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Former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Carroll Dale shares memories from the Ice Bowl, which was played 50 years ago on Dec. 31, 1967. USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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Fifty years ago this month, the Ice Bowl became the most iconic game in Green Bay Packers history. On Dec. 31, 1967, playing in frigid temperatures of 13-below zero at kickoff, the Packers won their record-tying third straight NFL championship, beating the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 on Bart Starr’s quarterback sneak with 13 seconds to play. They went on to win Super Bowl II in Vince Lombardi’s final game as Packers coach.

This is the first in a series of stories and videos of Packers who played in the Ice Bowl sharing their memories of that unforgettable experience. We asked each participant what they remembered about that day: before, during and after the legendary game.

RELATED: Ice Bowl left an indelible mark on those who were there

RELATED: Packers Hall of Fame celebrating Ice Bowl's 50th anniversary

Carroll Dale

Packers receiver Carroll Dale had three catches for 43 yards in the Ice Bowl.

Before the game:

How did you find out how cold it was?

“This was way before the Weather Channel, and the forecast (the night before) for the next day must not have been that drastic because I got up and I go out and crank my car, and nothing happens. So I go in and call the service station and they came out and jumped it. I thought my battery had just gone down, I still didn’t realize it was that cold … even though when you walked out the door and breathed, your lungs hurt.

“I said, ‘By the way, how cold is it?’

“ ‘Minus-13, minus-15.’

“‘Golly!’

“So that was kind of a big shock. That’s how I came to the awareness of how cold it really was.”

During the game:

You were a deep-threat receiver, did you figure you wouldn’t see much action in those conditions?

“I never really thought much of it because a lot of times what we’d do, we adjusted quickly to what teams were doing defensively. And the previous year I’d had some success deep against Dallas. And it appeared that (Cowboys cornerbacks) Mel Renfro and Cornell Greene were going to make sure I didn’t get deep on them. So I had plenty of room. They weren’t going to take a chance on falling, given the field conditions. So as a result, we didn’t even try one to me deep.”

When the Packers jumped out to a 14-0 lead, did you think you had the game won?

“As a home team, when you have weather conditions like we had, you think you had an advantage over a team like Dallas, where it never really gets below freezing. And then you go up and then you have two weather-related fumbles and they get 10 points all of a sudden. So the weather almost got us. We had the turnovers. ... Then the other thing that happened: Dallas had a great offensive team but they had some great defensive players. And in the second half, they gave us a barnyard whipping. We couldn’t do anything.”

What do you remember about the game-winning drive?

“I don’t think we felt pressure. Coach Lombardi had preached from Day 1 about leaving it all on the field, giving it all you have. The challenge of not only being successful but remaining successful. Over and over saying, ‘The better you are, the better you have to be. It takes a better team to repeat as a champion than it did to become a champion.’ Just the things he would say to us over and over. … So I don’t remember a whole lot of chit-chat. It didn’t take a genius to see that we had to do something immediately or the war’s over.”

Your memories of Bart Starr’s game-winning quarterback sneak?

“It was a lot more cold standing on the sidelines than it was playing. I think Coach Lombardi was so cold, he wanted the game to be over one way or the other. He made a decision after Bart said he thought he could get in; they were on the 1-yard line and it was probably our best opportunity to end it.

“So being a wide receiver, being a flanker, I’m a yard off…I didn’t even get out of my tracks. I didn’t want to be called for motion. So I was definitely a spectator. Looking at films, I didn’t realize I became an official, too….I just put my hands in the air, signaling a touchdown. And then running off the field, (Packers linebacker) Dave Robinson was coming in and hugged me on the move and flattened me. … It was the hardest I got hit the entire day!”

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This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Green Bay Packers' iconic Ice Bowl victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL championship game. Wochit

After the game:

What did Vince Lombardi say in the locker room?

“I can assure you there was some focus on: another game. That was a great talent he had … understanding men and the human mind. And so something to the effect that you’re still losers if you don’t win this next one. That was the way he looked at things. So I’m sure he congratulated everybody and felt very fortunate to win but I assure you there was something said about that next game.”

For more Ice Bowl 50th anniversary coverage, visit www.icebowl50.com

 

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