If Vince Lombardi hadnâ€™t become a football coach, he would have become a Catholic priest. The Brooklyn-born altar boy studied at seminary, waking before dawn to attend daily mass. Religion was as much about routine as it was devotion to his church.
He viewed the two vocations similarly, both involving a strong sense of duty, discipline and fatherly leadership. But he left the seminary before taking vows, unable to shake his affinity for footballâ€”a violent sport â€œthat furthers the advancement of destructive and detrimental moral results,â€ according to a seminary essay. As a coach, he could be the influential leader he wanted to be, and he could still yell, stomp and lose his temper and call it passion for his profession.
Lombardi once said, â€œWinning isnâ€™t everything; itâ€™s the only thing,â€ although he later regretted the win-at-all-costs connotation his famous quote had taken. He never coached a losing season, but Lombardi was about more than winning. Traits such as integrity, honor, obedience and loyalty were just as important to Lombardi as succeeding both on and off the field.Â Read more…
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