Before The Lombardi Trophy: The Man in Full

Feb 06, 2018 938

BY: Nick Murray

In one’s seventy-fifth year, one comes to realize that much of one’s more vivid life experience is just history – if not myth – to most other (read: younger) people. As I do every year, I reflected on this again on Sunday, when the Eagles were presented with the Lombardi trophy, professional football’s highest award. The trophy has borne that name ever since 1971, to honor a man who had died the previous year: Brooklyn’s own Vincent T. Lombardi, surely the greatest football coach of his time, and one of the greatest coaches of any sport in the twentieth century.

What do today’s Americans – even serious football fans – really know of him? Perhaps not much beyond his team’s record and his own few famous aphorisms, but that’s the way of the world. So there is a lot to be learned about this extraordinary American character and his times in Dave Maraniss’s richly rewarding 1999 biography When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi.

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