Even this minor problem was not apparent to outsiders. Unlike Oakland, Green Bay is not an openly emotional team. But implied in Lombardi's hints at retirement was the possibility that this would be his last game as a coach. Implied, too, was the possibility that this would be the last game for some other longtime Green Bay heroes. Lombardi and his veterans needed no greater incentive. If they were going to retire, it would not be after a loss to an AFL team.
Paul Hornung, driving a multicolored jalopy, visited his old teammates and revealed how strong Lombardi's hold is on his players, even after they have retired. "I had a dream the other, night that I came by and sneaked Max McGee out after hours," he said. "Vinnie found out about it and darned if he didn't fine me five thousand bucks, even if I wasn't with the team any longer. The thing that woke me up was that I dreamed I paid the fine."
The players were not overly impressed by what they saw of Oakland in the three movies the Raiders provided them for scouting purposes. Although they would not say so for publication, among themselves they were more or less agreed that the Raider execution was not as crisp as it is on a good NFL team and that there was more loafing in the AFL games than in the NFL. The year before, watching the Chiefs' films, they had occasionally broken into laughter at some Kansas City gaffes. They tittered only rarely this time, but once, when the Raider safety men collided and fell down, they laughed out loud.
One Oakland player they were not impressed with was Ben Davidson, the Raiders' defensive end, who had spent a brief period as a Packer.
"I remember Davidson," said Jordan, reflectively. "We just called him Big Ben in those days and he didn't wear a mustache. I remember when he showed up, a big tall guy unfolding from a little Porsche sports car. We aren't any more worried about his reputation for meanness than we were worried about The Hammer last year. If he gets dirty, we may chastise him, but I don't expect we'll have to."
Whenever the players appeared to be taking Oakland too lightly, Lombardi hauled out the film of the Oakland- San Francisco exhibition game played before the season began. The Raiders lost that one 13-10, but they gave a tough, accomplished San Francisco team all it could handle before succumbing.
Tactically, Lombardi and his coaches decided that they would be able to run off-tackle and to run sweeps against an Oakland defense that showed a tendency to clog up the middle. Starr's passing plans included a preponderance of quick turnout passes. Oakland's defenses differ from those the Packers usually see in the NFL; Coach John Rauch likes to use an odd line with a man head to head on the center, his tackles head to head on the tackles and two linebackers playing opposite the offensive guards. He sometimes puts Defensive Tackle Dan Birdwell out with the tight end.
Against this, the Packers felt they would be successful with a quick flare pass to a halfback, since the linebackers would be too far inside to provide fast enough coverage on the back. A similar pass to Chuck Mercein gained 19 yards against Dallas in Green Bay's final drive in the NFL Championship Game.
The veterans all expected Travis Williams and Donny Anderson to have a good day against Oakland. Bob Skoronski, the offensive tackle and team captain, said, " Anderson has looked beautiful the last two weeks. And it's hard to believe that Williams is a rookie. He follows his blockers and sets up his blocks like an oldtimer."
The Raiders were extraordinarily careful to say nothing that might incite Green Bay. They spoke of the Packers with exaggerated respect, but professed no fear. Many of Oakland's young players recall watching current Packer stars on television during their junior high school days. "It's a little like playing against your father," one of them said. "These guys were my childhood heroes."