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Another reporter came in and said that the Lions had scored again and won 20-15.
"You sure?" Lombardi asked. He was sweating now in the steamy heat of the dressing room, and he was very, very nervous. 'Don't tell the kids. Don't get them upset. Are you sure?"
"Absolutely," the reporter said, and Lombardi relaxed. He lit another cigarette, leaned back, took a long, luxurious drag on it and smiled.
"Two weeks ago I said we were out of it unless they lost a couple," he said. "Now they have. How about that?"
The Packers left for San Francisco right after the Bear game so they could spend a week in Palo Alto growing accustomed to sunshine and warmth. Lombardi is a meticulous, thoughtful man, and he is overlooking no detail in the last two games.
"I didn't think we could come back after we lost to the Rams a couple of weeks ago," Lombardi said as he prepared to leave. "We played our guts out and went ahead late in the game, and they came back to whip us in the last few seconds. The team went flat after that. That's when Detroit beat us. We were tired, every way. But we're back now."
In all the uproar in the West, the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles defeated St. Louis to clinch their first conference title since 1949 went almost unnoticed. The Eagles won rather methodically, with Norm Van Brocklin producing his usual quota of touchdown passes and the feeble Eagle running producing merely a threat to make the passes go.
" Van Brocklin's tough," said Lombardi, speculatively, just as he left. He walked through a small crowd of Green Bay fans who had come down on the train for the game and smiled at them. They howled happily back at him, then headed home for the happiest small town in the U.S. (see next page).
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