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NFL History

NFL History

Vince Lombardi in NFL History

Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) was one of the NFL's most successful and admired coaches of all time. Lombardi led his Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships between 1961 and 1968, including wins in the first two Super Bowls ever played. Lombardi is well known in American popular culture for saying, "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing."

In 1958, one year before hiring Lombardi, the Packers had won just a single game, and many feared that the franchise—located in a small Wisconsin city and the last throwback to the NFL's origins as a small-town Midwestern league—might not survive much longer. But Lombardi, whose coaching philosophy emphasized grueling training, intense competition, and absolute dedication, quickly righted the ship. In his first season in charge, the Packers improved to 7-5; in his second season, they reached the NFL Championship Game but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles; in his third season, they won the first of their five championships. Lombardi retired after winning the second of his back-to-back Super Bowls in 1968 and, upon his death in 1970, the league renamed its championship trophy the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

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