make / manufacturer: Bobby Ayers size / dimensions: 54" x 31"
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Man Cave Hero! One-of-a-kind, hand-carved “Lombardi Trophy”
This piece measures 54"w x 31"h original condition. Hand-sculpted Lombardi head mounted on football-shaped, deep-relief background. It will make a striking presentation in any environment. $400 obo cash.
In the 70s and 80s, Two Rivers, WI native, Bob Kaminski, organized many fundraisers for cancer treatment and research. (See below for the fascinating story of Kaminski and how he wound up donating a sacred Lambeau bench to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.) One of Kaminski's fundraisers was a series of flag football tournaments. Kaminski commissioned Sheboygan native, Bobby Ayers, to carve this stunning trophy. I have emails from Ayers confirming his work.
Now, here's Kaminski's "Ice Bowl" story that sets up how the first "Lombardi Trophy" came to exist.
Ice Bowl Memories - Bob Kaminski
A big highlight after the game was the player bench taken from Lambeau Field after the game. The bench today is at Lombardi’s niche at the Pro-Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The game was attended by Bob Murphy, deceased, the Perry twins, Jim and John Perry, and Bob Kaminski. They were all from Two Rivers, WI on Dec. 31, 1963. Jim Perry is from Bloomington, Indiana. Jim is a chancellor’s professor at Indiana University. John Perry is a Village administrator in Woodridge IL. Bob Murphy’s Family now lives in Green Bay, WI on Kenney Street. Bob Kaminiski is a retired plumber still living in Two Rivers, WI.
It all started two weeks before the “Ice Bowl Game” when Jim and John Perry along with Bob Kaminiski picked up tickets at Florry’s Tap, a south side Milwaukee, WI bar, to attend the Packers and Rams game on Dec. 24, 1967, at Milwaukee County Stadium. The Packers won the game, 28-7. Travis Williams had a great game, Bart Starr was superb. Lombardi was like a puppet man pulling just the right strings at just the right time. Henry Jordon was in the Rams backfield all day. Forrest Gregg had Deacon Jones in his hip pocket. The weather was pretty good. We had upper deck seats. They were great for the view of the field. What a Christmas gift.
The Packers were to play for the NFL Championship game against the Dallas Cowboys, Dec. 31, 1967 at Lambeau Field. Bob Kaminski received a call from Bob Murphy on Dec. 26, 1967, that he had two tickets for the NFL Championship game. Murphy said they were separate seats for the game. Kaminski said, “What is the cost for each ticket?” Murphy said, “$12.00, but you’ll have to take the car. Jim and John Perry got their tickets from their Uncle Howard Perry, the City of Two Rivers, WI Recreation Dept. Director at that time. Kaminski had a 1963 4 door Chevy II to take the four Packer Fans to Lambeau Field. The car was full of sleeping bags, blankets, galoshes, and Styrofoam, for the feet and butt’s to sit on.
Sunday morning Dec. 31, 1967 was a big surprise, -15 degrees at 7 a.m. Murphy and the twins called Kaminski and asked him if he was still going to the game. Kaminski said, “Remember what we said, that we were going to the game no matter what. Make sure that you wear the proper clothes to keep warm, I’ll bring the Styrofoam and I’ll pick you all up a 9:30.”
We traveled along old highway 141, a winding and hilly road to Lambeau Field. We left early because we knew that the traffic would be heavy and just in case we would have car troubles. The conversation was about the Packers and Rams game the week before.
Then we got into the Packers and Dallas Game. Do you think that they’ll cancel the game? It’s colder than hell for both teams. Remember Dallas is a warm weather team. The Packers are used to playing in the cold and snow but this! -13 degrees! Everybody said I hope you have a good battery so the car will start after the game.
We arrived at Lambeau Field at about 11:30 a.m. We talked about our plans for after the game. Hurry up and get back to the car as soon as possible.
We all headed for our cold seats ready to watch the “Ice Bowl Game.” We all sat in four different location seats. Kaminski sat in the opposite end zone away from where the last points were scored for the game. Murphy and the Perry twins were in the end zone where most of the points were scored.
Kaminski has had many remembrances because of the “Ice Bowl Game.” He recalls his seat was the second seat in from the aisle. Kaminski got himself inside his sleeping bag, put the Styrofoam under his feet and under his butt. I was warm and comfortable.
“This is what I wore”, long johns, work shoes. Over the work shoes I put those heavy gray woolen socks that came over my knees. A pair of galoshes over the socks and shoes. Flannel pajamas over the long johns, work overalls, a t-shirt, flannel shirt, insulated sweatsuit, heavy parka, face mask with holes for the mouth and eyes, wool tassel cap, and then I climbed into my sleeping bag. I was not cold! “I still have the face mask, tassel cap, and scarf.”
While sitting there waiting for the game to start a lady came walking up the aisle to go to her seat. This is what she had on… a fur cap, a mink stole, nylons, and high heels. She walked up and down, and left the bleachers. A little while later in the empty seat to my left, a man sat down dressed up with dress pants and a sport coat. He said, “ Holy cow, it sure is cold”, and left, never to be seen the rest of the afternoon. The seat was empty throughout the game. I wonder, did they come to the game together?
The game is set to start and all you see is steam coming up off of the field because of Coach Lombardi’s Electric Blanket. There was also all the human steam fumes from all of the fans at the game.
The Packers led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter the Packers scored again leading 14-0, but then two fumbles by the Packers and then the score was 14-10, Packers at halftime. Neither team did any scoring in the 3rd quarter. Dallas took the lead on the first play in the fourth quarter on a pass from Dan Reeves to Lance Rentzel. The cowboys now lead 17-14 with 14 minutes left to play. Chandler misses a field goal for the Packers, Dallas takes over the game for five minutes and then are forced to punt. Willie Wood catches the punt and returns to the Packer 32 yard line.
Now Starr and the Packers offense start on the 68 yard touchdown drive with four minutes and 50 seconds remaining in the game. The Packers take the ball down to the 1 yard line with 16 seconds remaining. Starr and Lombardi talk things over and Starr trots out to the huddle.
All the while, the last four minutes, fifty seconds of the game is winding down I said I have to have some type of souvenirs from this game. I looked up at the pennants flying in the cold wind. I looked at the large painted plywood helmets bolted to the fence around the inside of the field. The helmets were 3 ft. in diameter.
Starr calls the play in the huddle, the ball is snapped and Starr sneaks into the end zone scoring Lombardi’s Last at Lambeau. The Last touchdown scored for Vince Lombardi at Lambeau, with 16 seconds left in the game,
Packers 21-Dallas 17, the final score Dec. 31, 1967.
The fans are going crazy, the Packers kickoff, Dallas does nothing. The game is over. I look up at the pennants, they are all gone. I looked at the helmets inside of the field. There is one large helmet left on the fence. I jumped onto the field and ran to my right over to the only helmet left and tried to pull it off but I can’t.
I hear somebody start to cry, sitting behind the helmet, wrapped up in a blanket is a lady. She said, please don’t take the helmet. My husband went to the car for a screwdriver. We only had a pliers. I said maybe I can take it off for you, I have strong hands. I tried but had no success to loosen the nuts and bolts. I wish to this day I knew what this lady’s name was. Maybe this lady or a member of her family is reading this article, if so please answer me.
I said good luck to the lady and started to walk across the field to the player exit ramp. As I am walking across the field, I walk into the player benches. I grabbed one of the benches and carried it over to the exit ramp. As I’m walking up to the exit ramp with my sleeping bag under one arm and carrying the bench with my free hand and arm, I hit the man in front of me in his ankles and boy did he say some nice words to me. As he turned around I knew who he was and he said to me, “Bobby, where are you going with that bench?” He was Eddy Braun from Shoto, WI. I said I’m taking it home as a souvenir. Eddy said, “I’ll help you take it out. It was close quarters with all the fans leaving the game. We were lucky and got behind an ambulance to take us out of the stadium into the parking lot.
Bob Murphy, Jim, and John Perry weren't too happy with me because I had the car keys with me and they were freezing cold. Boy, we were lucky the car started! We left to go home to Two Rivers, WI.
Back in Two Rivers, WI, we stopped at “Ciha’s Bar” to show off our “Ice Bowl Souvenir.” The bench was in our living room for two months when Sue said one day, “Get that bench out of the living room Bob.”
The bench stayed chained up in my garage with a lock until 1975 when a letter was sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. The Hall of Fame was asked if they would accept the bench as a token for a 650 mile run to help fight cancer.
The run was made by; Greg Erickson of Two Rivers, WI Paul Meyers of Green Bay, WI Bruce Hendrickson of Two Rivers, WI Rick Bishop and Darryl Patterson of St Nazianz, WI. There were two drivers on the run; Bill Richter and Casey Czekala, both of Two Rivers. Bob Ayers of Manitowoc, WI also came along as he made a large wood carving of Vince Lombardi’s Last Touchdown scored for him at Lambeau Field.
The 1975 run was from Canton, OH to Walsh Field in Two Rivers, WI the site of the 1975 Vince Lombardi Touch Football Charity Tournament. The 1975 Tournament was won by the Cabooze from Minneapolis, MN.
There were other walks and runs that took place because of the Ice Bowl and the Ice Bowl Bench. Alfred Allie’s 43 mile Run, Tommy Rihas’s Unicycle Rides, Tim Schroeder’s 26 mile Vince Lombardi Marathon, Blaine Walesh’s 43 mile “ Walk for Cancer, My Way”, with one leg. Mike Rookie Chroniger’s 1000 mile Run in 1983,
Rookie and Suzanne Chroniger’s 1000 mile Run in 1985, Paul Horners Walk for Cancer Our Way, with all the special people from Holiday House. There were also two special helpers, Lee Pilger and Scott Paulo, and all the other people involved as helpers.
All of these events happened for 18 years in the City of Two Rivers, WI because of “The Ice Bowl Game” on Dec. 31, 1967.