johnlink ranks LOMBARDI (2010)

As a huge football fan, I obviously am aware of the legend of Vince Lombardi, widely considered the best head coach of all time. As a Patriots fan, I constantly hear Lombardi’s numbers as a basis of comparison  for Bill Belichick. But I’ve never had a full grasp of the scope or story of Lombardi’s greatness. HBO Films produced a documentary on the subject, and I saw it as an opportunity to fill that knowledge gap.

I watched LOMBARDI (2010) on 12.20.10. It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

Ironically, I watched this the day after the Patriots beat the Packers 31-28. The analysts all talked about how the Patriots play their game, and wait for the other team to screw up. And sure, enough the Packers did.

So the next day I’m watching this documentary, and they get to the part where Lombardi faced longtime friend Tom Landry in the last Championship game before the Super Bowl era. One of the players on the team said, basically, Lombardi knew Landry’s offense was too complex. And if you just waited long enough, they’d get in their own way. Sure enough, it happened.

From a pure story standpoint, this is a great documentary. You learn everything you’d hope to, and the pace is fast and furious. The format is a standard talking head, linear, format. But then, you wouldn’t expect an avant garde documentary on one of the most blunt and straightforward coaches of all time.

But it was great learning about his stance against racism, and where it was born out of. It was cool to hear that the Ice Bowl wasn’t caused simply by weather, but also because of the field’s heating system. I also didn’t realize he worked for the Redskins at the end of his career. That chapter is so seldom told, and I think that people want to remember the perfection of his Packers legend, and choose to ignore it.

His story is that of integrity, fierce dedication, and ambition. He willed himself and his team to win, and he was simply the best that ever did it. He was all football all the time at the expense of his personal life, sadly as it turned out. But the way his former players speak of him speaks to the love they will always have for him. I’m so happy to have seen this, to have learned about a man who is so important to the history of the NFL.





~ by johnlink00 on December 20, 2010.

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