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Former Green Bay Packers running back Donny Anderson 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. 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 on Dec. 31, 1967. They went on to win Super Bowl II in Vince Lombardi’s final game as Packers coach.

This is the fourth 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.

Donny Anderson

Packers running back Donny Anderson carried 18 times in the Ice Bowl for 35 yards and caught four passes for 44 yards. He also punted eight times for 230 yards.

Before the game:

Did you think they might call off the game?

“I didn’t think we’d ever play that game. We had (several) Texas guys on the team … and we just didn’t think there was any way that we would play because of the wind and chill factor and the temperature. And we kept waiting for Lombardi to come in (to the locker room), and the kickers were posted on the bulletin board, and Lombardi said just the field-goal kicker (Don Chandler), Willie Wood and Bart Starr and (center) Kenny Bowman (should go) out. … When (they) came back in … Willie was (facing) against the wind and he had a mustache that was frozen ice all over, and we got a really good look at what was going on. And ‘Bow’ had a beard and it was frozen, and so we said, ‘No way. There’s no way we’re going to play this game.’ And then Vince came out and said let’s (go out) and, I guess the quote would be, ‘to warm up,’ so we went out on the field and there wasn’t any turning back after that.”

During the game:

What are your memories of Starr’s game-winning quarterback sneak, which came on third down with only 16 seconds left? 

“(When it was) first and a yard or whatever it was, I actually scored. And they’ve got pictures from the press box, viewing down. I knew that I scored. I mean, half of my body is across the goal line. … The official picked up the ball and moved it back. …. Lombardi says, ‘Well, it looks like they took one away from you there, young man'. ... We came back on second down and I did a 360 and just barely got the ball. So that’s when all the thinking (came) with Bart Starr, the creating ... timeout, third-and-inches …. I’ve always looked at it as, Bart was the MVP of the league that year … Would I have liked to have scored, or been credited with the score? Sure you would’ve, because that’s why you were there. And would it have been a historical-type thing? Probably so … maybe not as much as Bart Starr scoring, but Donny Anderson was a second-year guy and it still would’ve been the touchdown and the Ice Bowl and all that. So would it have changed my life?  Yeah, but I don’t know how much it would’ve changed it. I might’ve had to move from Dallas. (laughs) … I never really did think too much about it, but I did score, I know that.”

After the game:

What was Lombardi’s reaction in the locker room?

“He just said we did what we had to do, and he was very proud of us. He didn’t have a lot to say after games; he wanted the players to enjoy that victory. And after a defeat he hardly ever said anything. But it was a historical day and all of us didn’t truly realize how important it was and how it was going to turn out to be something we’re talking about 50-some years later. And it will be a long time before you ever see something like that again, those conditions.”

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

 

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