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
Today, a trophy with that man’s name on it will be awarded to the winning team in the Super Bowl.
Lombardi was consumed with excellence. He was a contradiction, a man who went to mass daily, but was a vicious, tireless competitor, who mowed down anyone in his way.
He believed in preparation, preparing to execute, preparing to survive, preparing to win.
There are only a few who could endure Lombardi, but those who did were prepared, not only for football, but life. His passion, his zeal, his preparation penetrated anyone who came close.
I had a chance to talk with Willie Davis, the Hall of Fame defensive end and captain to Lombardi’s teams. He, along with almost anyone else related to the Packers, is grateful, almost reverent when talking of Lombardi. Like that great teacher, he was able to reveal the greatness in all of his players.
But, in greatness, there was a great price. Lombardi’s family suffered his highs and lows. They suffered in defeat and reveled in victory.
He alienated his children and destroyed his wife. He was incapable of separating his family from his work. His expectations were high in all areas, not just his football team. In his mind, excellence was excellence.
In spite of that, for just one minute of my life, I would like to feel the passion of that man, to know what his level of commitment really feels like. I’m sure it’s a scary place.