Everyone here knows about the Ice Bowl, so there's no reason to revisit the details. However, there is one bit of information about that 1967 NFL Championship game that I either did not know about or had just tucked into the far reaches of my brain. In other words: I forgot.
Anyway, I just learned a couple of nights ago about how the officials for the game did not use their whistles after the game's initial play. The reason being that official Joe Connell had his whistle freeze to his lips because of the freezing temperatures.
I heard about this while watching the NFL Network's Top 10 Bad Weather Games late Saturday night. One account of the event I read today quoted referee Norm Schachter saying about Connell, that "about half his lip came off" when he tried to remove the whistle. And then the blood froze on his mouth. Yuck! From that point, the refs kept their whistles far from their lips and simply shouted "hold up" or "he's down" to signify the end of plays.
While researching this nugget of Ice Bowl info, I found a few more things on the Packers Web site that you may or may not have known about the game.
- Bart Starr's touchdown play, "35 wedge," called for Chuck Mercein to get the ball. No one expected Starr to keep it.
- Officially, the field's $80,000 heating system failed due to cold. Unofficially, some say, Lombardi turned it off.
- The play before Starr's TD, Donny Anderson actually broke the plane, but Lee Roy Jordan knocked the ball from his hands, and Anderson had to retrieve it on the other side.
- The team canceled marching band performances after noticing blood on a few of the musician's faces.
- Packers fans several times during the contest leaned over the front row to unplug the Cowboys' heated benches.
- After the game, several fans passed out soon after warming up. Their thawed systems finally registered the alcohol they'd consumed to keep warm during the game.
- One fan, an elderly gentleman, died due to exposure.