Playoff or Porcelain Bowl, ask Coach Lombardi

Apparently, Vince Lombardi was as nauseous as my mother when the Packers played the Browns on January 5, 1964.
They had all gathered in Miami for the Playoff Bowl, a game so anticlimactic Mr. Lombardi referred to it as a “hinky-dink football game, held in a hinky-dink town, played by hinky-dink players.”
Coach Lombardi expressed his disgust for the bowl, which pitted the two second place teams against each other and took place one week after the NFL title game, to anyone within earshot, a considerably wide range for the vocal Italian. My mother, meanwhile, was pregnant…with me.
We found my dad’s handwritten notes recently, and they piqued our interest in one of sports history’s oddest bowls. Deemed an exhibition game,the Playoff Bowl did not count toward any statistics. Even though Bart Starr completed 15 of 18 passes for three touchdowns and 259 yards, including a record-setting 99-yard touchdown pass, none of those numbers factored in his career numbers.
Other records set that day but not counted included:
• Most points scored in game- by the Packers (40) and both teams (63).
• Most yards gained rushing- by Green Bay (231)
• Most total yards gained- by both Green Bay (490) and Cleveland (418).
The Playoff bowl lasted a decade from 19961 through 1970, a remarkable run for a game hardly anyone wanted to play.
The 1963 Packers won the 1964 Playoff Bowl, a game
their coach called the toilet (or something less appropriate) bowl.
We found these notes and started wondering
why the team would be preparing to play a
football game after the NFL championship
game already had been played.
They took notes on scratch paper back in the day.
Pretty thorough preparation for a game no one wanted to play.


2 thoughts on “Playoff or Porcelain Bowl, ask Coach Lombardi

  1. Oh Laura, these notes look so much like the notes we found in my Dad's things after he passed away and it also made me wonder about his life and his life moments.Hsing-Yi

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