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Fall 2008 | The Next Chapter

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Mike Dauplaise
Mike Dauplaise ’84 with his first book "Bodyguard to the Packers: Beat Cops, Brett Favre and Beating Cancer."

In his first book, “Bodyguard to the Packers,”
Mike Dauplaise ’84 chronicles the experiences of Green Bay Packers head of security Jerry Parins. In this chapter, Parins remembers working the Ice Bowl, the infamous 1967 NFL Championship game in which the Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 in wind chills as low as 46 below zero.

Deanna Favre, who has firsthand experience of the fight against cancer, says,“‘Bodyguard’ is more than a look inside the private world of professional sports franchises. It teaches men and others how to guard their bodies and then how to fight and recover in the midst of battle.”


Want to read more? “Bodyguard to the Packers: Beat Cops, Brett Favre and Beating Cancer” (2008), from Titletown Publishing, is available for purchase online.


The Ice Bowl

Perhaps the most famous game in Green Bay Packers history maybe even NFL history was the NFL Championship game in 1967 leading up to Super Bowl II. Better known as the Ice Bowl, this game reinforced Green Bay’s reputation as being one of the coldest places on earth. That’s really not the case, but on this New Year’s Eve day, December 31, 1967, it must’ve been close. The air temperature was 13 degrees below zero with wind chill factors as cold as 46 below zero. It was so cold that the Packers Band that entertained on the sidelines couldn’t even play their instruments.

I was assigned to work the field that day in my role as a police officer, and I felt very lucky to be there. I rode my motorcycle outside the stadium at most of the other home games, so this was very exciting for me. I had a great job.

However, that day was so cold that it became a test of survival. It seemed to get colder as the day went on. Usually the tougher the weather, the more our fans seem to like it. You have to remember that in those days people didn’t dress as warmly as they do today. Going to a game was more of a social event in the 1960s. People came to the game dressed up, and some of the women even wore dresses. We really didn’t expect the weather to be as bad as it was. A cold front had come in overnight, yet the fever of winning the game overtook the weather.

I managed to get through the game because I kept moving. Our uniform included a dark navy, almost black overcoat that was about waist length. They were very heavy and warm, and I had on a knit hat underneath my uniform hat. The key to survival was keeping clothing as close to your body as possible. I had long underwear on, but we didn’t know we should put Vaseline or petroleum jelly on our skin to keep it moist and insulated against the cold wind. I remember talking to the television people, and the camera guys for CBS were very concerned about their equipment working properly.

Sgt. Loyal Nelson was in charge of the officers on the field. He was a young man just out of the Marine Corps and a tough officer. Crowd control wasn’t much of an issue that day, so we were able to watch the game while moving around to stay warm. The people in the seats used body warmth to keep each other warm, but we didn’t have that on the field. People who were survivors that day looked out for each other. Alcohol really isn’t a good thing to drink when it’s cold out, but we didn’t realize it then. I walked into the end zone at halftime, and in the front row was a guy with blackberry brandy. I took a slug of it, right out of the bottle and in front of thousands of people. Sgt. Nelson took a slug, too. We broke the rules of our profession, but we didn’t care.

The hardest job in those days was working the traffic outside. Being at the games was a delight. You had the best seat in the house and you got paid for it. Today police officers will tell you the toughest part of working a game is dealing with the crowd, not the traffic.

About the only thing I was concerned with that day were the blowers located along the player benches. We had straw piled up at the end of the benches, and I was worried it could catch on fire. It didn’t, but I kept an eye on it just in case. They had tarps set up over the benches like open-faced tents, and players came in and out of there as they tried to get a little warmer. The players didn’t have the sports gloves they do today, and Bart Starr still has frostbite issues with his hands from playing quarterback that day.

The game itself was kind of boring, as neither team could really mount a drive. The Packers took an early lead before the Cowboys got back into it with an easy touchdown on a fumble recovery. The Packers led 14-10 at halftime but couldn’t get their offense going in the second half against a very strong Dallas defense. The Cowboys had a powerful team that year, led by future Hall of Famer Don Meredith at quarterback and Olympic 100-meter dash champion Bob Hayes at wide receiver. It came out later that the Packers’ defense could tell when a running play was coming because Hayes would have his hands tucked into the front of his pants.

The Cowboys used a trick play to take a 17-14 lead in the fourth quarter on a long option pass from Dan Reeves to Lance Rentzel. I didn’t think they’d try that type of play in that weather, and it caught the Packers by surprise.

The Packers had one last chance to mount a scoring drive at the end of the game. The field had long since frozen by that point, and the players were slipping and sliding all over the place. The electric heating grid under the middle of the field had even stopped working. Bart threw a swing pass to Chuck Mercein, and he was able to make yardage down the left side of the field in front of the Cowboys’ bench to set up the winning touchdown.

I was working the Packers’ side of the field and positioned myself at the side of the south end zone for the final sequence. After two unsuccessful running plays where Packers running backs were unable to secure their footing, Bart convinced Coach Lombardi to let him run a quarterback sneak to try and win the game. Lombardi’s famous response was, “Run it, and let’s get the hell out of here.”

I had a front row seat for the most famous play in Packers history, and when Bart scored the winning touchdown, the Packers were NFL champions for the third straight time, 21-17. Still, one of my memories is how I thought the intensity of the Cowboys was so impressive. They played one heck of a football game.

After the game, my job was really easy. We didn’t even try to save the goalposts from being torn down. My assignment was to stand guard outside the two locker rooms, located just down from each other behind the north end zone. Between the two locker rooms was a thin divider like you’d see in an office cubicle today. It was warm inside, which felt good after being outside for several hours. I was struck by the deathly quiet of the Cowboys’ side on the right, and the laughter and cheering coming from the Packers’ side on the left.

Meredith eventually came out of the Cowboys’ locker room. He had his jersey and pads off, and was wearing only a Cowboys T-shirt with a star on it and his silver jersey pants. Tears were streaming from his eyes. “I’m just going over there, Officer, to congratulate Bart,” he said in his Texas drawl. As a young officer, the difference between winning and losing was never more evident. My emotions were still running high, and Meredith’s disappointment made me think, ‘How am I going to celebrate?’ His tears put me in my place, and I never forgot that.

Meredith was a warrior. I’ll always remember he had a little blood on his arm, some tape and some tears. He was one of my favorite Cowboys players … if I had any.

Fall 2008 magazine

Web extras Web exclusives
Look here for web-only content that expands on topics presented in the current
St. Norbert College Magazine (PDF).

Photo Gallery Panama research experience
Explore images from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Photo Gallery A most excellent celebration
View images from the inauguration of the new president.

Video The Pursuit of Excellence
Watch the inaugural address delivered by Thomas Kunkel.

Photo Gallery Out to Africa
A photographic essay brings a Zambian connection to life.

Text Extra Bodyguard to the Packers
Enjoy recollections of the Ice Bowl, from the new book by Mike Dauplaise ’84.

Video “Communio”
This new video celebrates the college’s long heritage.



Story ideas? Your ideas for future magazine stories are most welcome. Write to the editor with any suggestions or comments.

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