The Legend Lombardi
Tonight the Green Bay Packers lost in the first round of the playoffs on a last second play. Snow capped the rooftops surrounding Lambeau Field and barely a hint of red could be found in the depths of any tube. Once again the tundra was frozen. Though frigid, it was not nearly as cold as the Ice Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys in 1967 when Bart Starr lunged Green Bay and history across the goal line on the last play of the game. A week later the Packers won their 3rd straight championship and the name Lombardi became legend, and synonymous with football. Not just the NFL and not just in the memory of Sundays past, but on every sandlot and every back yard, every Friday night or Saturday afternoon and every practice every day since, and forevermore. Every thought and every dream that is football is cast beneath the shadow of the flickering lights of a darkened film room and the mad scientist who once defined life with an X and an O and a greater Commitment To Excellence.
What was born on the broken chalk of time and in the dust of Wisconsin soil so many years ago still breathes in every in the rhythm of every cadence of every down played. No coach or player has been, or ever will be immune from the clock of Lombardi time. He not only changed the game, but also made it the standard by which all others are measured, and a legacy that will last forever.
“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.”