1966 Pro Bowl Program

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Played on January 16, 1966, at the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a crowd of 60,124.

The coach of the Eastern Conference, Blanton Collier of the Cleveland Browns, used the domination of the West that year as a rallying cry for the Eastern team as they prepared to take the field against the Western Conference stars coached by Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers. During the 1965 season, the Western Conference had dominated the Eastern Conference — Western teams had won the league championship as well as 13 of the 14 regular season inter-conference games. This apparent domination extended to the college ranks as well with the West team winning the East-West college all-star game and the Rose Bowl.

At the same time, Lombardi felt his West squad was at an unfair disadvantage in the game due to a denial by the league of a last minute appeal to use his own team’s quarterback, Bart Starr, in the game. Starr had previously been scratched due to injury, but had recovered sufficiently to play.

Dale Meinert of the St. Louis Cardinals was named the “lineman of the game” while the Cleveland Browns’ fullback Jim Brown was awarded “back of the game” honors for the third time in his career. Brown carried 21 times for 65 yards. One story line of the game, the anticipated showdown between Brown and rookie Gale Sayers of the Bears, never materialized when Lombardi surprisingly called only a single play for Sayers, a handoff which Sayers took for 15 yards.

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1966 Pro Bowl Highlights

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