Packers Fan My Foot
John McCain famously claims that he told his Vietnamese captors only the names of the 1967 Green Bay Packers starting lineup when his prisoners asked for the names of the men in his squadron. One might expect that a true football fan might know that sort of thing (although it seems odd that he would be a fan of a football team from a small town in Wisconsin).
In McCain's best-selling 1999 memoir "Faith of My Fathers," McCain writes:
"Once my condition had stabilized, my interrogators resumed their work. Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I did not cooperate. Eventually, I gave them my ship's name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant. Pressed for more useful information, I gave the names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line, and said they were members of my squadron. When asked to identify future targets, I simply recited the names of a number of North Vietnamese cities that had already been bombed."
In 2005, A&E ran a movie version of "Faith of My Fathers."
And McCain discussed that precise clip on CNN.
The actor playing McCain, asked to name the men in his squadron, says: "Starr; Greg; McGee; Davis; Adderly; Brown; Ringo; Wood."
Cut back to real life. The CNN anchor asks McCain: "For those who don't know the story, were those NFL football players?" "That was the starting lineup of the Green Bay Packers, the first Super Bowl champions, yes," McCain responded.
The actually existing starting offensive line of the Green Bay Packers in 1967 was:
- Left Tackle Bob Skoronski
- Left Guard Gale Gillingham
- Center Ken Bowman or Bob Hyland
- Right Guard Jerry Kramer
- Right Tackle Forrest Gregg
Of these, only Gregg is mentioned in the script.
Bart Starr was the team's starting quarterback and was genuinely famous.
Max McGee was a reserve receiver whose best days were behind him (he caught 3 passes in 1967 and retired that year).
Willie Davis and Herb Adderley were starters on defense.
Tom Brown was a starting safety; Robert Brown was a defensive backup; Allen Brown was a backup tight end.
Jim Ringo played center for the Packers but was infamously traded to the Eagles in 1964.
Willie Wood was a starting defensive back.
Starting lineup? Hardly. Any Packers fan worth his salt would remember the Ringo trade.