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DAY OF THE GAME
Vince Lombardi
September 09, 1963
Against a background of cabalistic symbols, a coach points his team toward the DAY OF THE GAME
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September 09, 1963

Day Of The Game

Against a background of cabalistic symbols, a coach points his team toward the DAY OF THE GAME

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"Yes, sir," he says.

On our sideline they're pounding Adderley on the back now as our offensive team goes in. They go into Brown Right and we run our 65 and Hornung picks up two yards off right tackle. From our Red Right, Taylor makes three on our 51 off right guard, and I look at the time again. There are 36 seconds left and we're right in front of those posts. I signal for a time-out and they call it.

"O.K.," I say. "Field-goal team! Be big out there! Let's go!"

I hear the whistle and they're lining up. The ball is on the 13, and Starr is kneeling on the 21, and we've got 1.5 seconds from the passback to the kick. That's all you need. Hornung has measured his steps now. On that last attempt he was reaching for the ball and hit it too high, and that's why it was short and squirted to the right. Let's plant that left foot straight this time and lock that right ankle and...

I see the pass come back and Starr turning the ball as he puts it down. The lines have risen, struggling, and Hornung takes his steps and his foot comes forward. The ball is rising, up over the arms, and it's high enough and absolutely true and goes into the end zone stands. I see the referee's arms fly up in the signal.

I feel empty. After all these years in the game, going back to when I was a kid, I still feel empty, and I look at the scoreboard and it is up there—Visitors 7, Packers 9—and I look at the time and there are 33 seconds left.

They bring Hornung's kickoff back to their 26. On their first pass Willie Davis gets up off the ground to tackle their quarterback as he lets the ball go and it's second and 10 and there are 17 seconds left. They go for the long one to the flanker but he has no chance on it, and there are 12 seconds left.

Another play. It ends.

"Wow!" Bill Austin says, and we shake hands.

I'm walking across the field. The crowd starts to come down out of the stands now. The air is filled with noise. I'm looking for the other coach. Finally I spot him and he sees me.

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