Chuck Mercein, former NFL fullback, is best known for his key role in the “Ice Bowl,” the famous 1967 Championship game in which Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the final seconds of play. On “the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field,” Mercein accounted for 34 yards on Packers’ game-winning 68-yard drive. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated the following week (Jan. 8, 1968).
Mercein’s success with Lombardi in the Ice Bowl (and subsequent victory in Superbowl II) was all the more sweet considering his football career almost came to an end at the beginning of the ’67 season. An All-American and All-Ivy League selection from Yale University, Mercein was the rare Ivy Leaguer to be drafted to the NFL. The New York Giants selected the 6-foot-2, 225-pound fullback in the third round of the 1965 draft, joining a group of Giant rookies known as “The Baby Bulls.” Mercein led the Giants in rushing in 1966. However, Giants’ coach Allie Sherman (who reportedly didn’t like the fact that Mercein was from an Ivy League school) released Mercein in 1967. Rather than throw in the towel, Mercein sucked up his pride and played several weeks for a semi-professional team called The Westchester Bulls. Low and behold, mid-way through the ’67 season, Mercein received an unexpected phone call from the legendary coach Vince Lombardi inviting him to join the world champion Green Bay Packers. Following the Packers, Mercein went on to play for Coach Lombardi at The Washington Redskins and finished his career with the New York Jets.
Chuck Mercein enjoyed a 45 year career on Wall Street, working as an Institutional Sales Trader during the off-seasons while he was playing football, and continuing on after his retirement from the game in 1971. Mercein’s career on Wall Street echoed his experience in the NFL. He never gave up in the face of daunting challenges.
On the playing field, on the trading desk, and as a father and grandfather, Chuck Mercein has many inspiring stories to tell of overcoming obstacles through tenacity, perseverance, and, as Coach Lombardi would say a commitment to excellence.
1967 NFL Championship-“IceBowl”