About That Long Run…

1964poy

In 1964 and 1965, the Philadelphia Football card sets featured a Play of the Year card like the one above for each team. We have all seen the NFL Films clip of the play drawn on the 1965 card, in which Jim Taylor took a quick toss to the right from Bart Starr, followed point-of-attack blocks by Ron Kramer on the defensive end, Paul Hornung on the linebacker and Forrest Gregg on a defensive back to break free and score on an 84-yard run. It’s still the third longest run in team history.

What has always been particularly striking to me, though, is the final block by Bob Skoronski. Left tackle Skoronski hustles all the way across the field to make his block 80 yards downfield. Imagine an offensive tackle doing that today. It wouldn’t happen; they are too big and slow to go that far.

In the Milwaukee Journal the next day, Terry Bledsoe rounded up these quotes:

I could feel somebody coming up on me toward the end. Skoronski had [Dick] LeBeau going in front of me, but I figured I couldn’t break out past LeBeau. So I decided to just stay there behind Bob. Then we got to the five and I could see that end zone, so I ran right up Skoronski’s back. I thought LeBeau would have a harder time stopping two of us, and we hit him together.

Then I felt a little more load on my back than I figured on – That was [Wayne] Walker getting into it. But I was driving for that flag. I made up my mind they weren’t going to get me out of bounds before I got into the end zone. – Jim Taylor

LeBeau kept backing up on me. I just ran him back. I could feel Jim on my tail, and I knew we were gaining another yard every time LeBeau backed up so that was fine with me. If he’d planted his feet, I would have taken him out – I was kind of hoping he would as a matter of fact. – Bob Skoronski

I like playing guard. You can get clear quick. On Jimmy’s run I caught the safety and took him out and we were off to the races. – Forrest Gregg

1964poy2

The description on the back of the card differs from Gregg’s account, saying he took out the halfback, and the card is correct. Bobby Thompson, the Lions left corner was blocked by Gregg, while left safety Bruce Maher is chased away by Boyd Dowler. Thirty yards downfield, right safety, Yale Lary, bounces off Taylor at the Packer 47. Then, at the end of the play, right corner LeBeau and right linebacker Walker make a final unsuccessful bid to stop Taylor. It’s a beautiful play and great blocking all around. As the headline on Bledsoe’s piece put it: Football As It Should Be – That Was Taylor’s Dash.

1964pbskoronski2  1964tjtaylor2

Custom cards in Philadelphia and Topps styles for 1964.

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