cleveland Browns in October. "We played an outstanding game today," Lombardi said, "but against Cleveland we were perfect." Did he feel the Giants had been off key? "You ask Allie (Sherman)," Vince responded dryly. "I'm sure he'll tell you."...FIELD 'OPERATIVE': What about the weather? Did he think it had been too cold for the Giants? somebody semi-facetiously queried. He shrugged again and said, "I can't answer that." And how about the field? "The field was hard, but it was operative. I don't know if that's a word or not," he chuckled, "but it was operable - or at least we could operate on it." The Giants had thrown sparingly to Del Shofner, their formidable long threat, in the first three quarters. Any theories? "Apparently they thought the other side (Kyle Rote) was better," the Packer major-domo observed. Had this been his biggest personal thrill in football? the man who had been offense coach in the Giants' title year of 1956 was asked. Vince paused to exhale a cloud of smoke, grinned and replied, "I would say so." The conversation turned to kicking. How come, he was asked, Boyd Dowler had been punting when Max McGee had been assigned that duty of late? And why had Ben Agajanian been selected for kickoffs? Lombardi
had two ready and succinct answer. "Dowler has been our punter all year," he said, "and Agajanian kicked off well. In fact, he has been kicking off well for a couple of weeks."...CITES KRAMER'S PLAY: What are his immediate plans? Seized with a coughing spell, Vince managed to squeeze out, "I have to go to a league meeting." The attack became so persistent the conference was held up until backfield coach Red Cochran returned with a glass of water to soothe the head man's scratchy throat. With communication resumed, he was asked about Ron Kramer's performance embellished by a pair of touchdowns. "He played a hell of a ball game," Lombardi said. "He's played good football all year." Before another questioner could intervene, Commissioner Pete Rozelle appeared to offer formal congratulations. "Your punting game was terrific," he imparted with a smile as they shook hands. As this transpired, Vince said, "Willie, take care of yourself now this winter." Willie Wood, approaching with a grin and a handshake, replied, "Okay, coach. Happy New Year." Earlier, somebody had asked, "Any New Year's Eve plans, coach?" "Yes," Vince smiled back, "I'm going to spend a very quiet at home."...Soft-spoken Allie Sherman, ex-Philadelphia Eagle quarterback who won NFL coach-of-the-year honors as a rookie, was realistic about what had to be the longest afternoon of his coaching career...'EXCELLENT TEAM'" "It was just one of those days," Allie said simply. "The Packers are an excellent football team and they were able to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them. They deserved to win. They're a fine team, well coached. And the snowball grew." Sherman, who took time out to tour the dressing room and administer a comforting pat on the back to each of his crest-fallen athletes, said, "I have no complaint about the efforts of the boys. Some of them made bad errors but it's as simple as that. There's no embellishing a thing like that. Call it corny if you will, but that's just what it was," he said. "The weather wasn't a factor either," Allie insisted when the subject was introduced. "The Packers were just too good a team today." Had he made any changes at the intermission? "No, I didn't use the blackboard, " was the wry response. "You can't fix up dropped passes and fumble with a blackboard." Sherman defended his decision to punt with the Giants needing only one yard on fourth down at midfield in the third quarter. "I feel there was nothing wrong with our getting 24 points as quickly as they did," Allie declared. "I felt we had enough time - there still was nearly 30 minutes to play."...'THREE MIGHTY FINE GAMES': Had he been surprised at Hornung's performance a week after leaving Army camp? "No, I wasn't," was the prompt reply. "Hornung had more than the normal time to work, why shouldn't he have played well? And he's an excellent football player. The Packers are the best team we played all year. They played three mighty fine games against us and this was one of them," he said. The Packers edged the Giants twice by 20-17 scores in earlier non-league and regular season meetings. The Giants, it was noted, had come onto the field for their pregame warmup wearing sneakers, then reappeared for the opening kickoff sporting cleats. The explanation? "We felt it might be hard enough and dry enough for sneakers, but, after checking the field, we changed to cleats when we went back in - but took our sneakers out to the bench with us," Allie said. "The footing didn't bother the Packers," he added pointedly. Completely philosophical, Sherman summed up his reaction to an aside to the club's veteran trainer, Johnny Johnson. Clapping the slender Scandinavian on the arm, Allie consoled him, "Don't look so glum, Johnny. We'll go again."
HORNUNG CREDITS BLOCKERS, STARR, TAYLOR
JAN 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The man who put the T for Touchdown in Titletown Sunday afternoon sat in front of his locker pulling off sweaty socks and wearing little more than a glowing grin on his golden-topped countenance. Paul Hornung, the hero among heroes and the proud possessor of a shiny new red Corvette as the outstanding player of the game, spoke thusly: "Give all the credit to our offensive line and that guy right there, our quarterback (Bart Starr). They were the guys that did it." Hornung, as modest a victor as could be found in the wild Packer dressing room swarming over with reporters, photographers, television lights and microphones as befits only a world champion, admitted that he also had a pretty good day. He gave additional credit to partner Jim Taylor for that. "We worked that weak side slant on them pretty good in Milwaukee with Jim carrying the ball," he explained part of his 89 rushing yards, "so this time Coach Lombardi said to try Hornung instead of Taylor since they would be keying on him. We worked pretty good on the strong side and up the middle, too. And (Ron) Kramer's blocking helped on those sweeps." Ditching the strategy bit quickly, football's most fabulous player brightened a little more and added, "It was really our day, wasn't it? We had it when it counted."...'KNEW HE WOULD GO': In answer to a question about his exceptionally sharp play in the 37-0 conquest, considering he has spent most of the latter part of the season on Uncle Sam's team, Pvt. Paul declared, "You just put out a little more for a game like this." Just a locker down, Starr, who demolished talk about New York's superior air attack with three touchdown passes and 10 completions in 17 tosses, unlimbered some return compliments for Hornung. "There's the guy," he nodded to Paul, "he's been real sharp all week. We knew he would go, particularly if they were keying on Jimmy." But Starr, along with the rest of the team, couldn't possibly overlook the ferocious work of the offensive line. "They were off that ball faster than they have been all season. They gave me all the protection I needed. And don't forget the defense. They kept getting that ball back for us." Taylor, his back so sore he still had trouble climbing on the training table Saturday, admitted that it pained him on the field and that he wasn't the same fullback that jarred the Giants with 186 personal yards in Milwaukee. "Ya, it hurts. Here look, you can see how tight that darn corset was on me," he said with an understandable smile. "Paul sure had a great day," he continued. "We planned to use him and hoped they were waiting for me. I guess that's what happened." Reckless Ray Nitschke, the recruit from Ft. Lewis who turned in sparkling defensive performances that included a pass interception, felt that the cold weather played a big part in the astounding triumph...DON'T GET AS TIRED: "You know, guys like Hornung, Dowler and myself aren't in as good a shape as we should be with this Army business and this cold weather really helps. You don't get as tired as you do when it's warmer." Fuzzy Thurston, although playing down his All-Pro role in the offensive line, agreed with Starr that the line was getting the best initial charge it got all year. "I didn't really do very well but the other guys were great, just great. It was a terrific team effort. You just can't beat that." Bob Skoronski, who with Thurston was greatly responsible for some gaping holes in what up to this time had been considered the league's strongest defense in the league, had a special reason for enjoying the slaughter. "I'm from Connecticut, you know, and that's Giant country. Robustelli and Shofner have been at banquets up that way telling everybody we couldn't beat them again. Well, this sure makes us happy." On the defensive side, Jesse Whittenton, who all but wore Del Shofner's number all afternoon, admitted that he expected the Giants to throw more to their tall prize, but he added with a grin. "But I was on that guy. He's a great end, but he wasn't going to get away from me today. I guess he caught two but those short ones are awful tough to stop." Dave (Hawg) Hanner, one of the defenders who made the Giant line look second rate, drawled, "I guess we didn't figure this would happen (the shutout) because they've got a fine offensive club. But we did figure we would win." Willie Davis, another bulwark who was a threat to Y.A. Tittle's aging life all afternoon, said, "Everybody just put out everything they had today. This was great teamwork." Ron Kramer, who bulled for two touchdowns after snatching passes from Starr, probably explained the teamwork aspect best. "I was out there pulling for everybody else and everybody
else was pulling for me. That's a great feeling you know. That's the spirit that made this team. Don't forget we were still second place until today. Those Eagles beat us last year and we were second." How about that fantastic bulling ability that busted loose from no less than four Giants on his first catch and three on the second? "I figure that's just part of my job," the hulking end replied. "When you get the ball you head for the goal and get as many yards as you can," he added with a sly smile. But these fellas are pros and even the rookie think like pros. Big Ben Davidson collected the sum feeling of the celebrating team when he chirped from his 6-8 stature, "I feel like five thousand bucks!"
PACK DUELS ALL STARS NEXT
JAN 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers, by winning the world championship Sunday, also qualified to play in the 1962 College All Star game in Chicago. The game, sponsored by Chicago Tribune Charities, Inc., will be held in Soldier's Field Aug, 3, it was announced after the game by George Strickler, assistant sports editor of the Tribune. This will be the Packers' fourth appearance in the summer classic. They played in the game in 1937, 1940 and 1945. Green Bay lost in '37 by 6 to 0, and then won 45-28 in 1940 and 19-7 in 1945. The All Star game was part of the prize fought for by the Packers and Giants. Each veteran players gets a game's salary for playing in the game and rookies get a half game's salary. The championship game Sunday was covered by Strickler and staff writer Cooper Rollow.
GIANTS PRAISE PACKERS' OVERWHELMING BALANCE
JAN 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Paul Hornung, the Army's most famous jeep driver since Elvis Presley, received bouquets in the Giant dressing quarters minutes after the New Yorkers dropped that big bundle out at City Stadium Sunday afternoon. The Giants were high in their praise of the Packer halfback, but generally stuck to the Packers' overwhelming balance that brought the 37-0 playoff championship. "That was a helluva offense and the same goes for the defense. Not taking anything away from Hornung, but you can't overlook any of those fellows. They comprise a mighty fine football team." The frank appraisal came from veteran quarterback Charlie Conerly. His dejected mates nodded in agreement. "Your Bart Starr did mighty well out there today, he's improved tremendously in the last couple of years," Conerly said. Any particular defenders that gave the Giant offense trouble? "You can't single out any of those defensive men, they were all good," Conerly replied. "I know I got knocked on my seat a couple of times and it wasn't the same man each time." End Del Shofner, once again held in check by Jesse Whittenton, lamented the fact that the Giants couldn't move earlier and got mired by the Green Bay offense. "We just got behind early and had to open up in an attempt to catch them. That's where the mistakes came in," Shofner said. Limited to one reception in the 20-17 loss at Milwaukee, he got just two Sunday. Giant receivers like Shofner, Kyle Rote and Joe Walton refused to blame the woes of their passing attack on the weather or condition of the field. "It got pretty slippery once in awhile, but it wasn't too bad," Shofner said. "The footing wasn't the best but it was the same for the Packers," Walton commented. Defensive back Erich Barnes, who had had better days than on this brisk afternoon, also noted that New York's slow start hurt. The pass interference call on him early in the game set up Green Bay's first touchdown. Did he believe the official's call was right? "Awful, awful. I never touched him (Boyd Dowler) until we both went up for the pass. It's one of those things that you have to accept," the ex-Bear said. Lanky Erich said he also saw that clear field ahead when he dropped what looked like a sure interception near the Giant goal. "It's just one I dropped. I suppose I should say it's just another one dropped." Defensive linemen Andy Robustelli said the entire Packer line blocked well. "I'm not like Chuck Bednarik who sounds like he's the judge of all football talent. That line is just plain good." Big Andy chose not to compare the Pack's noted guards, Fuzzy Thurston and Jerry Kramer, the latter on the injured list now but who has drawn a lion's share of plaudits. "Let's say they're two good guards. There's sure nothing wrong with that (converted tackle Forrest) Gregg, either."...'SOME BIG RUNNERS': Quarterback Y.A. Tittle noted he got rushed by a variety of hungry men, noting that Ray Nitschke's crushing tackle during a pass play wasn't the most gentle rocking he ever received. Cliff Livingston observed that the gang-tackling by the Giants wasn't necessarily due to the cold weather, which did make hanging on difficult at times. "They have some big runners, you have to gang-tackle to bring them down. Naw, we can't really blame the weather too much. They practiced in colder weather that we did but we know what is' like to be cold, too," Livingston said. "Someone's got to win and someone's got to lose, unfortunately," Livingston added. "We couldn't do anything right and they couldn't do anything wrong. That's all there is to it," Walton said. Towering Roosevelt Brown, one of the gents up front who had to contend with Hornung's blasting, said he didn't think Uncle Sam's boy was any faster than usual. "He's quick at the right times, but I don't think he was faster than in other games. The guy sure is good," Brown said.
'LEANER' MARA SUFFERS THOUGH DEFEAT
JAN 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - John V. Mara, president of the New York Giants, sat in silence like a sportsman in the City Stadium press box Sunday as his team went down to a 37-0 shutout defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers. Mara sat next to Pete Rozelle, NFL commissioner, in a front corner seat. They exchanged only a quiet few words as they concentrated on the play. Mara said nothing and showed few signs of emotion as the score piled up against his team. Nobody said much to him either. Mara showed the strain by chewing gum with increased speed and force at crucial moments. He is also a "leaner," one who sways at the hips to give his runners a little help for the extra yard. Mara started watchin the game wearing a cap and scarf. After the Packers two quick second period touchdowns, both the cap and scarf were on the desk in front of him. Mara attacked an apple from a box lunch with the same intensity of his gum, when the Giants finally started moving goalward after the Packers had mounted a 21-0 score. The Giants had a first down on the Packer 15. When they failed on a fourth down on the six yard line, Mara's apple was also gone. The Giant president slumped back in his chair, all hope apparently gone for a comeback, when Joel Wells bumped Willie Wood who was making a fair catch of a punt in the third period with the score at 27-0. With 37 seconds left in the game, Herb Adderley intercepted a Tittle pass and returned the ball to the Giants' 16 yard line. Mara shook his head and muttered a mild criticism under his breath. It was the only bad word spoke by the Giant president about his players during the long afternoon which crushed the championship hopes for New York.
JAN 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - As the heroes of Green Bay trickled out the back door of the dressing room, hundreds of loyalists lingered to catch what would be the last glimpse of the Pack until next August. Each Packers in turn filed through the throng. Ben Agajanian commented to the fans: "It was a great game, but it sure will be nice to get back to sunny California."...Downtown Green Bay was a sea of turmoil, cars bumping to bumper, horns blaring, headlights flickering and people milling about. Teenage girls swung down the streets, arm in arm, swinging. Most of the "Titletown, U.S.A." banners were missing. Youths climbed the Walnut Street bridge to haul one down...Not since VE day in 1945 have as many articles of GI clothing been worn at one time. The crowd which witnessed the game was not stylish. This was not the same crowd which put on their "Sunday best" as it did for the Bear game several months ago. It was a colorful day, as hunters took out every piece of red and fluorescent orange grab they could find. Stadium bags, sleeping bags and insulated "everything" was seen at the stadium...Although the game was played to a full house, tickets in the parking lots before the opening kickoff could be purchased - and purchased for a song. At noon, sellers were asking $10, the official price. They had a few buyers. At 12:15, the prized ducats were going for $7. A few more were sold. A half hour before game time, the price fell to $5, and a short time thereafter, choice seats were being auctioned off for a mere $3...While the spectators watched in chill 20-degree weather at uncovered City Stadium, the Green Bay and New York players sat in comparative comfort in front of reflective heaters. A 72-foot dugout type structure was erected behind each bench. Gas heaters emitted infrared rays that were reflected from the structure to the bench. The players reported they were very comfortable.
'THIS WAS TRUE TEST - PACKERS GREAT' - ROZELLE
JAN 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Green Bay Packers are a great football team, which won the NFL title under conditions which provided a true test for both teams. The champions will rank with the best in the league's history. This opinion must have been near unanimous in City Stadium as steel goal posts came crashing down on both ends of the field after the Packers dispatched the New York Giants 37-0. In this case, the words were those of Pete Rozelle, youthful commissioner of the NFL...'PACKERS WERE GREAT': "The Packers were a great football team today. There is no question about that. They were well prepared both offensively and defensively. It must rank with the most effective championship performance we have ever had," said Rozelle. Rozelle watched the championship from a first row corner seat of the press box. He sat next to John Mara, president of the New York Giants, who sat with tight lips as his team went down to its shutout defeat. Rozelle, after the game, brushed aside the suggestion that the Dec. 31 game in the league's norhernmost city prevented it from being a true test of division champions... FIELD NEARLY NORMAL: "This was a true test today. This field was practically a normal field," he said of the City Stadium turf cleared of its last level of hay and snow Sunday morning. "The temperature is accepted by the players. The players don't notice a thing like that once the game starts," said Rozelle. While the temperature was lower today, the playing field of City Stadium was actually in better condition than Franklin Field was last year when the Packers played the Philadelphia Eagles for the title, he said...TOP SOD THAWED: Weather conditions last year, Rozelle recalled, turned the top of the playing field into thawing sod with frozen ground inches below it. Rozelle said there is little chance NFL owners would consider moving up the start of the league season and the championship game, despite the concentration on weather conditions before the game in Green Bay Sunday. Many league team would run into trouble with an earlier season because they use baseball stadiums, he pointed out. And the championship game has been played under worse conditions that were true in Green Bay, he added...PLAYED NEUTRAL ROLE: Rozelle sat chain-smoking with a score card propped on the case for his field glasses throughout the game. He played the role of the neutral to the hilt with no comments, even after the outcome was no longer in doubt. There was one momentary exception. A red-faced fan with a long cigar recognized the commissioner and pounded on the press box glass from the outside. "Pretty good game, Pete, eh?" shouted the fan. Rozelle grinned and waved back. Then, he went quietly back to concentrating on the game through his field glasses.
GIANTS BETTER THAN 1960 EAGLES, STARR SAID
JAN 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - It may have sounded somewhat ridiculous to many of those surrounding Bart Starr as he stood drinking orange pop in front of his locker after the game, but the brilliant Packer field general declared that "the Giants are a better team than the Eagles were last year." It may be remembered that
the erstwhile world champion Eagles nipped the Pack, 17-13, in Philadelphia last year while the same Packers thumped the Giants 37-0 Sunday. Starr, nevertheless, insisted that his statement was true but that "we were much better this year. This is a great ream and one that really pulls together." The Packers have recalled that 1960 championship game many times in the past year and have always felt that they should have been the winners. Now they are - and over what Starr, the man who calls the signals, feels is a better team than the former champs.
TRAFFIC JAM FOLLOWS PACKERS' TITLE VICTORY
JAN 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Packer fans, deliriously happy at the knowledge that the world's football crown is solidly planted in Green Bay, poured into the downtown area after the Packers beat the Giants, causing the most spectacular traffic jam in the city's history. Hundreds of horn-tooting cars took advantage of the natural loop formed by the Washington-Adams Street couplet to parade through the downtown area in a continuous circle. The constant honking of horns was punctuated by the sharp explosions of firecrackers set off by cheering fans...TOPS WERE DOWN: Convertible tops were down. Car windows were wide open. Some cars had as many as 15 persons hanging onto fenders, standing out of open doors and sitting on the roof. One station wagon, literally overflowing with people, dragged a section of the steel goalposts through the streets. Despite the heavy rush of traffic before and after the game, there were no other problems. Eleven accidents occurred, but all were minor and there were no injuries outside of a few minor bumps and scrapes...SEVERAL ARRESTED: Police made no attempt to interfere with the traffic, but merely stood by and made sure it continued to move. Several arrests were made, but these involved extreme cases of reckless driving and other incidents. While downtown streets were jammed, sidewalks were almost deserted after the
Packers coach Vince Lombardi smiles after his team defeated the New York Giants in the NFL Championship game, 37-0, in Green Bay in 1961. Credit: Milwaukee Journal files
game. The bars and taverns, for the most part, while busy, were not jammed. That will come later. The crowd that poured downtown after the game was made up mostly of fans that attended the game. Others drove in to see what was going on after hearing the game on radio...HANGOVER EXPECTED: The combination of the Packer victory plus the traditional New Year's Eve celebration is expected to give Green Bay its largest hangover in history. Police have made elaborate preparations for handling the celebrants during the night. All beats will have two patrolmen walking together. Additional beats have been set up. Extra civil defense auxiliary officers will be riding with regular police in every available squad car. The congestion downtown eased somewhat about 6 p.m. as fans went home to eat. But it began to pick up again a few hours later as the celebrating begins in earnest...EXTRA HELP HIRED: The celebrants will be given a break because taverns are permitted to remain open until 3 a.m. Most are expected to take advantage of the extra hours. All tavern owners are anticipating a booming business and have hired extra help and laid in additional supplies. Packer fans are letting off steam that began accumulating several weeks ago when their favorite team won the Western Division crown by defeating these same New York Giants. The tension that had been building was released in one giant burst as the gun sounded ending the game. Most fans, who had anticipated a closer game, elatedly talked of "those guys from the big city slinking off by themselves." They've waited a long time, these Packer fans, and their celebration will show it. They'll be celebrating the championship tonight, with thoughts of the New Year shoved in the background. But the winter won't be as bad now as it could have been. Green Bay has its football crown and it feels pretty good.