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The Lombardi Era Packers Lose Their Golden Boy

Paul Hornung, one of the great NFL players of the 1950s and 1960s passed away last week. He is the forth Packer legend from the Lombardi era to pass away this year. Preceding him were safety Willy Wood, defensive end Willie Davis, and cornerback Herb Adderley. Hornung was a great player on the greatest team of the era. His career was marred by a gambling controversy, but his numbers hold up. He was a threat as a runner, passer, receiver, returner, kicker, and even played some defense. He was a character and I like characters. He enjoyed his life and according to his New York Times obituary he expressed few regrets.

“I’m sure that during my playing days I wasn’t considered a good role model for the nation’s youth,” he wrote in his memoir. “But the way times have changed, I’d look like an altar boy if I played today. I never beat up a woman, carried a gun or a knife, shot somebody, or got arrested for disturbing the peace. I never even experimented with drugs during the season.

“All I did, really,” he went on, “was seek out fun wherever I could find it. Everything was all tied in together — the drinking, the womanizing, the partying, the traveling, the gambling. And, of course, football made it all possible.”

“During the season” is such a great Hornung line. Rest in peace and Go Pack Go!