THE ICE BOWL AND POKER. I have never seen mentioned that on the last play of the Ice Bowl, Green Bay ran the ball for a touchdown in a situation when logic said that they should not do so. Dallas had to have been surprised. Green Bay had the ball on the Dallas one yard line with 16 seconds to go. If the running play they chose failed, it would be the last play of the game because the clock would have run out. If they had chosen a pass play, and it was incomplete, the clock would have stopped by rule, and Green Bay would have had another play to try to score.
In other words, Green Bay by passing would have had two chances to score; by running, they only had one. Running was an irrational choice. Sam Gardner quotes one of the Green Bay players that the Green Bay coach, the legendary Vince Lombardi, that: “It was almost as if he said, ‘If we don’t get this yard, we don’t deserve to win.’ He was that confident in our team, that we could do what we needed to do to finish that drive.” I think that is the accepted explanation for Lombardi’s decision. It is consistent with Lombardi’s approach to football.
However, what if Lombardi surmised that he would have an element of surprise on the running play because Dallas would not expect him to give himself only one chance rather than two?