The Ice Bowl: The Cold Truth about Football’s Most Unforgettable Game by Ed Gruver (McBooks, 1998)
To coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Ice Bowl, two books appeared on the topic. The first, by author Mike Shropshire, struck me as slapdash and self-indulgent. The second, by Ed Gruver, was thoroughly researched and imaginatively presented and is essential reading and rereading for Packer fans. Gruver builds the story from the time Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry worked together as assistant coaches in New York, presents the different experiences of the two men as they became head coaches in Green Bay and Dallas respectively and examines how the tension between the two Hall of Famers in both personality and strategy culminated in this epic game, perhaps the most famous in NFL history. Gruver then takes us through the game itself play-by-play, enlivened and illustrated by his interviews with many of the players looking back. The book also includes several diagrams of key formations and plays, as well as an appendix of statistical data. The glory of Lombardi’s Packers is recaptured here.
Custom card of the play of the era.