(Photos courtesy of the Detroit Lions & Green Bay Packers)
Talk of Fame Network
This being Thanksgiving Week, we at The Talk of Fame Network could think of only two things: Thanksgiving Day football and Brett Favre, who was honored by the Green Bay Packers the same week he was named one of 25 Pro Football-Hall-of Fame semifinalists in his first year of eligibility.
So we addressed both on our latest broadcast.
When it comes to Thanksgiving Day games, the first that comes to mind to any student of NFL history is the Lions vs. the Packers, who have been duking it out over a turkey leg for decades. And of all the Thanksgiving games they’ve played, none was more remarkable than the 1962 Thanksgiving Day Massacre.
Our hosts, Hall-of-Fame voters Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge, share memories with Roger Brown, the former Lions’ defensive tackle who had a Hall-of-Fame career in one game that day. The six-time Pro Bowl selection sacked Bart Starr six times, downed him for a safety, caused a fumble that was returned for a touchdown and blocked a Jerry Kramer field-goal attempt.
It was an amazing day for the Lions, who sacked Starr 11 times in a 26-14 beatdown of the undefeated Packers -- their only loss of the season. Yet Brown wasn’t all that impressed.
“I had many games as great as that one, but it was the only game played in the whole USA, college or pro, that day (in 1962),’’ the 78-year-old Brown recalled from his home in Virginia. “Other days, I had to share the audience. That one got the notoriety.’’
So did Brown, who at 6-5, 300 pounds was not only the biggest lineman in the league at the time but also among the fastest. He ran a 10-flat 100 yard dash, part of the reason he flattened so many quarterbacks.
Brown recalls how ready the Lions were to meet the Packers after having lost to them, 9-7, early in the season in Green Bay. It was late in that game that Hall-of-Fame cornerback Herb Adderley intercepted a Milt Plum pass after one of his receivers, Terry Barr, slipped on his route -- with the turnover leading to a game-winning Paul Hornung field goal.
“We went into that game with blood in our eyes,’’ Brown recalled.
So did Hall-of-Famer Dick LeBeau, a teammate of Brown’s, and Jerry Kramer, who was an anchor of the Packers’ powerful offensive line in the Lombardi years. They also recall what happened on Thanksgiving Day, 1962, on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast ... but with opposite recollections.
Our Hall-of-Fame guys share a far-ranging interview with Favre, who talks about his playing days, life after football, his return to Green Bay after a time of estrangement and leaving for, first, the Jets and, later, the Vikings. Favre also discusses his feelings about the dream he may fulfill in February, when the Hall of Fame elects five modern-era candidates.
The guys discuss the Hall-of-Fame chances of the 24 other semifinalists named this week and handicap the field from shoo-ins to long shots, as well as tell you what names surprised them and how the field shapes up.
In our weekly "State Your Case" segment, Borges presents the controversial Hall-of-Fame credentials of former Oakland Raiders’ safety Jack Tatum, who called himself “Assassin’’ during his violent playing days. Our resident "Dr. Data," Rick Gosselin, dives into the numbers and crunches them in an analysis of four-time Hall-of-Fame finalist Kevin Greene’s chances to gain admittance to Canton. And this being Thanksgiving week, the Hall-of-Fame guys name the turkeys they would, like the President, pardon. You may be surprised to learn who the boys give reprieves to.
Our month-long rivalry series kicks off this week with the oldest in the NFL, the Packers-Bears, which goes back to 1921, while The Talk of Fame Network takes a look at the NFL’s newest big thing, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rookie quarterback Jameis Winston -- with Hall-of-Fame selector, Ira Kaufman, the guest.
There’s all that and more each week at TheTalk of Fame Network, the weekly Hall-of-Fame show that can be heard on over 80 radio stations around the country, on iTunes, with the TuneIn app or by logging on to our website at talkoffamenetwork.com.