Today marks the first time the Super Bowl has ever been played on my birthday. I wait eagerly for well wishes from Commissioner Goodell. Well, not really.
Three former Packers share a February 7 birthday with me. Center/linebacker Bud Svendsen was overshadowed by his older brother George who played the same positions for the University of Minnesota and Green Bay in the 1930s. Backup linebacker Cleo Walker played for Packers in 1970.
The third birthday Packer is Dan Grimm, a guard for the team from 1963-65. Grimm got several starts at both right and left guard for Green Bay in 1964 and 1965. Jerry Kramer was out in 1964 and slowly came back in 1965; Fuzzy Thurston battled nagging injuries. Chuck Johnson wrote in the Milwaukee Journal on January 5, 1965 that Grimm might be moved to tackle or defense the following season. Although Dan had the power for pass blocking and straight-ahead run blocking, he lacked the nimbleness to pull on sweeps.
Kramer tells the story in Instant Replay that the first time Grimm faced Lions’ “dancing bear” defensive tackle Alex Karras, he did pretty well and was quoted in the newspaper saying Karras didn’t have many moves. Kramer notes that Grimm didn’t realize at the time that Alex was playing with a pulled hamstring, and that the next time the two met, Karras tore him apart and told Dan, “How do you like those moves, ass-face?”
It’s possible that the game in question occurred on October 17, 1965 at Tiger Stadium. That day, the Lions got off to a 21-3 first half lead. The Milwaukee Sentinel reported that Bart Starr took such a beating from Karras and the rest of the Detroit front four in that first half that Lombardi inserted Kramer in the lineup for the second half. As Bud Lea put it, “…the Packer offensive line, zipped up by Jerry Kramer, cut down their monstrous opponents with scissor-like blocks rather than stage a head to head battle.” Starr threw three third quarter TD passes and the Packers won 31-21.
That was also the game in which Karras ran by Lombardi at the end of the first half and yelled, “How do ya like that, ya fat wop,” in an oft-repeated story. Bill Curry relayed the tale in One More July.
Grimm was taken by Atlanta in the expansion draft in 1966 and spent three years with the Falcons. He joined the Colts in 1969, but was waived to the Redskins, coached by Lombardi, in November that season as he finished his career.
All but the 1964 Dan Grimm custom card are colorized.