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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return to Packerland, 1967
I read this book when it first came out, ca. 1968, when I was a high school senior in Racine, Wisconsin. I had been a fanatic Packer backer throughout the glorious early and middle 60s, but by 1968, Lombardi was no longer the coach, only the GM (and besides, I was now interested in other things). He would move on to the Redskins for the 1969 season before dying of...
Published on November 22, 2006 by Carl Hoffman

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Inside View of daily grind and players approach to gaining an edge
Anyone wanting to get inside the mentality and life of a pro football player, this account by Jerry Krammer does it really well.
Published 7 months ago by Ken Nelson


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return to Packerland, 1967, November 22, 2006
By 
Carl Hoffman (Cleveland Heights,, OH United States) - See all my reviews
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I read this book when it first came out, ca. 1968, when I was a high school senior in Racine, Wisconsin. I had been a fanatic Packer backer throughout the glorious early and middle 60s, but by 1968, Lombardi was no longer the coach, only the GM (and besides, I was now interested in other things). He would move on to the Redskins for the 1969 season before dying of cancer in the fall of 1970, so INSTANT REPLAY captures the end of an era, his last hurrah as coach in Green Bay.

As with another reviewer below, the Packers of the 60s have marked my life, especially Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke, and their leader, the great Coach, and I have always viewed INSTANT REPLAY as the period or exclamation point on my early infatuation with them.

Besides its subject matter, INSTANT REPLAY possesses its own literary merit. Kramer is clearly highly intelligent, and since intelligence is not stereotypically associated with the brute violence of the NFL, it's interesting to read his reflections on life in general and life in football, not to mention the ways he perfected his blocking skills. He talks about how his helmet was his best weapon in warding off defensive linemen--which certainly must have done something to his braincells and neck muscles. I also love the running joke about Lombardi's almost-weekly proclamation: "Gentlemen, this is the start of the big push!" as he exhorted the Packers to still-greater efforts in a long painful slog of a season. There's also an interesting description of how the Packers' veteran blockers made a rookie look slow--the vets had played together for so long they anticipated the snap, while the inexperienced new guy waited for it, losing a fraction of a second in the process.

And there's a mystery. With third and goal and 16 seconds left in the Ice Bowl, the famous sub-zero championship against the Dallas Cowboys, Kramer states flatly that Starr told the huddle, "31 wedge, and I'll carry the ball." This contradicts the more widely-accepted version, that Starr kept the QB sneak a secret, so everyone thought he would hand off to the fullback. What really happened? I would love to hear Kramer's side of this story.

INSTANT REPLAY is a wise reflection on NFL football and its greatest coach at a time when the sport was on the verge of making the transition to the overhyped, fabulously-profitable carnival it is today. For several years after it was published, it was the best-selling sports book of all time. Rereading it, it's easy to see why.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a Super Bowl Winner, November 3, 2006
By 
Dale Rhines (Alexandria, VA United States) - See all my reviews
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First a disclaimer: I first read this book when I was a kid- maybe 10 years old- I think my dad got a copy of it when he bought a razor or razor blades- something like that. This book turned me into a Green Bay Packer fan for life. 35 or so years later- I still love the team- lived and died with them during the lean 1970's and loved them when Favre led them to the Super Bowl. Funny how something you can read as a child can impact you that way. Ok, the book itself- a classic- funny, touching, moving- it really is a great peek behind the curtain of pro football. Jerry Kramer does a terrific job of showing what his job is like as a guard for the Packers. His description of Vince Lombardi, the great coach of the Packers, is wonderful and the way he talks about his job and his life really sets this apart from most sports book. It mgiht be the finest book ever written about football (though Friday Night Lights and Paper Lion are also pretty good). The book holds up even though it is almost 40 years old. It is written in diary form and is an easy read. The season it captures, the 1967 Super Bowl winning season, helps Kramer, but I suspect the book would have been just as good if the Packers would have been bad that year. Kramer's voice rings true and he brings us into the arena- he shares with us the good and the bad. This book belongs on the shelf of anyone who likes football or likes books about sport. It really is a classic of the genre.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Inside Look at the 1967 Green Bay Packers, September 5, 2006
I'm a big professional football fan and love reading about football. Jerry Kramer's Green Bay Packers diary - which details the 1967 season of the Green Packers, was quite an enjoyable and educational read for me.

For starters, the Green Bay Packers in 1967 were clearly the best team in pro football but were showing signs of aging. This season saw the infamous Ice Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Championship where Jerry Kramer threw the key block to get Bart Starr in for a touchdown, securing a trip to Super Bowl II. And of course this year also saw the Packers win its second straight Super Bowl and the legendary coach Vince Lombari's retirement from the Green Bay Packers.

Kramer's diary is pretty much just that - a retelling of what he went through during the 1967 season. Some things are familiar. Don't let the hyperbole or nostalgia fool you, money WAS a big issue in professional football back even if the contracts were not that large. Kramer talks a lot about money and business issues in his book. Kramer also tells us a bit about what it was like to be a player under Coach Lombardi - who drove the players relentlessly and made them better than they otherwise would have been both as individuals and a team. The players clearly had a love-hate, father-son relationship with the coach. Also, some of the stories about the playboys on the team like Max McGee and Paul Hornung are humorous. In today's NFL it seems the shenanigans of players involve guns and criminality. On this team, it was just booze and chicks, good old boys having fun.

And of course it was interesting to see how Kramer thought of the upcoming opponents - both individuals and teams - as he prepared to face them.

Maybe the most interesting aspect of the book is a bit of introspection on Kramer's part. He was an older player (31), by football standards, and feeling it. He often wondered why he went through the pain of pro football and it mainly came down to a simple fact - he was a football player. While he didn't define himself totally by football, in essence that is what he felt he was. Of course the money and the championships made it worth it.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book to professional football fans.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatness, December 17, 2006
By 
There will never be another great team like the Packers of the 1960's for a number of reasons. The only way to relive this era is through the numerous books that rehash the Lombardi dynasty. This book has to be one of the cornerstones of reliving that era with its candid yet humble prose giving an inside view of the Packer locker room. Jerry Kramer, who resents the 'dumb jock' stereotype of football player, composed a well written memior of football in "Instant Replay".

From the days after Superbowl I to Lombardi's retirement after Superbowl II, this book takes readers through the entire 1967 season. Lombardi is known for the grind players were made to endure in his training camps. Kramer tells what the players are feeling as speculation begins that this would be Lombardi's final season coaching in Green Bay. Being the number one target of the NFL after being champion for the last two years makes the regular season a grind. While the Packers did not play their best in the regular season, they turn their game up a notch in the playoffs. Often voted the greatest game in NFL history, Kramer devotes significant time to the Ice Bowl. This is significant because Kramer had a key role in the game and this book marks an early admission that he may have moved a little prematurely. After the Ice Bowl, the Superbowl almost seemed anticlimactic.

Two years after the 1967 season, Vince Lombardi died of cancer and many of the pieces of the Packer dynasty were in retirement. This book is a great way to relive the magic of the Packer dynasty.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Cowboys Like Instant Replay, August 7, 2008
By 
Legalsea (Fort Worth, TX) - See all my reviews
Born and raised in Fort Worth, I have been a Dallas Cowboys fan for decades. I was 13 years old and watched every minute of the "Ice Bowl", and still feel a twinge of regret over Bart Starr's quarterback sneak (helped by the blocking of Jerry Kramer) that won the game for Green Bay.

I bought Instant Replay the year it came out, and I read it every two or three years, to get me geared up for the football season. My first edition copy is well worn and beloved.

Indeed, reading the other reviews, I am struck by how many people also admit to re-reading this book. And no wonder. Mr. Kramer simply wrote a beautiful love-story about football. You get the feel of the locker room, of the players preparing for each game, and of the game itself. Names from the past float by, such as Alex Karras and Bob Lilly. Vince Lombardi is huge, of course, and the stories about him are simply fun to read (interestingly, Vince would not allow any photographs of him in Jerry's book, since Vince planned on writing his own book). As others have noted, the Packers were an aging team, and Jerry writes vividly at one point about how, as he gazed around the locker room, he saw players getting shots, getting taped up, etc., all evidence of their aging, breaking bodies.

Instant Replay transcends team loyalty. Any fan of football will enjoy this book. Buy a good copy and be prepared to read it several times over the years.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the NFL's best teams in their greatest season, June 18, 2007
I am not a Packers fan, yet I found this book fascinating. Jerry Kramer has opened up the mystique of America's favorite spectator sport to the public in "Instant Replay." And what a cast of characters! So many legendary figures of the game participated in this single season: Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, and Ray Nitschke, to name a few. After the fabled "ice bowl" league championship game against the Cowboys, the Super Bowl vs the Raiders was almost anticlimactic. Football fans of any age would truly enjoy this personal account of a remarkable team in their most memorable season.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for hard-core football fans, February 20, 2008
By 
Sheryl A. Lemma (Sterling, VA United States) - See all my reviews
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This is a classic look at one of the greatest football teams of all time, headed by one of the greatest coaches of all time: the incomparable Vince Lombardi.

The book started out with a desire to keep a journal of a year in football from training camp through the end. Serendipitously, this particular year turned out to be the third straight (and unprecented) championship year for the Green Bay Packers -- and featured a spectacular end-of-the-game play by the author.

I wouldn't call myself a rabid football fan (that would be my husband), but this was an excellent book for anyone with a passing interest in football.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Football Classic, May 7, 2007
By 
Instant Replay is an essential book for every football fan. The tradition of the NFL and the inside story of the Green Bay Packers in the Vince Lombardi era come to life with a wonderful blend of humor and pro football detail in this great book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing How It Still Holds Up!!!, October 30, 2006
By 
Mario Lawrence (Waldorf, MD United States) - See all my reviews
I read this book 1970 and re-read it a dozen times through my teens. I was thrilled to see that it has just been re-issued. It is truly one of the greatest sports books ever written. You will not be disappointed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate tribute that can be given a non-fiction book..., September 4, 2000
By A Customer
...is to say that it is well-written enough that it will hold a reader with no particular interest in the subject matter.
Such is the case with "Instant Replay". The earlier reviewer is right -- this is without a doubt, and by far, the best book on pro football ever written. It is very engaging, informative, and humorous.
(With due respect to Kramer, I suspect that Schaap is probably 90% responsible for the excellence of the book. His writing brings about the result I alluded to in my first sentence).
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Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer
Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer by Jerry Kramer (Hardcover - September 5, 2006)
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