1962 NFL Championship Game

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1962 NFL Championship Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Green Bay Packers 3 7 3 3 16
New York Giants 0 0 7 0 7
Date December 30, 1962
Stadium Yankee Stadium
City New York, NY
Referee Emil Heintz
Attendance 64,892
TV/Radio in the United States
TV Network NBC
TV Announcers Chris Schenkel, Ray Scott
Radio Network NBC
Radio Announcers Ken Coleman, Ted Moore
Timeline
Previous game Next game
1961 1963

The 1962 National Football League championship game was the 30th NFL title game. The game was played on December 30, 1962 at Yankee Stadium in New York City between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers. The attendance for the game was 64,892. The Packers were coached by Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, and the Giants by Allie Sherman. The weather during the game was so cold that television crews used bonfires to thaw out their cameras, and one cameraman suffered frostbite. The conditions also made throwing the ball difficult. Green Bay won 16–7 behind the performances of game Most Valuable Player linebacker Ray Nitschke, and fullback Jim Taylor. Green Bay right guard Jerry Kramer kicked three field goals and an extra point. The Giants fumbled twice, losing each, while the Packers recovered all five of their fumbles.

Background[edit]

The 1962 game was a rematch of the 1961 championship game, won by Green Bay 37–0.[1] The Eastern Conference champions New York Giants (12–2) faced the Western Conference titlist Green Bay Packers (13–1). Green Bay began the season 10–0 including a 49–0 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, where they gained 628 yards to Philadelphia's 54.[2] Before the game, 10,000 fans at a New York Knicks game spontaneously began chanting "Beat Green Bay! Beat Green Bay!", and when the 18,000 tickets available to non season ticket holders went on sale for the game, they sold within three hours.[3] Due to the NFL's blackout policy which aimed to protect gate receipts, until 1973, fans in a team's home market could not watch their team's regular season and playoff games on television, even if they were title games.[4] New York fans made reservations for motels in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut so they could watch the game out of the 75 mile blackout zone, and even though the game was played in single digit weather with 35–40 mph winds, only 299 of the 65,000+ Giant fans who bought tickets to the sold out game stayed home.[5] Although the weather was temperate the previous day,[4] during the contest it became so cold that a cameraman filming the game suffered frostbite, and television crews used dugout bonfires to thaw out their cameras.[6] Broadcaster Art Rust, Jr. later described the weather as "barbaric".[7] The cold conditions favored the Packers who used a run-oriented offense led by Taylor, while the Giants featured a more pass heavy offense led by quarterback YA Tittle who, coming into the game, had passed for 3,224 yards and 33 touchdowns on the season.[4][8]

Game summary[edit]

The wind caused the ball to be blown off the tee three times during the opening kickoff, and a Green Bay player had to hold the ball onto the tee so Willie Wood could kick it off.[8] After a Jerry Kramer field goal made the score 3–0 in favor of Green Bay in the first quarter, the Giants drove to the Green Bay 15 yard line behind short passes from Tittle. Tittle then tried to hit tight end Joe Walton near the goal line, but a timely Packer blitz by Forester and Nitschke allowed the latter to deflect the pass which was intercepted by fellow linebacker Dan Currie. During most of the first and second quarter, the teams ran the ball for short gains. The Giants repeatedly hit Taylor hard, and he suffered cuts to his arm and tongue. Near halftime, the Giants Phil King fumbled on their own 28, and Nitschke recovered. A halfback option pass from Paul Hornung to flanker Boyd Dowler took the Packers to the Giants seven-yard line. On the following play Taylor used an outside fake before going back inside to run untouched into the end zone.[9]

The weather worsened by halftime and the wind swirled dust around the stadium, tearing apart the ballpark's United States flag, and knocking over a television camera.[10] Passing became even more difficult; the longest pass of the day was a 25 yard one from Tittle to Walton.[7] After blocking a Green Bay punt and recovering it for a touchdown to pull the game to 10–7 in the third quarter, the Giants defense forced the Packers into a three and out on their next possession. Sam Horner fumbled on a punt return at the Giants 42 yard line however, and Nitschke recovered. Five plays later Jerry Kramer kicked a field goal to make the score 13–7. Tittle, with the aid of two Packers penalties, then drove the Giants from their own 20 to the Green Bay 18 on the ensuing drive. New York then incurred two holding penalties, pushing them back to their own 40 yard line and ending their drive (holding penalties at the time were assessed from the spot of the foul). Led by Taylor who repeatedly ran for key first downs, the Packers advanced the ball down to the New York end of the field, where Jerry Kramer kicked a third field goal to make the score 16–7 with 1:50 to play.[10] Tittle led a desperation drive which ended at the Packer 7 as time ran out. Green Bay recovered all five of their fumbles during the game, while the Giants lost both of theirs.[8]

Legacy[edit]

A few hours after this game, Nitschke, who was the game's Most Valuable Player,[11] appeared on TV's What's My Line? wearing thick eyeglasses.[12] Panelists Martin Gabel and Bennett Cerf, both Giants fans, recognized him.[13] Ed Sabol's film company Blair Motion Pictures paid $3,000 for the film rights for the game, the company would later become NFL Films.

The 1962 Packers team is considered one of the best in NFL history.[2]

Scoring summary[edit]

  • First Quarter
    • GB- Kramer 26-yard field goal 3–0 GB
  • Second Quarter
    • GB-Taylor 7-yard run (Kramer kick) 10–0 GB
  • Third Quarter
    • NY- Collier block punt recovery in end zone (Chandler kick) 10–7 GB
    • GB- Kramer 29-yard field goal 13–7 GB
  • Fourth Quarter
    • GB- Kramer 30-yard field goal 16–7 GB

Starting lineups[edit]

Green Bay Position New York
OFFENSE
Max McGee SE Del Shofner
Norm Masters LT Rosey Brown
Fuzzy Thurston LG Darrell Dess
Jim Ringo C Ray Wietecha
Jerry Kramer RG Greg Larson
Forrest Gregg RT Jack Stroud
Ron Kramer TE Joe Walton
Boyd Dowler FL Frank Gifford
Bart Starr QB Y. A. Tittle
Paul Hornung HB Phil King
Jim Taylor FB Alex Webster
DEFENSE
Willie Davis LE Jim Katcavage
Dave Hanner LDT Dick Modzelewski
Henry Jordan RDT Rosey Grier
Bill Quinlan RE Andy Robustelli
Dan Currie LOLB Bill Winter
Ray Nitschke MLB Sam Huff
Bill Forrester ROLB Tom Scott
Herb Adderley LCB Erich Barnes
Jesse Whittenton RCB Dick Lynch
Hank Gremminger SS Allan Webb
Willie Wood FS Jimmy Patton

Source:[14]
Team Rosters [15]

Quotes[edit]

I don't remember ever being hit so hard. I bled all game. They really came to play.

—Taylor who rushed for 85 yards on 31 carries in the game.[10]

That was the only time all day they didn't kill me. It felt funny.

—Taylor referring to his second-quarter touchdown run.[9]

That was the hardest football game I ever played in.

—Hornung[11]

It was the coach's backyard and his first time back in the big city in a playoff game. We knew how much it meant to him. There was considerable pressure and we understood it was going to be a substantial battle.

—Kramer referring to Lombardi who was an offensive coach for Giants before becoming the Packers head coach.[4]

Several times we noted that the benches on the sideline, those heavy benches that they sat on over there, they were blown over during the course of the game.

—Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr[4]

The ball was like a diving duck. I threw one pass and it almost came back to me. The short ones worked, but the long ball broke up. We needed the long one.

—Tittle[16]

We knew it was going to be a hard-hitting game and that's what football was. It was a great game just as far as making tackles and just whacking guys. I'm sorry we lost. It was horrible.

—Giants defensive back Dick Lynch.[4]

We're still the better team.

—Frank Gifford[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Championship Games 1950–present, giants.com, accessed January 12, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Epstein, Eddie. '62 Packers packed the most punch, espn.com, May 11, 2010, accessed December 1, 2010.
  3. ^ Gottehrer. pg. 17
  4. ^ a b c d e f Associated Press. Giants-Packers title games in '61 and '62 part of NFL lore, nfl.com, accessed December 1, 2010.
  5. ^ Gottehrer. pg. 17–22
  6. ^ Gottehrer. pgs. 21–2
  7. ^ a b Sternberg, Alan J. A Meadowlands Super Bowl could be an NFL — and New Jersey — debacle, newjerseynewsroom.com, May 24, 2010, accessed December 1, 2010.
  8. ^ a b c Gottehrer. pg. 20
  9. ^ a b Gottehrer. pg. 21
  10. ^ a b c Gottehrer. pg. 22
  11. ^ a b Packers and Giants battled for the 1962 NFL title, profootballhof.com, January 14, 2008, accessed December 1, 2010.
  12. ^ Kenney, Ray. MIller All-Stars get Cash on the Barrelhead, The Milwaukee Journal, November 18, 1987, accessed December 1, 2010.
  13. ^ What's my line EPISODE #645, tv.com, accessed December 1, 2010.
  14. ^ Green Bay Packers 16 at New York Giants 7, football-reference.com, accessed December 1, 2010.
  15. ^ "Packer, Giant TV program". Milwaukee Sentinel. Wisconsin Salutes (special section). December 29, 1962. p. 2. 
  16. ^ a b Gottehrer. pg. 23
  • Gottehrer, Barry. The Giants of New York, the history of professional football's most fabulous dynasty. New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1963 OCLC 1356301