How The Lombardi Sweep Worked

A lot of people ask me what my favorite Packer picture is.

Actually, practically nobody asks me that.  

But if somebody did ask me which one was my favorite, I'd say this one:

How do I love this picture? Well, let me count the ways.

First of all this picture is awesome because of the play it depicts: the legendary Lombardi Power Sweep.

The Lombardi Power Sweep

If for some reason you don't know about the Lombardi Power Sweep, it was without a doubt THE play Vince Lombardi used to make the Packers into a dynasty in the 1960's. It was the play they ran when everybody in the stadium knew it was coming, and it still worked.

Captured at the perfect moment

Second, this shot was captured at absolutely the perfect moment. The posture of each player perfectly describes the legend surrounding each man.

Jerry Kramer (64) is the first one that catches my eye, snarling as he barrels around the corner, looking for a linebacker to destroy. Fuzzy Thurston (63, to Kramer's left) is building up steam, ready to steamroll anyone unfortunate enough to escape Kramer's wrath.

Meanwhile, Jim Taylor (21) bides his time, gathering himself for a burst to daylight and a violent encounter with whichever defensive back makes the unwise decision to step in front of him.

Slightly away from the play, Bart Starr (15) carries out his bootleg fake, diligently performing his duty and seemingly oblivious to the impending collisions behind his back.

And finally, who is that standing just over Starr's right shoulder? Vince Lombardi himself, of course, silently watching hundreds of hours of planning and practice unfold in a few brutal seconds on the playing field.

Depicting a different NFL era

The textures in this picture are fascinating. Today's NFL is all shimmer and sheen, with taut muscles and tight uniforms arrayed over artificial grass surfaces. Even Lambeau Field has some artificial grass now.

Not so in this picture. Look at the creases in the uniforms and the dirt clods being kicked up by the cleats and the worn tape on the hands of Kramer and Thurston. The black and white lets you see everything and almost imagine what it would feel like to suit up for a game back in the early days of the NFL.

Awesome uniforms

The uniforms are just awesome. Love the 3/4 length sleeves and that there's FIVE stripes, not just three. Today, I like the Packers' green uniforms better, but I think in the old school films and pictures I like the white ones just as well. They seemed far less plain somehow back then.

I could go on for days about the rest of the things I like about this picture, but that would start to get a little bit excessive.

Instead I'll pose the question to you: what's your favorite image from Packer history?

AnalysisJon Meerdink