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Years later, Nitschke recalled the Packers' intensity on that New Year's Eve afternoon. "We knew we were kind of at the end. We were getting older, and some of the guys, like Taylor and Hornung, weren't around anymore. But that particular team and that particular year, we committed ourselves to winning that third championship in a row. That's something no one else has ever done. We knew we were playing against a young, strong Cowboys team, but when we went out there, we went out there with the idea that we were going to win. We believed that."
Running onto the field, Nitschke was struck less by the frozen field than he was the frozen fans, a standing room only crowd of 50,861 who ignored the subzero temperatures and rocked the historic stadium with their cheers. Across the ice-slick field, Nitschke looked up in the stands, saw the clouds of condensed air pouring forth from thousands of faces, and thought the least the Packers could do was win the game for them and send them off to the pneumonia ward happy.