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Remembering Paul Hornung

November 15, 2020

The subject, the great football player and later a concise, quality analyst, Paul Hornung, who died days back at age 84, and my tangential mind, are “off the charts,” in combination, with memories provided by “The Golden Boy,” #5, Paul Hornung.

Since Paul’s statistics, on some level, do not translate into an indicator of his all-time type greatness, I will start with “Stone” meeting Paul, at a racetrack in Florida.

As Paul walked in with the fine quarterback, Bill Kilmer, “Stone” said to Mr. Hornung, “excuse me for staring, but it is not every day I see someone who scored 176 points in a football season.

Hornung did just that in the 12 game, 1960 season and as a record, it stood until 2006, when LaDainian Tomlinson broke it.

In big games, Hornung was at his best, scoring a touchdown in the ’61 title tilt, setting up the lone Packers touchdown in ’62 and the one I remember most, going around left end, following his great offensive linemen, in this case, I believe Forrest Gregg and Jerry Kramer for a 13 yard score, that all but sealed (Vince Lombardi regarding “a seal, here and a seal there,” football jargon, but also the devout, happily married Lombardi to Paul, a definite single “player” of another variety. Coach warned of a 5 thousand dollar fine for breaking curfew and doubting any woman would be worth that loss. As a caveat, Lombardi added, if there is such, knock on my door, I will go with you”) the ’65 title game win vs “my” Cleveland Browns, in the great Jim Brown’s last NFL game. (He did play in the much more important than now, but still an anti-climax, Pro Bowl, after that.)

So many greats have died this year, 4 (the number of title teams Paul played on with the Green Bay Packers) from the legendary Packers of the 1960’s, who won 5 titles in 7 seasons and a still unmatched 3 consecutive titles won in title games. (A much earlier version of the Packers coached by “Curly” Lambeau as in Lambeau Field, won 3 straight from (1929-1931), but before the advent of title game(s) play.

The other three Packers’ greats we lost this fateful year, being “Willies” Wood and Davis, as well as Herb Adderley.

Lombardi had a friend named John F. Kennedy and the then President, excused Paul Hornung for “Reserve” duty to “start” in the 1961 NFL title game, an eventual (37-0) Pack win, vs an excellent New York Giants’ team.

Perhaps now, Mr. Kennedy and his famed touch football game team has a “ringer” in heavenly or some such play, in the great, funny, amazing Paul Hornung.

 

I, Andy B. (pictured on the right) was so happy to meet Paul Hornung, pictured above and on the left, at a college football event, I attended in the mid 1990’s.

 

 

 

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