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When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2006

    Great book..ha..ha..

    I believe VInce Lombardi was the greastest coach in the history of the NFL. The theme for the novel i read is 'if you believe in yourself you have the courage, determination, dedication,competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are most important, you can accomplish anything'. THe reason why i chose this theme was because his whole life he had been through so many struggles and the only things that he had were his courage, determination, dedication competitive drive, and the will to sacrifice for the things that were most important. Vincent Thomas Matilda's five children. Vince was raised in a catholic faith and studied priethood for two years before tranferring to St. Francis prepartory High School where he was a star fullback on the football team. Vince was accepted at New York City Fordham University in 1933. After a year one the freshman team, varsity football coach Jim Crowley made Vince a gaurd on Fordham's strong offensive line, which was called the seven blocks of granite. he was successful off the field as well, graduating with a buisness major in 1937. For the next two years Vince worked at a finance company, took night classes at Fordham's law scholl and played semi pro football with Delaware's Willmington Clippers. In 1939 he took a teaching and coaching job at St. Cecilia High School in Inglewood, News Jersey Vince taught algebra, physics and chemistry and coached their football and basketball teams. He married Marie Plantiz in 1940 qwith whom he had a son Vince Jr. and a daughter Susan. Vince left St. Cecilia in 1947 to coach at Fordham University. he spent one year coaching Fordham's football team and in the next as an assistant coach for the varsity team. Earl Blaik, football coach for the united states military academy at west point[and considered the best coach in the county at the time, hired Vince to manage their Varsity defensive line in 1949]. Vince regularly woirked seventeen hours a day with Blaik whos expertis helped built up leadership skills, Blaik aught and Vince to stick with simple blocking and tackling players strives for perfect execution and conduct himself respectfully on the field. Vince left Westpoint in 1954 for assistant coaching positions with the New York Giants, under head coach, and former colleague Jim Lee Howell. Vince was in charge of offensive stratagy for the Giants while coach Tom Landry led the defense. Within three years of Vince's arrival, however, the Giants were a championship team. For each of the five years that Vince coached the Giants didn't have a loosing season. By 1958, Vince was tired of being an assistant. He accepted a chalenging five-year contract in Wisconsin as the general manager and head coach of the constant loosers, the Green Bay Packers. At the time, the Packers had won only one game the previous year and Vince saw them as a chance to prove himself and his coaching abilities. Vince held the first of his intense training camps to gear up for the 1959 season. 'Dancing is a contact sport' he told the Packers, 'Football is a hitting sport'. Vincce expected obedience, dedication, and 110% effort from each man, but he also made a promise to them if they obeyed his rules and used his method, they would be a championship team. Three years later, that promise became a reality. At Lambeau Field in Green Bay on December 31, 1961, Vince watched proudly as the Packers defeaated the New York Giants 37-0 for the National Football League Champoinship. Despite long hours and fierc competition, Vince never put forth anything but his best effort. Just as he drilled his men to be the best players in professional football, he challenged himself. Vince constantly looked to make new plays and game stratagies, even changing his players' jersey numbers before a game to confuse the other team. The Packers' offensive line became so powerful, their run name was the 'Green

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2004

    Unbelievable!!!!!

    This was by far, the best sports biography that I have ever read. I couldn't put the book down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    The most over riding thing about this book is that like the

    The most over riding thing about this book is that like the subject - we will never see another time (or person) like it again.
    Reading this is about what we all wish sports was still like; that is about the sport. This puts the name on the front of the jersey where it should be; FRONT.
    The idea of reading nostalja never comes to mind. You just find yourself wondering how we got to the point that the name on the back of players uniforms is the only thing that now matters.
    I don't know that a great deal of really new detail comes to the fore front, but the way it is all interwolven is truely wonderful. Vince the Icon becomes human and in that way, understandable.
    For sports fans it is a classic read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2001

    Entertaining, Insightful Book

    I thought this was an excellent book. It is very informative while at the same time fun to read. It gives the reader great detail in all aspects of Lombardi's life. Most importantly to me was how it shows the human side of Lombardi, the imperfect and insecure and uncool side, the side that was often obsessive to a fault. In many ways, this book lowered the 'glow' of Lombardi's legend in my mind, and that's why I liked it. Like other reviewers mentioned, it shows us Lombardi's will to succeed, but also seems to beg the question 'Was success on the football field worth failure off of it?' I'm referring to such aspects as his family relationships. All in all, a really good book that I went through in only 4 days.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2000

    Great Read.

    If you want to know how to succeed in life. Then this is the book to read. This is also a great book to read if you aspire to teach or coach a team.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2000

    Outstanding!!!

    Maraniss has done a great job writing a complete biography of a very complex man. Lombardi was has the drive that we are missing in today's society. Maraiss tells a tale about a legend that compells others to drive to victory.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2000

    A Must Read

    You don't have to like football or even Lombardi to enjoy this book. It shows the willingness to strive and a great philosophy on life. This American icon has the morals that we are missing in today's society. Also what i love about this book, it shows Lombardi's faults to show he is human, and in some aspects shouldn't be worshiped. This book tells about Lombardi, the myth and Lombardi, the man.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2000

    A Must Read!

    For those who grew up in the 60's and 70's and loved football, this book will bring back memories from a time in sports we all long for today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2000

    Lombardi's Life Evokes the American Dream

    This book was a joy to read and was hard to put aside. Maraniss captures accurately the experience at Fordham and at West Point. Even better, he shares what it was like to live in a large family in New York in the 30's and 40's. Finally, Maraniss convincingly weaves the thread of Lombardi's life and career as influenced by the Four Horsemen of ND, the Seven Blocks of Granite, Red Blaik, and the Jesuit tradition at Fordham.

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    Posted April 25, 2013

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