Packer Report Classic: Adderley's greatest memory

This year is the 25th anniversary of Packer defensive back Herb Adderley's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Former Packer Report writer Jim Burgess wrote a column about Adderley's greatest memory in the Feb. 28, 1980 issue of Packer Report. Here is Burgess' column as part of the Packer Report Classic series:

Being Drafted No. 1 Still Adderley's Greatest Memory
It's been a month since Herb Adderley's selection into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Canton, Ohio, but the former star Green Bay Packer cornerback remains on cloud nine.

"When I got selected, I felt it was icing on the cake," said Adderley. "The feeling's still there because things keep happening to remind me of it."

While Adderley still gets a great amount of self-satisfaction out of his selection into pro football's elite shrine, he emphasiized, "I feel most proud because I feel I repaid coach Lombardi for what he did for me."

despite a history of making big plays, numerous and memorable enough to be reminisced about whenever old Packer buffs gather, Adderley still claims his biggest thrill was being drafted number one out of Michigan State in 1961.

Adderley was projected as a running back and was tried there and at flanker before distinguishing himself when switched to defense.

It only took a week after Adderley's switch for him to begin paying dividends with a big Thanksgiving Day interception against Detroit. he became a permanent fixture in the Packer secondary, earning the reputation of a "big play" master for nine years before being traded to Dallas in 1970.

For the record, he won all-NFL honors five times in 1962, '63, '65, '66, and '69. He registered 48 interceptions, returning them for 1,046 yards and a 21.8 yard average in his 12-year career. His seven touchdowns on interceptions are surpassed only by the still-active Ken Houston in the NFL record book.

Adderley doubled as a kickoff return specialist during most of his Packer career and wound up with a 25.7-yard average. Included was a 103-yard return against Baltimore in 1962 and 98-yard jaunt against Los Angeles in 1963.

Post-season play was commonplace for Adderley. He participated in five Pro Bowl games during the '60s and played in four of the first six Super Bowl games, collecting three championship rings (two with Green Bay and one with Dallas). He played in seven NFL title games from 1961-71, and was on the winning team in each one.

Today, Adderley is an account executive and does public relations work for a paif of Milwaukee radio stations, WLUM-FM and WAWA-AM.

Adderley handles all music buys and contracts, and coordinates all personal appearances for the stations, owned by his close friend, former Packer defensive end standout Willie Davis.

Because the record industry is so competitive, the exposure a record or album can get on the air often spells its life or death. For this reason, the promotion of a record or album is vitally important.

Part of Adderley's job entails working with the record promotion people, many times producing 60-second commercials and making sure the record or cuts of the album get on the air.

Besides his current busy schedule, like Davis, Adderley will also begin public relations and consultant work for the Schlitz Brewery of Milwaukee next month.

Adderley is also becoming active in community life. Along with former Packer defensive end Lionel Aldridge, he's been touring the Milwaukee Public Schools, speaking at assemblies on the importance of education.

Also on the agenda for Adderley is some volunteer work with the local Boy's Club. "I grew up in the Philadelphia Boy's Club, and I feel it's time I paid back some of my debt," he related.

Adderley's wife, Barbara, currently lives in Philadelphia with their 12-year-old daughter, Toni. The Adderley's are separated.

Because of his heavy work and personal appearance load, the only recreational activity Adderley has time for is jogging. He related he can comfortably run three miles, and that he's currently about five pounds under his playing weight of 195.

Adderley said he tried to watch the Packers every chance he could get. When asked to comment about Packer fans when he played, he said, "I enjoyed them very much. I can honestly say that all the time I was there, I don't remember them booing an opponent."

"Frustration" is the way Adderley described the current fans' feelings toward the Packers. "People haven't gotten over the "Glory Years." they keep waking up hoping that they (the Glory Years) return."

Adderley feels that the Pack is in good hands with Bart Starr, whom he calls a close friend. "If he can get some people, he will get the most out of them," he said.

Willie Wood was listed as Adderley's closest friend during his playing days with the Pack. "No question about it. You can't play so close together with someone so long and not be that way."

Adderley felt Wood was in a "Go for broke" situation with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, who he was named head coach of after Forrest Gregg departed to take the Cincinnati Bengal head post. "He could have gone with Gregg, but decided the opportunity was too good to pass up in Toronto," Adderley said.

When asked what it was like to play for both Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry of Dallas, Adderley's remarks were like night and day.

"There was a total difference," he stressed. "Coach Lombardi was close to his players. He was a teacher, a psychologist, a spiritual leader, and a close friend."

Adderley continued, "He recognized the individual differences in people and treated them as such."

As for Landry, Adderley's description wasn't as kind. "He was a cold, off-to-himself type of guy. In my three years there, I talked to him only about 15 minutes."

Adderley continued, "He put people into categories. For example, he treated the Blacks the same, as if he was still back in 1961."

Asked to compare cornerbacks of today with his time, Adderley emphasized, "It's easier to play cornerback today because so much zone is played. There isn't so much quickness or agility required as there is playing man-to-man."

Adderley felt Pittsburgh's Mel Blount and Denver's Louis Wright came to mind most in naming people with characteristics similar to his.

As for quarterbacks, Adderley said, "They have to have receivers and Terry Bradshaw has Stallworth (Jon) and Swann (Lynn). But even without them, he's outstanding."

Adderley was asked about how he felt about being named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame before the Packer Hall of Fame, a question that many fans have wondered about.

"I don't know that much about it," he admitted. "I did think about it and wondered when my name was going to come up. I do feel I contributed as much to the Packer Glory Years as others."

Indeed, the record shows that the left cornerback on the Modern Era All-time Packer team did contribute as much as others to those great Packer teams.

Therefore, don't bet on Herb Adderley looking in from the outside of the Packer Hall of Fame for too long.

Editor's note: Adderley was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1981.


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