DALLAS — Super Bowl 50 is just two days away! Yeah, for the 50th time, the NFL’s best will hoist the Lombardi Trophy, but one Dallas native was there for the very first.
Donny Anderson was a rookie running back and punter for the Green Bay Packers in 1966, the team that beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I.
“We prepared everyday, very, very intense practices,” Anderson recounted of the lead up to the first Big Game. “Because Vince knew this was going to be a big deal.”
Yeah, Vince Lombardi, the guy that the Super Bowl trophy is named after, was Anderson’s coach.
“Vince was extremely difficult to play for because he worked on the mental side of the game,” Anderson said of the Hall of Fame coach. “Physically, if you made mistakes that was one thing, but if you didn’t make metal mistakes that was even better. He loved you if you didn’t make mental mistakes.”
Well, in that first Super Bowl, Anderson, who was the highest paid rookie at the time, had 4 carries for 30 yards, but he also delivered one of the game’s most memorable moments.
Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, was the Chiefs defensive back, and he had promised to knock the Packers wide receivers out of the game. But it was the highly paid rookie who did the hammering.
“We ran a Packer sweep to the right and he came and hit my thigh and they carried him out on a stretcher,” said Anderson. “Somebody said, ‘Who got him?’ and [Packers WR] Max McGee said ‘Anderson got him with his wallet!’”
Well, 50 years after that game, Anderson heads up the Winners For Life charity, which helps give kids a shot at college.
“It is extremely rewarding to be able to go in and visit with people who want to help kids have an education after high school,” said Anderson.
Whoever wins on Sunday in the 50th anniversary of the Big Game, Donny Anderson and his Green Bay Packers can always say they did it first.