Saturday, November 26, 2016

Instant Replay The Unedited Edition

We won so much as the Green Bay Packers that it got boring. I mean they started calling Green Bay by the nickname “Title Town.” We were the first in so many things.

We were among the first to have so many Negro Players. We were among the first to have a player suspended for gambling. The first to have players wife’s sitting in their own section in the stadium. The first to really interact with the fans who were our twelfth man on the field. But most of all we were among the first to really celebrate wins by carrying our coach off the field. 

Coach Lombardi was tough. He drove us day and night. But we love him because he did everything with the sole goal of winning. He would always say “Winning isn't everything it is the only thing.” Coach put an enormous amount of pressure on the team to win. Extra practices. Repetition. Memorizing the play book.  Whatever it took.

When we won a game it took just a little pressure off for a time. We would go crazy. Coach would scold us and tell us that when we got to the end zone we should look like we had been there before. So we were always careful when we are on the field but once the game was over we would go crazy and pick up Coach and carry him off the field. Coach was alright with that because the focus was where it belonged. On him.

The boys would compete to grab the coach and hoist him up on their shoulders. Fuzzy and Jim Taylor and the rest of us would grab him and throw him up in the air. The only guy was banned was Hornung. All because of rainy playoff game against the Bears.

You see we were all soaked. The Coach was wearing a slick plastic raincoat and he was out in the rain the whole game. It seems that Paul grabbed him to pick him up and it all went bad. You see Paul was covered in mud and was extremely slippery and his hand slipped and went down Coach’s pants. Somehow it slipped all the way into his butt! The Coach was mortified. He started out as a football coach and ended up as a puppet. He squirmed and bucked and yelled but nobody could him over the sounds of the crowd. We rushed all the way to the locker room and would you believe it that Coach hit his head on the dugout ceiling as we were going into the stands and was knocked unconscious. The doc tried to revive him with smelling salts and luckily when he came too he didn’t remember any of it.

But ever since that day he would always stare at Hornung’s hands and lick his lips.

It always made me uncomfortable.
(Instant Replay- The Unedited Edition, Jerry Kramer & Dick Schaap Random House, 1968)

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