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The News Website for Glendale High School

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The News Website for Glendale High School

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The Unstoppable Vince Lombardi

There’s a reason why the Super Bowl trophy is named after him!
The+Unstoppable+Vince+Lombardi

One of the most well-known and remarkable coaches ever in American football history is Vince Lombardi. His success all began as a head coach for the Green Bay Packers from 1959 to 1967, winning the first two Super Bowl Championships consecutively. Lombardi was known for his strict coaching methods, and he expected his players to give it their all during practices and on game days. 

On June 11, 1913, Lombardi was born in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn. His parents Harry Lombardi and Matilda Izzo were originally from the Italian cities of Salerno and Vietri di Potenza. Harry and Matilda had five children, Lombardi being the eldest son, followed by Madeleine, Harold, Clair, and Joe. 

Lombardi had a desire to enroll in Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception, because his mother had encouraged him to do so. He was very devout in his faith, but at the age of fifteen, he started to have a passion for football and women. Instead of throwing away his beliefs, he wanted to keep the balance fair, so he joined the football team at Fordham University.

Lombardi was the first member of his family to ever attend a university. During his football career, he was well-known for wearing number 40 and playing as a right guard. Lombardi always played hard and never backed down from any challenge on the field.

Even though Lombardi didn’t get much of the opportunity to showcase his talent on the field, he was a key part of the victorious Fordham team. Lombardi and his teammates on the offensive line received the nickname “The Seven Blocks of Granite”, because of their outstanding season in 1936. 

The Vince Lombardi Trophy

After graduating a few years later, Lombardi was unsure of his future career path. He tried attending Fordham University School of Law, but he dropped out after the first semester. Lombardi was twenty-six years old, but he had not yet discovered his future vocation. However, his career took off when he received an offer to work as an assistant coach at a high school. 

Lombardi was convinced that coaching would always be his passion rather than teaching. He showed no mercy to his players, and he was the type of coach to pressure and crush his players until they broke down. He made sure that everyone was prepared before the season even started. 

Lombardi pushed them day and night for hours, nonstop, and he was quite unique compared to other football coaches at the time. Lombardi was a gifted and brilliant coach, because he knew what to expect from each of his players and focused on the effort of the team as a whole. 

Lombardi’s career really took off in 1953, and everything he had been waiting for finally came true. The New York Giants were looking for a new head coach, and they all knew that Lombardi was the man for the job. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get the job as head coach but as offensive coordinator. The Giants were on a high roll during the 1956 season 1956, soon playing in the NFL Championship Game against the Chicago Bears.

After that season on the Giants coaching staff, Lombardi knew that the team wasn’t doing much for him at that point. He had done everything for the team to play well, but it was time for him to leave and be a head coach for another team. So that’s when the Green Bay Packers came to the rescue and offered him a head coaching position. 

Before Lombardi arrived to coach the Packers, they had just had their worst season ever, with a 1-10-1 record. Green Bay was on the verge of losing their franchise due to their awful play, but Lombardi arrived and saved their team.

Lombardi took complete control of the Packers, making him a sort of king on the football field. He launched his first training camp in August of 1959, and it was essentially a boot camp for his players. He did everything he could to help them reach their strength and endurance goals.

This bronze statue of Vince Lombardi stands outside of Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers.

Lombardi’s first championship with Green Bay came against the Bears in January 1961, where the Packers came away with the victory, 37 to 10. Everyone respected and admired Lombardi for his commitment to the team and for his leadership. Those first three years were Green Bay’s time to flourish and outperform against the other teams. The team was full of talent, but it simply needed someone to rouse them up and convince them that they could succeed.

In 1966, Green Bay beat the Dallas Cowboys by seven points to win the first-ever NFL Super Bowl Championship. Green Bay was on a roll with Lombardi as their head coach, and he made the team into one of the most successful dynasties in the history of the NFL.

Unfortunately, 1968 was Lombardi’s final season, and the last game he ever coached was Super Bowl II against the Oakland Raiders. After the Packers won that game, Tiffany & Company created the Super Bowl trophy and named it in honor of Vince Lombardi

Lombardi was a legend and an icon in NFL history, and he was eventually recognized in the NFL for the Pro Football of Hall of Fame. He taught us to never give up and to always be dedicated to achieving our goals, even if we get stuck in our future careers. 

If you are interested in learning more about the legendary Vince Lombardi, I highly recommend that you watch this NFL Film about him and his legacy. Heads up and stay tuned to the games, Nitros!

About the Contributor
Erica Hovanesian, Spotlight Editor
Erica is a sophomore at Glendale High School, and she is a part of the JV girls soccer team. This is her second year as a member of the journalism class, and she is hoping to continue this class through her senior year. Some of the hobbies are playing sports, such as soccer and swimming, reading, listening to music, and crocheting.
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