Vincent Lombardi

BIOGRAPHY >> Vince Lombardi



Full Name: Vince Lombardi
Born: June 11, 1913 Brooklyn, New York
Died: September 3, 1970

  • He began his head coaching career at the age of 46 with the Green Bay Packers.
  • He turned the Packers around in just one year from a 1-10-1 record in 1958 to a 7-5 record in his first season in 1959
  • Over the next eight years, his Packers dominated the league, winning six divisional and five NFL championships and also winning Super Bowls I and II.
  • After his retirement from coaching in 1968 he stayed on as the General Manager of the Packers. He found being out of coaching to be boring and not for him.
  • He then took the head coaching job in Washington which lead to a 7-5-2 record in his first season.
  • He was forced out of the game when he was diagnosed as having cancer.
  • He was inducted into the Hall posthumously in 1971 after five NFL titles in 10 years with the Packers.


WHAT IT TAKES TO BE NO. 1


Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that's first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don't ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.

Every time a football player goes to play his trade he's got to play from the ground up-from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That's O.K. You've got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you've got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you're lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he's never going to come off the field second.

Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization-an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win-to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don't think it is.

It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That's why they are there-to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules-but to win.

And in truth, I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.

I don't say these things because I believe in the "brute" nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious.

...Vince Lombardi



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