Golden Football Magazine
NFL Championship Games
1960: Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles
This series covers the history of the NFL through the prism of its yearly championship games.
Note: The gray boxes contain asides that provide interesting material but could be skipped
without losing the continuity of the article.

Pete Rozelle

Vince Lombardi

Bart Starr on cover of Sports Illlustrated during 1960 season

Phil Bengsten

Pete Retzlaff

Stan Campbell

Jerry Reichow

The NFL began the its 41st season with a new commissioner.

  • The owners elected Pete Rozelle, the General Manager of the Los Angeles Rams, on the 2third ballot as a compromise candidate. Read about the election ...
  • He presided over a 13-team league with the addition of the Dallas Cowboys, who couldn't help but do better than the disastrous Texans in the same city in 1952.
  • In addition, the Chicago Cardinals finally stopped going head to head with the Bears in the Windy City and moved to St. Louis.
To appreciate what happened in the two divisions in 1960, you have to go back two years.
  • In 1958, the Philadelphia Eagles finished in a tie for last place in the Eastern Con­ference with the Chicago Cardinals with 2-9-1 records.
  • That season, the Green Bay Packers had possession of last place in the West all to themselves at 1-10-1.
  • In two years, both franchises went from last to first.

The Packers' resurgence began with the hiring of Vince Lombardi after the '58 campaign.

  • The offensive coordinator of the New York Giants turned down the Eagles' offer to be their head man.
  • Lombardi rebuilt the Packers around some young players who were already on the roster as well as some acquired by trades and the draft.
  • After improving to 7-5 in '59, Green Bay vaulted to the top of the Western Division in 1960 with an 8-4 mark, one better than the Lions and 49ers.
  • Starting strong with four wins in the first five games, the Packers faltered in the middle of the season, losing three of four.
  • But the Pack rallied down the stretch to defeat three division foes, the Bears, 49ers, and Rams, all on the road, and earn the franchise's first appearance in the championship game since 1944.

Green Bay's balanced offense produced the second most points in the league after the Cleveland Browns.

  • Behind HB Paul Hornung and FB Jimmy Taylor, two players the previous regime undervalued, the Packers finished second to the Cardinals in rushing with 2,150y.
  • Improving QB Bart Starr, another of Lombardi's reclamation projects, completed 57% of his passes for 1,358y to keep defenses honest.
  • Phil Bengsten's defense ranked 7th in yardage allowed but 2nd in points surren­dered with 209.

Two 12-year veterans led Buck Shaw's Eagles to the top.

  • QB Norm Van Brocklin and C Chuck Bednarik were coaches on the field.
  • With liberty to call his own plays, Norm led an offense that resembled Green Bay's defense in that the Eagles ranked just 6th in yardage but third in points.
  • Norm's favorite targets were Pete Retzlaff (44 catches for 825y) and 5'9" Tommy McDonald (39 receptions for 801). Van also liked TE Bobby Walston (30 for 563).
    Tired of sharing the quarterback position with Bob Waterfield, Van had asked the Los An­geles Rams to trade him to "anywhere but Pittsburgh and Philadelphia." But the Rams sent him to the Eagles after the '57 season in exchange for two journeymen players and a first round draft choice. Commissioner Bert Bell, former owner of the Eagles, assuaged Norm by getting the Eagles to agree to make him the head coach when Buck Shaw retired.
  • Bednarik showed his leadership by playing LB when starter Bob Pelligrini broke his leg against Cleveland. The 35-year-old played both ways in three games down the stretch, leaving the field only for kickoffs.
    Chuck had actually retired after the 1959 season. The Eagles even honored him with Chuck Bednarik Day for the final home game. Among the gifts were $1,000 and a color television. But in the spring, his wife Emma learned she was pregnant with what would turn out to be their fifth daughter. The growing family required a bigger place. I needed the house for the girls, and I needed money fast, and football was the only way to get it, explained Chuck.
  • After an opening day loss, the Eagles ripped off six wins in a row to set up a show­down with their nemesis, the two-time defending East champion New York Giants. The schedule called for back-to-back games starting in Yankee Stadium.
  • Philly won the first game 17-10 thanks to one of the most famous plays in NFL his­tory. With the Giants driving late in the game, "Concrete Charley" Bednarik laid out Frank Gifford as the NY star caught a pass over the middle. The hit sent Frank to the hospital and caused a fumble that the Eagles recovered.
  • The Gifford-less Giants fell 31-23 the following week in The City of Brotherly Love (except on the football field,) and the Eagles kept chugging to a 10-2 record and the East championship.
    The average salary on the 1960 Eagles was $13,000 per year. Van Brocklin made the most, $25,000. Bednarik earned $15,000, which made him the highest-paid lineman in the league.
    Because of the modest salaries, many of the bachelor Eagles shared living quar­ters. Nine players lived in the same apartment building, with several others around the corner. The players rode to and from practice together, went to movies toge­ther, and did laundry together.
    Every Monday morning, Van Brocklin took over a small bar in downtown Philly. Half the team, including married players, regularly assembled there to drink some adult beverages and talk over the previous day's game. Gripes were aired, and players were called out for their mistakes on the field.
    Bill Barnes recalled: I played on a lot of teams, but none like that. Normally, you put 35 guys together, and you're lucky if half of them get along. I didn't think it was possi­ble to have a team where everybody liked everybody else, but that's what we had. It was the best bunch of guys I've ever been around.
    Tommy McDonald: What we lacked in talent, we would make up for in desire and hustle. We had guys who would bite, kick, scratch, gouge - whatever it took to win, they would do it.

L-R: Tommy McDonald, Norm Van Brocklin, Buck Shaw, Chuck Bednarik

The two rosters included few veterans of previous championship games.

  • But one of the Eagles' postseason veterans played the most important position on the field, quarterback.
    • As a Ram, Van Brocklin participated in three title games and a division play­off.
    • Bednarik was the only holdover from Philadelphia's 1949 NFL champions.
    • G Stan Campbell and E Jerry Reichow played for the Lions in the post-sea­son.
    • G Jerry Huth was a member of the 1956 champion Giants.
  • Green Bay had four players with ultimate game experience.
    • HB Lew Carpenter had played in the final game with both Detroit and Cleveland.
    • DT Henry Jordan and DE Bill Quinlan also earned post-season experience with the Browns.
    • S Emlen Tunnell had been a member of the Giants' finalists in 1956 and '58.

The Packers weren't able to practice much on their frozen field in below zero tempera­tures in Green Bay.

  • They flew to Philadelphia on Christmas Eve.
  • But they found similar conditions there as snow had covered the Eagles' practice field.

1960 Green Bay Packers
# Player Pos. Hgt. Wgt. College Exp.
5 Paul Hornung HB 6-2 215 Notre Dame 4
15 Bart Starr QB 6-1 195 Alabama 5
17 Lamar McHan Q 6-1 200 Arkansas 5
23 Paul Winslow DB 5-11 200 North Carolina Central 1
24 Willie Wood DB 5-10 190 USC 1
25 Tom Moore KR 6-2 215 Vanderbilt 1
27 John Symank DB 5-11 180 Florida 4
31 Jim Taylor FB 6-0 215 LSU 3
33 Lew Carpenter HB 6-1 220 Arkansas 8
37 Larry Hickman FB 6-2 225 Baylor 2
40 Dale Hackbart DB 6-3 210 Wisconsin 1
45 Emlen Tunnell DB 6-1 185 Iowa 13
46 Hank Gremminger DB 6-1 200 Baylor 5
47 Jesse Whittenton DB 6-0 195 Texas-El Paso 5
48 Dick Pesonen DB 6-0 190 Minnesota 1
51 Jim Ringo C 6-1 230 Syracuse 8
53 Ken Iman C 6-1 240 SE Missouri State 1
58 Dan Currie LB 6-3 235 Michigan State 3
62 Andy Cvercko G 6-1 245 Northwestern 1
63 Fuzzy Thurston G 6-1 245 Valparaiso 3
64 Jerry Kramer G 6-3 245 Idaho 3
65 Tom Bettis LB 6-2 230 Purdue 6
66 Ray Nitschke LB 6-3 235 Illinois 3
71 Bill Forester LB 6-3 235 SMU 8
73 Ken Beck DT 6-2 245 Texas A&M 2
74 Henry Jordan DT 6-2 250 Virginia 4
75 Forrest Gregg T 6-4 250 SMU 5
76 Bob Skoronski T 6-3 250 Indiana 5
78 Norm Masters T 6-2 250 Michigan State 4
79 Dave Hanner DT 6-2 255 Arkansas 9
80 Steve Meilinger E 6-2 225 Kentucky 5
83 Bill Quinlan DE 6-3 250 Michigan State 4
84 Gary Knafelc TE 6-4 215 Colorado 7
85 Max McGee E-P 6-3 205 Tulane 5
86 Boyd Dowler FL 6-5 225 Colorado 2
87 Willie Davis DE 6-3 245 Grambling State 3
88 Ron Kramer TE 6-3 235 Michigan 4
1960 Philadelphia Eagles
# Player Pos. Hgt. Wgt. College Exp.
9 Sonny Jurgenson QB 5-11 200 Duke 4
11 Norm Van Brocklin QB 6-1 190 Oregon 12
17 Jerry Reichow E 6-2 215 Iowa 5
21 Jimmy Carr DB 6-1 205 Charleston (WV) 6
22 Tim Brown HB 5-11 200 Ball State 2
25 Tommy McDonald FL 5-9 180 Oklahoma 4
26 Clarence Peaks HB 6-1 220 Michigan State 4
27 Gene Johnson DB 6-0 185 Cincinnati 2
28 Bobby Jackson DB 6-1 190 Alabama 1
29 John Nocera LB 6-1 220 Iowa 2
30 Theron Sapp FB 6-1 205 Georgia 2
33 Billy Ray Barnes HB 5-11 200 Wake Forest 4
35 Ted Dean FB 6-2 215 Wichita State 1
40 Tom Brookshier DB 6-0 195 Colorado 8
41 Bobby Freeman DB 6-1 200 Auburn 4
44 Pete Retzlaff SE 6-1 210 South Dakoa State 5
45 Don Burroughs DB 6-4 190 Colorado State 6
51 Chuck Weber LB 6-1 230 West Chester 6
54 Bill Lapham C 6-5 240 Drake, Iowa 1
55 Maxie Baughan LB 6-1 225 Georgia Tech 1
60 Chuck Bednarik C-LB 6-3 235 Pennsylvania 12
61 Howard Keys C-T 6-3 240 Oklahoma State 1
62 John Whittenborn G 6-2 240 SE Missouri State 3
65 Jerry Huth G 6-0 225 Wake Forest 5
66 Joe Robb DE 6-3 240 TCU 2
67 Stan Campbell G 6-0 225 Iowa State 9
71 John Wilcox DT 6-5 230 Boise State, Oregon 1
72 Jess Richardson DT 6-2 260 Alabama 8
73 Ed Khayat DT 6-3 240 Tulane 4
74 Riley Gunnels T 6-3 255 Georgia 1
75 Jim McCusker T 6-2 245 Pittsbugh 3
76 J. D. Smith T 6-2 250 Rice 2
78 Marion Campbell DE 6-3 250 Georgia 7
79 Gene Gossage DE-DT 6-3 240 Cincinnati, Northwestern 9
83 Bobby Walston K 6-0 190 Georgia 10
87 Dick Lucas E 6-2 215 Boston College 3

Franklin Field during championship game

The opposing centers, Jim Ringo and Chuck Bednarik, meet before the game.

Coin toss

Tim Brown

Ray Nitschke

Chuck Weber

Bill Quinlan

Starr calls signals.

Don "The Blade" Burroughs

Brookshier tackles Hornung.

Bill Forrester

Tom Brookshier

Maxie Baughan

Ed Khayat

Bednarik wraps up Taylor.

Gary Knafelc

Emlen Tunnell

Lew Carpenter

Henry Jordan

Bobby Freeman

Joe Robb

Willie Davis

Van Brocklin passes to McDonald.

Hank Gremminger

John Symank

Dan Currie

Fuzzy Thornton

Jerry Kramer

Marion Campbell

Jim Carr

The game was set for Monday, December 26, the day after Christmas.
  • NBC telecast the game at noon ET, which was 11 AM in the midwest and 9 AM on the West Coast. The game started earlier than usual because of the absence of lights at Franklin Field in case the contest went into overtime.
  • The forecast called for sunshine and temperatures rising to the mid-40s during the game.
  • The field had been covered by a tarpaulin but was frozen soil under a thin layer of soggy grass. The sun started to melt the turf in spots, making it slippery. Patches of ice covered most of the area just beyond the sidelines where the tarp didn't reach. Nevertheless, both teams decided to wear cleats.
  • Green Bay entered the contest as two-point favorites, which irritated the Eagles, who had the better record.
  • The Packers could be expected to control the ball with their running attack and keep Van Brocklin's potent passing game on the bench.
  • The game would mark the end of the line for Shaw and Van Brocklin, both of whom had announced after the 1959 season that 1960 would be their final sea­son.
    McDonald recalled: What we had going for us was that we didn't know much about them (the Packers). We didn't play them in the regular season, so all we knew of them was what we saw on the highlight reels. This was an advantage because we weren't intimidated by them.
The sellout crowd of 67,235 that packed Franklin Field (the second largest playoff crowd in league history) saw their Eagles start poorly (like they were intimidated).
  • Quarter 1
    The Eagles won the toss and elected to receive.
    Paul Hornung booted to Tim Brown on the four. Ray Nitschke knocked him out of bounds at the 22. QB Norm Van Brocklin tried a sideways pass to HB Billy Barnes but threw too high. The ball bounced off Billy's hands to RE Bill Quinlan. Barnes was able to stop him immediately at the 14. The play was ruled a fumble on a lateral.
    They red-dogged me and sent Quinlan out in the flat, explained Norm after the game. I didn't see him, and then I threw the pass high.
    FB Jim Taylor tried the middle to the nine, LBs Chuck Bednarik and Chuck Weber making the stop. Hornung came around the left side to the seven. On third-and-three, QB Bart Starr handed to Taylor, but S Don Burroughs stopped him after a gain of just one. Packers Coach Vince Lombardi eschewed the field goal. Taylor took the ball up the middle, but the Eagles stood up the blockers, and Jimmy didn't even make it to the line of scrimmage.

    Taylor takes handoff from Starr.
    Barnes gained five on two runs. Then came another turnover as FB Ted Dean took a draw play handoff up the middle across the 15 but fumbled when hit by Nitschke, who escaped Bednarik's block. Bill Forrester recovered for Green Bay at the 22.

    Barnes takes a handoff from Van Brocklin.
    Dean breaks loose up the middle.
    The Packers made a first down in two plays. Hornung slanted over left end to the 17, where CB Tom Brookshier made the stop. Taylor carried to the 11 where LBs Weber and Maxie Baughan grabbed him. Hornung ran what would be become known as the classic Green Bay sweep around right end, but Bednarik pulled him down after a gain only three. Taylor pushed to the five, DT Ed Khayat recording the tackle. But offsides on the offense put the ball back on the 13. Tom Moore replaced Hornung in the backfield. Starr escaped the rush and threw in vain into the end zone for WR Gary Knafelc. Bart passed again, this one to McGee. Brookshier broke it up at the last moment. This time, Lombardi decided to take the field goal. Hornung's kick was true from the 20. Packers 3 Eagles 0

    Eagles swarm Taylor.
    Richie Lucas returned the short kickoff to the 24. Van Brocklin fumbled the snap but recovered for a loss of two. Surprisingly, it was the veteran quarterback who appeared shaky rather than the younger Starr. Van threw down the middle for Bobby Wal­ston, who was bumped by Emlen Tunnell as the ball fell to the turf. The Packers protested the interference penalty to no avail. First down Eagles on the 34. After a short run and an incompletion, Walston took a look-in to the 44 where Nitschke hit him a half yard short of the first down. Van Brocklin punted to Lew Carpenter, who was hit immediately at the 17.
    Starr dropped back and hit Knafelc wide open at the 30. Gary ran forward to the 37.
    Knafelc would lead the Packers' wide receivers with six catches thanks to the zone defense designed by Eagles' defensive assisant Jerry Williams to shackle Dowler and McGee.
    Following two Taylor runs that gained five, Starr went for the first down to McGee but the ball was too low. So Max punted out of bounds at the 17.
    Barnes gained to the 20. Van ran to escape DT Henry Jordan to the 24 to draw a big hand from the crowd for possibly the first time in three seasons in Philly that the Dutchman had run with the ball. But he overthrew Dean on a look-in to force a punt to the Green Bay 37.
    Three runs - Taylor for six and Hornung twice for three each - produced a first down at the Green Bay 49. Starr threw to Knafelc to the 42. Then Taylor bolted up the middle for 13y as the quarter ended.
    Green Bay 3 Philadelphia 0

Bednarik breaks up pass to Ron Kramer.
  • Quarter 2
    Hornung threw a halfback pass intended for Dowler that was broken up at the last second by S Bobby Freeman. Starr again went to Boyd, this time complete on a slant-in to the 15. first down. Taylor ran up to the middle to the 12. After an offside penalty on the offense, Bart threw to McGee in the left flat, but Brookshier broke it up. Then the quarterback threw under duress and was fortunate Burroughs didn't hang on to the interception. On 4th-and-12, Hornung booted a 24y field goal. Green Bay 6 Philadelphia 0 (12:45)

    Brookshier tackles Taylor.
    Joe Robb took the short kick and was knocked out of bounds at the 26. With fans exhorting them, the Eagles finally got moving. The Dutchman hit Walston on a look-in to the 32. Barnes ran to the 37 for a first down, Philly's second. Then came a crazy play. Dutch threw into the right flat, but LE Willie Davis jumped up and blocked the ball back into the quarterback's hands. So Van threw it again, incomplete al­though it wouldn't have counted if it had been complete. Dean gained to the 44 on a draw play. For third-and-two, Barnes tried to turn the corner but was spilled by Forester and DB Jesse Whittenton at the 43. So Van Brocklin kicked to Wood, who slipped and fell, the ball bounding free. The officials gave Green Bay the ball at the 20.
    After Taylor and Hornung gained 1y each, Starr threw to his fullback in the flat, but Jim fell 3y short of the line to gain. McGee slipped as he punted and kicked a line drive that bounced across midfield to the 43, where Ron Kramer downed it.
    Van rolled right and hit McDonald over the middle to the Green Bay 35.
    Tommy called the middle of the field "Nitschke territory." When you went across the middle of him, you better bring your lunch with you. If he could hit you, he was going to hit you. In those days, there was no 5y limit beyond the line of scrimmage, and if the ball was in the air, you better watch your head.
    Then, with all the time in the world, Van threw to McDonald 5y behind Tunnell at the seven, and Tommy shook off the tackle by Hank Gremminger and ran into the end zone. Philadelphia 7 Green Bay 6 (7:50)

    Fans help McDonald to his feet after touchdown reception.
    McDonald said afterward that he called the play to Van Brocklin's attention af­ter the two hooked up the 23y pass one play earlier. I noticed that Gremminger came in to cover me when I cut over the middle. So I told Van to use our switch play where I head into the middle, then stop and cut back to the outside again. It worked because Whittenton came in to cover me, and he couldn't get back in time to stay with me.
    Gremminger slipped on an icy spot and that delayed him enough to allow Tom­my to make the catch.
    McDonald on the end of the play: As I was going into the end zone, one of the Packers shoved me in the back and I went into snow. They had so many people in the stadium, they let them put seats on the field. That's where I went - right into the people. Everyone wanted the ball. They were yelling, "Get him up! Get the ball!"
    From the 20, Taylor took a pitchout, escaped two tacklers, and went out of bounds after just a 1y gain. Starr threw a long one down the center incomplete to Knafelc. Starr hit Hornung but only to the 22. McGee boomed a high spiral that rolled dead on the 26.
    Van started the next possession with a bang, a long one down the left sideline to Pete Retzlaff, who took the ball in over his head at the Green Bay 33 despite tight cove­rage by John Symank and Whittenton. Barnes swept right, but Nitschke corraled him after a 3y advance. LB Dan Currie forced a rushed incompletion. Then Dean took a swing pass and juked several men until Symank hauled him down at the eight. 1st and goal. Van fired twice to McDonald incomplete in the end zone, then misfired to Barnes on a middle screen. So Walston kicked a 15y field goal with a slight angle from the left. Philadelphia 10 Green Bay 6 (3:10)

    Hornung runs.
    Starting from the 20, Hornung bolted up the middle through a hole created by guards Fuzzy Thurston and Jerry Kramer to the 35. Taylor tried the left side but gained only three. After the two-minute warning, Jim ran to the 45. Green Bay called for a timeout. Taylor started up the middle, then slid to the right with second effort to the 48 to move the chains. Avoiding Marion Campbell's rush, Starr threw to Hor­nung to the Eagle 44. After an incompletion, Taylor ran out of bounds after gain­ing eight. first down. Showing marvelous balance, Jim took a pass down the sideline and out of bounds at the 20. Starr threw down the center to Hornung, his safety valve. Freeman made the tackle on the 13 with 0:45 remaining. After a timeout, Knafelc took a pass at the six. Then Starr couldn't find an open man and ran out of the pocket for no gain. The field goal team rushed in and set up without a huddle. With the clock under ten seconds, an Eagle jumped offside. Green Bay declined the penalty to give the kicker a less acute angle. But Hornung missed a chip shot from the 17 wide left. Philadelphia 10 Green Bay 6

Hornung misses field goal on last play of first half.

The Packers had missed out on nine points by passing up two field goal chances and missing another.

  • They had run 48 plays to the Eagles' 30.
  • The Green Bay defense had done a good job against the Eagles except for the three long passes Van Brocklin completed - two to McDonald and one to Retzlaff.
  • Quarter 3
    Symank returned the kickoff from the 10 to the 32. Hornung drove over left tackle to the 37. Taylor on a draw play advanced the pigskin to the 42 for a first down. Starr rolled right and threw to Dowler inside the Eagle 30, but Burroughs batted it down. Hornung took a screen pass but was dropped for a loss of three. Taylor gathered in a short pass, got away briefly, but was downed at the 46. McGee punted to the five to Dean who eluded two tacklers to the 14.
    After an incompletion, Barnes ran to the 22 to set up third-and-two. Van's pass was batted down by Jordan to bring on the punting team. Under a heavy rush, the Dutchman booted to Wood who returned 6y to the 36.
    The Packers used their one-two punch for two good gains. First, Hornung ran over the left side behind Kramer's block to the Eagle 49. Then Taylor broke loose up the middle to the 34. Following a 4y gain by Hornung, Jimmy took a pitchout around the left side to the 26. Then came a play that hurt Green Bay's chances for victory. Bednarik stood up Hornung on a crossbuck at the 24, and Brookshier finished him off when a hard hit to the shoulder. Paul stayed down with a pinched nerve. He ran to the sidelines on his own power but never returned to the game except to kick.
    Bednarik described the play in 1961. The play started, and I saw Hornung sweep­ing toward his right - my zone. I remembered from the films how he liked to cut back. I waited for this cutback. Just as Hornung pivoted, I rammed into him. My shoulder dug into his right side under his arm. He went down like a shot. His right arm was quivering. I was really scared.
    : I remember Paul saying later, he felt like his arm was ripped out of its socket.
    The injury would plague Hornung off and on the rest of his career.
    On 4th-and-two, Taylor was hit by Bednarik at the line of scrimmage but fought forward close enough to bring out the chain gang. Short by inches - Eagles' ball.
    After a short run and a long incompletion, the Eagles faced third-and-seven. With both backs in for maximum protection, the Dutchman hit McDonald in stride running free at the 50. The speedy wide receiver continued to the 40. Barnes fought his way to the 33 before Dean added five more for a first down. Following a 2y loss, Van threw up the middle to Walston at the 15, and Joe darted to the five. On 1st-and-goal, Dean ran wide left to the 4. Then Dutch rolled right and fired into the end zone for McDonald, but Symank cut in front for the interception.
    Dutch explained his miscue after the game. The Packers switched men on Barnes, and I didn't see John Symank coming across after Tom McDonald. If I would have seen him, then I would have reloaded and thrown to Pete Retzlaff, who must have been in the open.
    After three passes netted nothing, McGee dropped back to punt. Taking the snap, he waited several seconds but, seeing no one rushing, ran straight upfield un­touched all the way to the Eagle 45, where the deep receiver, Dean, made the tackle.
    McGee: I noticed in the movies we had of them that often they didn't rush. They ran back to help block for the man taking the kick. So it really wasn't much of a chance. The field was open, and we needed only 10y.
    Still, when Max got back to the bench, he found a spot on the sidelines as far away from the coach as he could get. He remembered Lombardi's first words to him when he took over as coach. McGee, you're gonna be my punter. You're not gonna run the football on fourth down!
    Moore ran wide left but was thrown back to the Green Bay 48. On 2nd-and-16, Starr threw in and out of Tom's hands. Then Bart connected with Knafelc up the middle to the 24 for a first down as the gun sounded.
    Eagles 10 Packers 6
  • Quarter 4
    Two runs, Taylor up the middle for six and Moore around the left side for eight, made it 1st-and-goal at the 10. Jim drove to the six. Burroughs was shaken up on the play and left the game. Bobby Jackson replaced him.
    The rookie DB from Alabama was destined to play a key role in the contest.
    Starr threw to McGee slanting in from the left in the end zone. Hornung converted. Packers 13 Eagles 10 (13:07)
    The Pack's lead didn't last long. Dean took the kickoff on the five and returned up the left side untouched until finally forced out of bounds at the Green Bay 40 by the last defender, Willie Wood, who fought off Brown's block.
    Philadelphia assistant coach Charlie Gauer drew up the kick return based on a weakness he spotted in films of Green Bay's coverage. On their right side, they had a slow player flanked by two fast players, creating a natural seam. Gauer wanted his men to hit that gap so that, with one or two well-timed blocks, they could get Dean into the open field.
    Hit behind the line while back to pass, the Dutchman fell forward for 2y. But defensive holding gave Philly a first down at the 31. Dean carried a draw play handoff to the 26. With Van alternating his runners as he did all afternoon, Barnes cut up the middle to the 20 for another first down. Nitschke stemmed the momentum by sacking Van for a 7y loss. But Van retaliated with a shovel pass to Barnes up the middle to the 13.
    Dutch: Their middle linebacker drifts back a little further than most in the league. So I just let the linemen run in at me, and then I let it go.
    When Billy ran a crossbuck, Quinlan hit him from behind at the 10. But it was enough for a first down. Dean burrowed off left tackle to the five. Then Ted swung around left end and cut inside to the end zone. Walston booted the PAT. Eagles 17 Packers 13 (9:40)
    It was the first rushing touchdown in the career of the native of Radnor PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.

    G Jerry Huth leads Dean around end for the go-ahead touchdown.
    Starting from the five, Symank broke several tackles to the 30. Moore ran left to the 36. Taylor pushed over right guard for five. On third-and-inches, the fullback from LSU fought for yardage over center. A second straight measurement revealed a first down. Starr threw up the middle to McGee who fumbled when hit, Baughan recovering at the Eagle 48. Today a replay challenge would probably rule that Max never had pos­session of the ball.

    Burroughs grabs McGee as Bednarik comes up.
    With Van Brocklin sticking to the ground to run clock, Dean crossed midfield to the 49. Barnes drove to then 43, and Dean hit right tackle for a minimal gain. The busy chain gang came in again and showed the ball short by almost a yard with 5:45 left. Van punted to the 12.
    Starr rolled left and flipped to Moore on the sideline to the 17. Tom tried the right side but Bednarik held him to no gain. Badly needing a third down conversion, Starr fired incomplete to Knafelc at the 35. McGee's punt rolled dead at the 26.
    Dean ran for 4y, then five to the 35 to bring on the two-minute warning. Needing a stop on third-and-one, the Pack stuffed Barnes at left tackle a half-yard short. Van punted to Carpenter, who returned 5y to the 35.
    Despite not having one of his better games, Starr seemed "eerily calm" to his teammates as he assembled the huddle. Every man on the unit believed they could score the winning touchdown in the time remaining.
    Bart threw in the right flat to Taylor who got out of bounds on the 40 in Bedna­rik's grasp with 55 seconds left. Starr completed a short pass to Moore to the 44. Timeout Green Bay. 45 seconds left. On third-and-one, Taylor roared around left end to the Eagle 47 where he was driven out of bounds. With the secondary protecting against the long pass, Starr found Knafelc to the 30. Timeout with 30 seconds left. Bart threw a long one over Dowler's head in the end zone. Jim Carr and Burroughs had double coverage. With 25 seconds left, Starr went back to Knafelc at the 22, where he was tackled immediately by Baughan, who held Gary down as precious seconds ticked away. The Packers hurriedly lined up without a huddle. With 10 seconds left, Starr threw to Taylor at the 17 where he slipped out of Baughan's grasp and continued toward the goal line. Jim ran through the tackle of Bur­roughs, but Jackson hit him low head on at the 10. The impact snapped the strap on Bobby's shoulder pads. As Jimmy struggled to get free, Carr and Bednarik came in and wrestled him to the ground at the nine as time expired.
    The image has lingered across the decades of Bednarik making the tackle on Taylor, then sitting on him until the time ran out. I was on top of him and I stayed there, Chuck recalled. You're darn right I was watching the clock. I made up my mind I was going to lay on him until it was over. That is known as stalling for time. Chuck embellished the story by saying he told Taylor, Get up. This **** game is over! But the game film reveals that, even if Jimmy had jumped up immediately, there was no way the Packers could have gotten off another play. Also, Bedna­rik was not the primary tackler. That honor belonged to the unheralded Jackson. But even if Taylor had eluded Jackson, other Eagles were closing in. Jimmy would have had to work a miracle to get to the goal line. Bednarik has been justly lionized for playing every snap of the game. But his role in the ending has been overly dramatized.

    Bednarik walks off the field with Hornung and Taylor. He told them they had
    a helluva team and would be back in the title game the following year.
    The Eagles carried Buck Shaw to the dressing room as police flooded the field in a futile attempt to keep fans from pulling down the goal posts.

Watch 1960 NFL Championship Game (many plays missing)
Radio broadcast of entire game

Sportswriters voted the MVP award to Van Brocklin for his final game.

Final statistics:

  • First downs: Eagles 13 Packers 22
  • Yards rushing: Eagles 28-99 Packers 42-223
  • Passing: Eagles 20-9-1 Packers 35-21-0
  • Return yardage: Eagles 5-101 Packers 7-67
  • Fumbles-Lost: Eagles 3-2 Packers 1-1
  • Penalties: Eagles 0-0- Packers 4-27
  • Punting average: Eagles 6-39.5 Packers 5-45.2
Ten players and two coaches who participated in the '60 title game are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Eagles: Chuck Bednarik, Sonny Jurgensen, Tommy McDonald, Norm Van Brocklin
Packers: Willie Davis, Forrest Gregg, Paul Hornung, Henry Jordan, Ray Nitschke, Jim Ringo, Bart Starr, Jim Taylor, Emlen Tunnell, Coach Vince Lombardi

The gross receipts totaled a record $747,876, beating the old met set in 1958.

  • The players' pool came to $434,618, a new record for the second straight year.
  • The Eagles split $223,570 or $5,117 per man.
  • The Packers got $149,050 or $3,105 each.

Philadelphia Locker Room

  • Shaw won his first title in 12 years of coaching professional football. Asked if he would recon­sider retiring, he said, This is it for sure. I'm all through. You can't go any further than this. Asked about his future plans, he replied, I'm just too happy to think about it. I only hope all of you have as much happiness someday as I have today. ... The defense did a great job. They got the job done when they had to... Our big break was our ability to hold the Packers off in the key situations, particularly early in the game. ... Overall, I'd say our defense was able to take care of their running pretty well and force Starr to go to the air. We were fluffing (changing defenses) a bit out there. If we hadn't, our defense really would have been roughed up a bit.
    Shaw went around the room and congratulations his players. He saved his biggest hug and handshake for Bednarik.
    One of Buck's former players said: He's the first guy I ever played for who didn't curse his players. He's a substitute alma mater for a lot of us. I don't know if we'd go out and die for him, but he never asked us.
  • Van Brocklin: What a way to go out. I can't think of a better way. This is the climax. When told the quarterback of the championship team would command a hefty salary, Norm responded, Playing for money alone is no good. You shouldn't stick around when you can't help them any longer. You only hurt them, and you hurt the game. I'm retiring now when I'm at the top. ... I've had plenty of bumps in my time. But this year makes it all worth it. Still, he said, Offensively, we didn't play real good. We weren't up to our potential. Defensively, they played a hell of a game. Green Bay put pressure on him early, he explained, and we just picked away at them to loosen them up a bit.
    When asked why he kept the ball on the ground in the late stages of the contest (only seven passes in the second half), he replied: The linemen kept coming back to the huddle and telling me that we could run right up the middle and, by gosh, they were right.
    Asked to explain the Eagles' secret for coming from behind, as they did eight times during the season, Van shrugged. Oh, we're just a bunch of country boys who like to hit and really don't get bothered too much. And look what happened. We ran out of opponents. ... We didn't play up to our potential. We played just well enough to win, and that seems to be the kind of team that we are. When they get a touchdown, we march right back to go ahead again. But when we are feeling prosperous, something always happens.
    Green Bay didn't look as sharp to me as I thought they would. Defensively, they offered no sur­prises. They red-dogged a couple of times early, and they quit. They were rushing hard a couple of times, but our men started pecking away at them, and they quit trying to get me.
    The Dutchman said that Nitschke had been out of position at times, allowing the Eagles to create big plays. When that comment reached Ray, he believed he was being blamed for the loss. While admitting he made mistakes, he refused to be the scapegoat. He appreciated Lombardi taking the heat off him by admitting coaching errors had been made.
  • Bednarik: Heck, I'm just now getting tired and probably will really be tired tonight. But I'm never tired during the game. Would he return in 1961? I don't know yet. I'll make up my mind later. I'm not saying anything this time.
  • DE Joe Robb: Bednarik kept me going. He kept saying we were going to win and the defense was going to win it for us. He's an inspirational player. All the things people say about him are true.
    Brookshier: My lasting memory of that season was heading for the shower after the champion­ship game. I could hardly move, I was so drained. Bednarik was standing there with this big smile on his face, smoking a cigar. He had just played the whole game, practically, so I asked him how he was feeling. He said, "I feel f----ing great." His voice was like this lion's roar, it shook the walls. Concrete Charlie, he's one of a kind.
  • DT Jesse Richardson couldn't resist answering the critics who had called the Eagles lucky all season. So we're supposed to be lucky? This time the other club sure had more opportunities than we did. They're no fantastic super club. They play good fundamental football, but they don't have the home run, the long ball. We do.
Eagles celebrate!

Green Bay Locker Room

  • Lombardi: The Eagles played a real good ball game. But I am real proud of my club. They stayed in there all the way, right down to the final gun. It's too bad we didn't have a few more seconds, though. He cited the Packers' failure to push across touchdowns on two drives that stalled and forced field goals. I guess you would say there went the ball game. Instead of leading by two touch­downs, we were ahead only 6-0, and then Van Brocklin came through. Old Van completed them when the Eagles needed them. You have to give him credit.
    I'm happy for Buck Shaw. If he's going to retire, it's a nice note to retire on. ... The field was very difficult to run on. I don't want that to sound like an alibi. It was just as tough for the Eagles.

    Vince also pointed to Dean's runback as a backbreaker. Only for that runback we probably would have held them. That gave the Eagles the big lift, and we could not stop them. Dean certainly had great blocking on the big run. But he had to have. No one returns a kick that way in this league without blocking. ... We played well enough defensively to win, but we couldn't score. We didn't do anything different, and the Eagles played the way we expected. We simply couldn't capitalize on our opportunities.
    When asked about the persistent rumors that he planned to leave the Packers to succeed Jim Lee Howell as coach of the Giants, Lombardi snapped, I'll be going back to Green Bay. Let's not have any talk like that.
  • McGee explained that his decision to run from punt formation wasn't much of a gamble.
  • LB Dan Currie was asked about the "what ifs." Those other things don't mean a thing. All that matters is who got the most points. They did.
After the press left, Lombardi gathered his team. I am very proud of all of you, and you have all played well enough to win this game but were beaten by a veteran quarterback who happened to have a great day. Perhaps you didn't realize that you could have won this game. But I think there's no doubt in your minds now. And that's why you will win it all next year. This will never happen again. You will never lose another championship.
At dinner that evening, Vince told Ray Scott, the voice of the Packers, that he cost his team six points by not going for easy field goals. I learned my lesson today. When you get down there, come out with something. I lost the game, not my players. That was my fault.
1960 NFL Champion Philadelphia Eagles
Forty-five years later, Bednarik still could not explain what happened in 1960. It beats the hell out of me. I look at our roster and I say, "You mean this team beat Vince Lombardi's Packers? In a championship game? It's unbelievable. I'm not saying we were a bad team. We were better than average, but we weren't anything like the '49 team, which was a powerhouse. In '60 we didn't have the talent to compare with Green Bay, Cleveland, or the Giants. We won though. We found a way. We have the rings to prove it.
McDonald: We had what coaches today would call great chemistry. People say we didn't have great talent, but that's overrated. What's important is how you play, and we played great. Teams would get us down, but they couldn't keep us down. We'd keep scratching and clawing until we found a way to win. Van Brocklin was the key. He'd get on one knee in the huddle, look you straight in the eye, and say, "This is what we're gonna do." And we believed him. He was like General Patton. He had that kind of presence.
References: When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi, David Maraniss (1999)
The Fire Within, Jim Taylor with Kristine Setting Clark (2010)
The Eagles Encyclopedia, Ray Didinger and Robert S. Lyons (2005)
Concrete Charlie: An Oral History of Philadelphia's Greatest Football Legend Chuck Bednarik,
Ken Safarowic & Eli Kowalski (2009)
1960 NFL Champions, Eli Kowalski (2010)
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