Sunday, January 13, 2008

Titletown

Last time the Giants were in Green Bay for a championship game was before I was born. It was 1961, at what was then known as City Stadium. Those Packers were on the cusp of becoming the dominant team of the 1960s and were led by an intense, charismatic coach named Vince Lombardi who had prowled the Giants sideline as offensive coordinator only two years previously and a young talented quarterback named Bart Starr. The Giants were a tested, veteran team led by a charismatic, grizzled veteran quarterback named Y. A. Tittle. The Packers won that day 37-0 and the legend of Lombardi was born.

We're now nearly 50 years on from that day. The game has changed tremendously. The big town/little town dynamic that was so much a part of that contest won't be that big of a deal this time. This time, the Giants are the team with the promising young quarterback (Eli Manning) and the Packers are the team with the grizzled veteran (ol' number 4). You'll hear a lot about that history this week, and of other games that have taken place on the "frozen tundra" of Lambeau Field. It's entirely likely that the stentorian voice of John Facenda will meet your ears again, especially if you tune in to ESPN at any point. It's going to be a lot of fun.

5 comments:

A. Truck Driver said...

Unbelievable turn of events. It also calls to mind the last year we won the Super Bowl, where the Cowboys were the team we could never beat, and then before we had a chance to get over that hurdle, someone else did us the favor. It led to a trip to Lambeau for the Panthers then. It would be pretty cool if Mike McCarthy could get his first NFC Championship over the team that Vince got his first NFL Championship.

I never saw this year coming. My son predicted 13-3 at the start of the season, while I said 8-8 or 9-7. He will never let me forget this, and now is convinced to such a degree that I am a deluded pessimist that he may never listen to me again. Maybe I am. He did not spend years watching the Randy Wrights and Jerry Tagges of the world. To think that Mr. Dilettante and I used to have to drive to Kenosha for the privilege of watching the Packers fall on their face every week. My son has had Ahman Green, and now Ryan Grant, all the while with Favre. We had Wright, Majkowski and Paul Ott Carruth. Life's not fair, but you always do wish that your children have an easier life than yours.

A. Truck Driver

Mark said...

It's the same with my son, ATD. He's seen one losing Packer season in his lifetime and has never seen anyone other than Brett Favre at the helm. When I tell him about the bad old days, he can't envision it.

As I have these discussions, I can hear the voice of Jeremy Irons as Claus von Bulow in "Reversal of Fortune" in my head:

"You have no idea."

Hope that he never does....

Anonymous said...

Truck Driver and Mr D must have been Brat Stop regulars. Ahh the days before NFL ticket and Satellite Television.

The days of Irv Cross, Phyllis George, Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder and a punky journalist by the name of Brent Mussburger. Does any one remember when they had Jane Kennedy model the Dan Pastorini Flack Jacket in her swimsuit. I'm not sure if it was that moment, or the moment that I saw Cheryl Tiegs in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit addition at my Catholic school library, but it was at one of those two points that I realized that I was no longer a boy, and was becoming a man.....

Sigh, what a trip down memory lane.....

Mark said...

Wait a second, anonymous - you saw the SI swimsuit edition with Cheryl Tiegs in the library in Catholic school? No way they put that one out on the shelf, unless it was at St. Mary's and in the final years of Sister "Bucktooth" Theonita's tenure. Heck, my parents intercepted that one when I had an SI subscription back in the day. I only saw that later - much later.

You are correct, though -- the Brat Stop was definitely the venue for watching the Green and Gold. I had another friend (not the Truck Driver) who always said that if nuclear holocaust ever came, he'd want to wait it out at the Brat Stop. Hard to argue the point.

Gino said...

in my catholic HS, the swimsuit edition was put out reliably every year....




minus the swim suit pages.


damn nuns.