Someone Should Write a Book About That: The 1965 Season

Several books have been devoted to single seasons of the Lombardi Era in Packer history, but one championship season has been strangely neglected.

The 1967 Season was first documented by Jerry Kramer and Dick Schaap in Instant Replay. Two books entitled The Ice Bowl, a fine one by Ed Gruver and a slipshod one by Mike Shropshire, delved into the entire 1967 campaign. The 1966 team was surveyed on its 20th anniversary, again by Kramer and Schaap, in Distant Replay, and for this year’s 50th anniversary of that first Super Bowl team, the Pro Football Researchers’ Association put together The 1966 Green Bay Packers: Profiles of Vince Lombardi’s Super Bowl I Champions.

The 1962 team was first examined by Coach Lombardi himself in Run to Daylight (1963). In 2011 Bob Berghaus followed up with The First America’s Team: The 1962 Green Bay Packers. 1961 is somewhat served by the 1963 second edition of Chuck Johnson’s Green Bay Packers: Pro Football’s Pioneer Team that included a supplement on the 1961 and 1962 seasons. Even 1959 was celebrated in fine fashion by John Eisenberg in 2009 with That First Season: How Vince Lombardi took the Worst Team in the NFL and Set It on the Path to Glory.

Still no love for 1965, though. After two years in second place, the Packers were being written off as aging that year just as they were about to embark on the magnificent three-year run of world titles that defined the team and cemented Lombardi’s legacy as the most iconic and successful of all NFL coaches. Jim Taylor, Paul Hornung, Max McGee, Fuzzy Thurston were all winding down and in the process of being replaced; Dave Robinson, Lee Roy Caffey, Lionel Aldridge and Bob Jeter were coming on; and Bart Starr was taking full command. The season concluded with two memorable playoff games against the Colts in the fog and the Browns in the mud and restored the Packers to the top of the league.

Someone should write a book about that.

1965tsjtaylor2  1965tsphornung

1965pmmcgee  1965pfthurston2

1965pdrobinson2  1965plrcaffey

1965plaldridge3  1965pbjeter

1965tsbstarr  1965pvlombardi2

Custom cards in 1965 Philadelphia and Topps styles.

UPDATE: Oops, an alert reader noted that I mistakenly posted 1964 Topps versions of Taylor, Hornung and Starr. I have corrected that, but note that I use a “short boy” version of the 1965 Topps “tall boys.” I never liked the outsized 65s.

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