Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Reusse: Everything stopped but the NFL following JFK assassination

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 21, 2013 - 11:56 PM

“We would stay in this low-priced motel out by the ballpark on Saturday nights,’’ receiver Jerry Reichow said. “We were walking through the little lobby to the bus, and glancing at the TV, and somebody said, ‘Hey, did you see that? Somebody just shot that guy.’ ”

The somebody was Jack Ruby, and that guy was Lee Harvey Oswald, JFK’s ­assassin.

“We had seen a lot of people die on television in cowboy and gangster shows, but we never had seen someone actually get shot in real time, in front of our eyes,’’ Zamberletti said.

Flatley said that was all ­anyone was talking about in the locker room before the game — Ruby shooting Oswald.

“And then Van Brocklin came into the room and gave us hell, as only he could do,’’ Flatley said. “He was yelling, ‘Forget about that stuff; start thinking about the Lions, you bleepity-bleeps.’ ”

CBS had made a decision not to televise sports that weekend. Stadium music was a minor issue in 1963, but the Vikings chose to play none. The St. Louis Park Parkettes, the high school cheerleading group, did not appear at the game.

“The Lions were more a veteran team and they didn’t bring much that day,’’ Zamberletti said. “Our players were younger, they had won only three games, and they had Van Brocklin screaming at them. Our guys played our rear ends off.’’

The Vikings still trailed 31-27 in the final four minutes, when quarterback Fran Tarkenton mustered a 68-yard drive ­featuring Flatley, the receiver from Northwestern who would be selected as UPI Rookie of the Year.

Flatley caught passes of 31 and 35 yards on the drive. Tommy Mason scored the winning touchdown, backing into the end zone from 2 yards.

“There really wasn’t much of a celebration,’’ Flatley said. “The crowd was smaller (28,763) and it had been silent for much of the afternoon.

“Remember, the fans were far away from the football field in that ballpark. I’ve talked to people who were at the game and told me they could hear the offensive and defensive signals all afternoon.’’

JFK’s funeral was held the next day in Washington. “John-John saluting the casket,’’ Zamberletti said. “That’s what I can’t forget. Broke our hearts.’’

Patrick Reusse can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on AM-1500.

  • related content

  • The Vikings’ Paul Flatley, catching a key pass against the Lions, said he’s heard that JFK press secretary Pierre Salinger gave his blessing to play.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Toronto - WP: A. Sanchez 5 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson 4
Washington - WP: D. Fister 4 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: M. Latos 2
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 2 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: R. Hernandez 4
Boston - WP: A. Webster 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer 2
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 0
Miami - WP: J. Turner 4 FINAL
Houston - LP: C. McHugh 2
Chicago WSox - LP: R. Belisario 3 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: J. Burton 4
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 10 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 3
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: K. Hendricks 0
Detroit - LP: J. Chamberlain 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 2
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 7 FINAL
Colorado - LP: R. Brothers 5
Baltimore - WP: T. McFarland 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: Y. Medina 2
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 3 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 8
Oakland - WP: S. Kazmir 9 FINAL
Texas - LP: M. Mikolas 3
Los Angeles - WP: H. Ryu 4 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: J. Peavy 3
FC Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
Portland 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
Calgary 26 FINAL
Edmonton 22
Winnipeg 23 FINAL
Brt Columbia 6
Ottawa 23 FINAL
Hamilton 33
Toronto 9 FINAL
Saskatchewan 37
Minnesota 76 FINAL
Connecticut 65
Atlanta 67 FINAL
Washington 77
Chicago 69 FINAL
Tulsa 79
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question