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09-06-2018, 07:02 PM
>The penultimate day of 1967 was as beautiful as it gets in Green Bay in late December. Chilly Josh Lambo Jersey (http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-josh-lambo-jersey) , yes, but the Dallas Cowboys enjoyed the sunshine as they practiced at Lambeau Field for their New Year’s Eve game against the Green Bay Packers.“You could work up a sweat,” said Dan Reeves, then a running back for Dallas. “You just knew the next day was going to be a great day for football.”It was sure looking that way for everyone who loved the NFL. Bart Starr was under center for the Packers, and the Cowboys countered with Don Meredith and Bob Hayes, the 1964 Olympic 100-meter gold medalist. The Cowboys and Packers were meeting for the second straight year for the NFL championship, with the winner going to Super Bowl No. 2 (the NFL had yet to get around to Roman numerals) against the champions of the American Football League.That night, opposing coaches Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry got together with NFL officials and other team members at the Oneida Country Club for a dinner. The mood was upbeat for a league still trying to digest the merger with the AFL and turn the Super Bowl into a must-see game.Things were not so cheerful the next morning, when the wakeup call at the Holiday Inn sent startled players to their windows to see what it was all about.“Good morning,” the operator said. “It’s 7:30 a.m. and 17 below zero.”It’s one of the defining games of the NFL, a contest played on tundra that truly was frozen by men who really weren’t prepared for the conditions. The game that became known as the Ice Bowl joined the 1958 NFL championship game and the 1969 Super Bowl as one of a trio of iconic contests in the space of a decade that cemented the league into the consciousness of America’s sports fans.Cowboys executive Gil Brandt wasn’t thinking of history that morning as he stood in the lobby of the Holiday Inn in Appleton. He just wanted something to keep his feet warm as the Cowboys waited for the buses to take them to Lambeau Field.He found them on the feet of one of the bus drivers.“I asked if somebody would rent me their boots for $20,” Brandt said. “They said they weren’t boots but galoshes. But one guy rented me his.”Players were just as ill prepared. They had long underwear and heaters on the sidelines but little else. For the Cowboys, that meant no gloves for their hands.“Our (defensive) coach, Ernie Stautner, told our defense that we weren’t going to wear gloves. Said, ‘Gloves are for sissies,'” Cowboys lineman Bob Lilly said. “Well, we go out to warm up and all the Packers had gloves on.”It was, as Sports Illustrated would write the next week, the coldest New Year’s Eve in the cold history of Green Bay.“It should have been canceled Jabaal Sheard Jersey (http://www.coltscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-jabaal-sheard-jersey) , but I think the commissioner was watching the West Coast game in Oakland,” Dallas linebacker Lee Roy Jordan said. “He probably had a nice comfortable day out there.”How cold was it? The reading at game time was 15 below, with wind chill in today’s calculations at minus-48.It was so cold that when referee Norm Shachter blew the metal whistle to start play, it froze to lips. When he tried to pry it off, it tore a chunk of his lip off with it.“He bled most of the game,” Jordan said. “After that, the NFL went to plastic whistles so it wouldn’t freeze to lips.”Lambeau Field had heating coils underneath, but they were no match for cold this extreme. Compounding the mistake was putting a tarp over the field overnight, which kept moisture in that would later freeze when it was pulled off.Wide receiver Carroll Dale’s toenails froze and turned black. His frostbit ears are still sensitive today, 50 years later.Every time Reeves shaves he sees the scar from a tooth that went through his upper lip when he slipped and fell on the frozen field, while Jordan still gets the shivers.“For years, every time I got in chilly weather I thought I was going to have a relapse,” Jordan said. “A lot of us had frostbite on our hands. If we had checked back then, probably a lot of us had frostbite on our lungs. But back then we didn’t check much of anything.”The Packers scored the first time they got the ball, with Starr mixing the running and passing game beautifully. The lead soon became 14-0, and the Cowboys looked like a team that wanted to be anywhere on Dec. 31 than in frigid Green Bay.Hayes, the star Cowboys receiver, was so cold he kept his hands in his pants when his number wasn’t called, something Green Bay defenders quickly picked up on.“The first mistake of the day was made by Bob Hayes when he came out of the huddle with his hands in his pants,” Packers offensive lineman Jerry Kramer said. “When he was in the pattern he took his hands out.”The Cowboys managed to cut the lead to 14-10 at halftime thanks to a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a field goal. But the Packers still seemed in control until Dallas made adjustments at halftime and shut down the Packers’ offense for most of the second half.Starr would be sacked a total of eight times Vontae Davis Jersey (http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-vontae-davis-jersey) , and when Reeves hit Lance Rentzel for a 50-yard touchdown pass on a halfback option in the fourth quarter to take the lead, the Cowboys seemed on their way to the Super Bowl in toasty Miami Beach.“They were playing lights-out defense in the second half and we were getting our fannies kicked,” Dale said. “It wasn’t looking good.”If it was cold on the field, it seemed even colder in the stands.There, people fiddled with their kerosene hand warmers, trying to keep them lit. Fans layered in clothing jammed together on aluminum benches, the condensation from their breaths forming an eerie cloud of fog over the stands.“The people were too cold to complain,” said John Des Jardins, who was 15 at the time and would Maybe it was poetic LeBron James had a supporting cast on his injured right hand.

He was missing one in the NBA Finals.

For the second time in a career still ascending after 15 years, James was on the wrong side of a sweep as the Golden State Warriors, a team with no apparent weaknesses and as many as four of the league’s 10 best players on its roster, transformed into a dynasty in Cleveland late Friday.

After what may have been his final game with the Cavaliers, James revealed he hurt himself in a fit of frustration following a Game 1 overtime loss.

He displayed a soft cast on his hand during his postgame news conference and then rounded up his children and some of their friends, and along with his wife, and the usual support group of handlers and security personnel, drove home to Akron.

His next stop is unknown.

Another suspenseful summer of ”Where will LeBron go next?” is off and running.

In the next few weeks, James is expected to decline his $35.6 million contract option for next season with the Cavaliers and become an unrestricted free agent like he was in 2010 and 2014. Then the fun starts – well, officially and legally under NBA rules – and teams can begin courting King James to join them.

At the moment the list of suitors is limited, but it could grow before July as teams position themselves to acquire one of the game’s most transcendent forces.

There are obvious potential landing spots, but James Orlando Pace Jersey (http://www.ramscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-orlando-pace-jersey) , who averaged 34 points, 10 assists and 8.5 rebounds against the Warriors, made it clear that any team coveting him better be prepared to win – everything.

He’s still into hanging banners.

”I still want to be in championship mode,” the 33-year-old said following his eighth straight NBA Finals appearance. ”I think I’ve shown this year why I will still continue to be in championship mode.”

Although James may have dropped to 3-6 in the finals, it hasn’t diminished his pursuit of winning a fourth title or slaying this Golden State goliath, a monster of a team he never imagined getting in his way when he made his Ohio homecoming after playing four years in Miami.

So, who has a legitimate shot at getting him?

The Philadelphia 76ers can entice James with young stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, salary-cap space to accommodate him and other pieces, and the luxury to stay in the Eastern Conference to avoid meeting up with the Warriors until the Larry O’Brien Trophy is up for grabs.

The Lakers’ sales pitch will include their current flexibility to sign another maximum contract player – maybe Paul George or Kawhi Leonard – and Hollywood’s celebrity-filled hills. James already owns two homes and a film production company in Los Angeles, where the star could become a supernova.

Don’t rule out the Houston Rockets, who pushed Golden State to a Game 7 in the postseason. In presumed MVP James Harden; Chris Paul, one of James’ closest friends; and bent-on-overthrowing-the-Warriors general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets have the building blocks to assemble an uber-team.

In the end, James may decide home is still the sweetest spot.

The Cavaliers, though, have a lot of work to do to convince him he should hang around. The team’s decision to trade All-Star guard Kyrie Irving last summer to Boston sparked a sequence of events that led to a mid-season overhaul, soured James and sent him into the playoffs with a group he carried as far as humanly possible.

Cleveland can offer James more money – a five-year, $209 million contract – than anyone else, but the larger issue is what it can do to improve a roster that’s currently short on title-winning performance. The Cavs have the No. 8 overall pick in this month’s draft as an asset to perhaps package with All-Star forward Kevin Love, who could finally be moved after being the subject of trade rumors for years.

And there’s also the delicate matter of James’ rocky relationship with team owner Dan Gilbert. The two have co-existed purely on business terms since patching things up after Gilbert eviscerated James when he bolted for Miami. It’s unclear if they can move forward together.

On a podcast during the Finals Tom Jackson Jersey (http://www.broncoscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-tom-jackson-jersey) , Gilbert said he views James as much more than a player.

”Legally, he may be working for our organization, but that’s not really the case,” Gilbert said. ”He’s more of your partner, really.”

The comment was a concession of sorts from Gilbert, who understands what James means to his franchise and what he represents to Northeast Ohio – hope.

James came home four years ago promising to win a championship and delivered within two seasons, ending a 52-year title drought in a city he has personally helped to revitalize. The summer of 2016 was unforgettable, with a downtown parade that James has said overwhelmed him with emotion.

It may go down as his crowning achievement, or something he wants to feel again.

If so, there’s only one place where that can happen.

The last time James left Cleveland it was because he needed a team to help him achieve greatness. He found it with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, and he came back a different man, ready to build his legacy. A father of three, his priorities have changed again, and this time the decision is more complicated.

There’s a tug-of-war going on between James’ brain and heart.

”When I decide what I’m going to do with my future, my family and the folks that have been with me for the last 20 years will have a say-so,” he said. ”Then it ultimately will come down to me.”< Authentic Womens Kyle Lauletta Jersey (http://www.officialusafootballs.com/new-york-giants/kyle-lauletta-jersey) ,