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Willie Townes, 74. Dallas Cowboys Football Player
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Alfalfa Bill
2017-07-26 04:14:52 UTC
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Former Cowboys DE Willie Townes, who forced Bart Starr fumble in Ice Bowl, dies a day after 74th birthday


Willie Townes, the Cowboys defensive end whose Ice Bowl hit on Bart Starr forced the fumble that led to the Cowboys' first touchdown against the Packers in the 1967 NFL Championship Game, died Saturday.

He had turned 74 the previous day while in hospice care at his Mesquite home.

"He came home from the Ice Bowl and his hands were still frozen," said Sandra Clark, Townes' ex-wife. "Then the skin began peeling off. They hurt him for the rest of his life. But Willie had a high threshold for pain."


Townes, a second-round pick out of the University of Tulsa in the 1966 NFL draft, played only three seasons for the Cowboys. He started eight games as a rookie in 1966. During the 1967 season, he played left end alongside Jethro Pugh, Bob Lilly and George Andrie on the Cowboys defensive line. It was Andrie, the right end, who picked up the fumble by Starr, the Packers quarterback, and rambled seven yards for the Cowboys' first score late in the second quarter. The Packers famously won the game 21-17 in frigid, below-zero temperatures in Green Bay.

A hamstring injury limited the 6-4, 260-pound Townes to only five games in 1968. The injury forced him to sit out the 1969 season. He was traded to the New Orleans Saints in 1970, the final season of his NFL career.

Clark said her former husband, who had two knee replacements and a shoulder replacement, suffered a recent heart attack and was later discovered to have pancreatic cancer.

Townes and Clark had one son, Willie Jr., who played football at Bishop Dunne High School. Like his father, he was a defensive lineman.

"My father was an honorable, trustworthy man," said Willie Jr. 45. "When he said he would do something it was as good as done."

In addition to Willie Jr., Townes is survived by his wife, Kandi.



https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-cowboys/cowboys/2017/07/25/former-cowboys-de-willie-townes-sacked-bart-starr-ice-bowl-dies-day-74th-birthday
Michael OConnor
2017-07-26 05:24:37 UTC
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Post by Alfalfa Bill
"He came home from the Ice Bowl and his hands were still frozen," said Sandra Clark, Townes' ex-wife. "Then the skin began peeling off. They hurt him for the rest of his life. But Willie had a high threshold for pain."
The referee went to blow a whistle to start that game and it was so cold the metal whistle froze to his lips and he pulled a piece of skin off his lip removing the whistle. After that incident, the referees stayed away from the whistle, using hand signals instead.

A number of the guys who played in that game suffered from frostbite-related issues for years after that game, which is known as the Ice Bowl. It may have been the coldest game in NFL history, the two other games that are contenders are the 1981 AFC Championship Game in Cincinnati when the city got hit with a freak arctic storm the day before and the wind chill was -59, and the other was the 1980 Raiders Browns playoff game in Cleveland, famous for the Red Right 88 play. (The late Steve Sabol of NFL Films was at both the Ice Bowl and the game in Cleveland, and swore the Cleveland game was even colder than the Ice Bowl.)

Here is the NFL Films highlight film for the 1967 NFL Championship, the Ice Bowl. The Townes hit on Starr occurs at the five minute mark:



It was one of the half dozen most famous games in pro football history.
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