Saturday, September 26, 2009

This is a football

"Bowl games" got their name for the shape of football stadiums, notably the Rose bowl in Pasadena. Bowl games come at the end of the season and are played between college conference rivals.
Except one.

In American professional football, the long season is culminated by a championship game, the last game of the season. This game is referred to as "The Super Bowl". It comes after a few pre-season games, 16 regular season games, division playoffs and conference playoffs. The two conference champions square off for the National Football League championship game in the Super Bowl and, supposedly, the result shows who the very best American professional football team on the planet is. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the current American professional football champions.

As with any championship game, a trophy is awarded. In the big games, the trophy is usually pretty old and is passed on for generations. Such as the Stanley Cup in professional Ice Hockey.

For American professional football, the "Superbowl" winner is awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
For those of you not familiar, Vince Lombardi was the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers for many years. His name was (and still is) synonymous with hard work and dedication to one's purpose.

Coach Lombardi was a hard taskmaster, and his word was not to be questioned. He was not an easy man to be around, especially for his players, since he was so single-minded.

Vince Lombardi, above all, believed in the proper - even automatic - execution of the fundamentals of football. It is said that, at the very first pre-season practice of each year, he would gather all his players around him in a circle - men who had had years of experience, usually, playing professional football at the highest levels of skill in the game - and would hold up football for them to look at. "Gentlemen," he would say, "This is a football." Vince didn't want to leave anyone behind, so he started that basically, as insulting as it probably was to many of them. But, as I said, you didn't talk back to Vince. You kept your mouth shut and listened.

The story is told of a little-used pass receiver (who probably had little to lose by mouthing off) interrupting coach Lombardi after he had just made the statement, "This is a football."

"Wait, coach! Not so fast!"

I don't know if Coach Lombardi laughed or not. Probably not.

Anyway, here are some quotes attributed to Vince Lombardi.

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”

“Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price.”

“I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious”

“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”

“It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.”

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”


  1. And are you at the beginning, middle or end of the season now? Because I'm not allowed to Google.

    I like his quotes. And also:
    "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." ~ Thomas A. Edison

  2. I hate to say it but I do not like football. I think you may remember the post I did about how much they like playing touchy feely, always patting each other's arses.

  3. This wasn’t a post about football. It was a post about never giving up in life. How could you have missed thata?

    I really liked the picture. It is as it should be, with everyone gathered around the center of attention, paying homage to the master. Who has, as usual, been put to sleep by your ravings.

    PS- Kharma is HIndu not Bhuddist. (I think. Maybe not.)

    Thank you SuzyQ. You flatter me

  4. I totally agree with “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” and “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”.

    So does this mean if I quit smoking another 5,398 times it will finally become a habit and I won't ever start again? ;-p

  5. If it doesn't matter who wins, why do they keep score?

  6. @A. - It's at the beginning of the season. Baseball winding down now. You shouldn't have to google. :)

    @Angelika - Think of quitting as giving up. Giving up on quitting. Heh.

    You will stop smoking when you no longer think of yourself as a smoker. It is all self-image. Anyway, that's what worked for me. Not patches and not self-help groups. Only telling myself that I used to smoke, but I don't do that anymore. (Caution: doesn't work with ice cream. :)

    @Descartes - Did I say it didn't matter if you win? Not I. But I suppose there are various definitions of winning. Mine is to have more points when the clock runs out. Heh.

  7. Don Shula is my favorite football coach of all time.

  8. My father loved football and was a huge Packers and Lombardi fan.

    Oddly, I've managed to marry two husbands in a row with no interest so I know more about football than they do, but I'm not much tempted to watch.

    I think professional sports used to be more about people who loved to play and less about making a killing.

  9. umm... Go PATS! And that's all I got to say 'bout that.

  10. @Stephanie B - Shula was good. Maybe his teams made him look good. No. He was good. :)

    @Petra - Ack! Ack!



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