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SHINING HOUR FOR GOLDEN BOY
Tex Maule
September 21, 1964
It was not just an opening game for Paul Hornung—his first in two years. It was a game against the Bears, a team that had beaten the Packers twice in 1963, and in it Hornung had to reestablish his worth
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September 21, 1964

Shining Hour For Golden Boy

It was not just an opening game for Paul Hornung—his first in two years. It was a game against the Bears, a team that had beaten the Packers twice in 1963, and in it Hornung had to reestablish his worth

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"They know what it is?" Hornung asked, his face worried. "I don't know," Kramer said. "Maybe an infection of the diaphragm. I don't know. It hurts." ( Hornung also worried about Defensive Tackle Henry Jordan, who had pulled a groin muscle.)

Hornung, as usual, was laggard in dressing. McGee stopped by his locker. He was fully dressed. "Come on, Goat," he said. "Let's get home."

"I'm coming," Hornung said. "I just got to shower." Goat is short for Goat Shoulders, the name the Packers have given Hornung because of his unusually narrow shoulders. He has a thick neck—as thick as Jim Taylor's—but his shoulders are pinched and his arms are slender. He has powerful runner's legs and a broad, strong bottom; he is built like a triangle, with a narrow, slanted top.

Kramer was still standing by Hornung's locker. He smiled painfully. "You ought to play offensive guard awhile," he said. "I bet I'm two inches shorter than I was. All that pounding makes you short and wide."

"You'd look like me," Thurston said, coming by again and puffing out his considerable chest. Thurston's head sprouts directly from his thick, wide shoulders, with almost no neck, and Hornung smiled as he looked at him.

"Nope," he said. "Not me. I don't want to have to unbutton my shirt to blow my nose."

Hornung, McGee and Ron Kramer, the Packers' massive tight end, rent a rambling, red brick house about two blocks from the Green Bay stadium. It is equipped with a television set in the living room and another in the dining room, and most of the time the players watch television when they are not in meetings or practicing. On this Friday Hornung went to the airport to pick up his mother, who had flown up from Louisville to see the game. She comes to Green Bay once or twice a year to watch her son play.

After he picked her up, he went to the barber shop in the Northland Hotel to get a haircut. Lombardi was two barber chairs away, and both men slept through the haircuts. Jan, the barber who cut Hornung's hair, said, "He always does. You put on the clippers, and he goes to sleep."

He came back to the house later in the afternoon and played dominoes with McGee. He and Kramer and McGee play innocuous games of dominoes and cribbage to pass the time, complaining bitterly at a loss and crowing extravagantly over a win. They had dinner at a Green Bay restaurant called The Spot, which Hornung truly believes has the best steaks in the entire world.

Saturday morning McGee was the first up. "He's got an alarm in his head," Hornung said. "I've been rooming with him for eight years, and he's up at 8 o'clock in the morning no matter what time he gets to bed. It's uncanny." Kramer cooked breakfast, as he always does. He fried sausages and eggs and made toast and coffee and—when it was ready—he awakened Paul.

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