Written by John Rehor Sunday, 12 December 2010 08:56
The name breathes excellence.
It defines a pursuit of perfection.
It exemplifies the Green Bay Packers.
As the days built up to the viewing of the HBO documentary "Lombardi" I found myself thinking about the man who is synonymous with the Packers. A man with a single purpose, which was "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" and this drive to be the absolute best was portrayed in every book, article, video, and nugget I had ever seen about the man. Football was his defining characteristic, his devotion, his passion.
It was knowing the man that I was more curious about. This is what interested me the most about the special HBO had produced. How much information would be presented which would give some insight into the mythical figure who still oversees what goes on at 1265 Lombardi Avenue to this day, his statue looming large in Harlan Plaza. He is bigger than all of are in reality thanks to the 14 feet created in his likeness.
He is also bigger than all of us in terms of his aura, his presence, his devotion to his pursuit of perfection.
What HBO produced was, simply put, some of the finest 90 minutes of television viewing I have ever seen. Perhaps it is because it was about Vince Lombardi, and I am a Packers fan. What I think is more likely is they offered a glimpse inside a man who many of us know about, but few knew in his life, even fewer in his death.
Seldom am I moved to emotion based on something I have seen on television, or heard on the radio, but the "Lombardi" documentary moved me greatly. Every possible emotion was on display in the living room as I watched with eagerness for the next minute. Laughter mixed with sadness, great highs mixed with deep lows. It was magical.
Without offering too much detail about what was shown so you may enjoy this on your own, and without trying to sound like a biography of the man is being read, here are a few of my own reactions via Twitter as I watched this work of art unfold on HBO tonight:
"The portrait of #Lombardi is haunting-a man so self consumed with football perfection his own life imperfections were pushed aside"
"Dave Robinson, I'll look past your minus 2 on the interception. Unbelievable-that was #Lombardi. A relentless pursuit of perfection"
"The heavens weeped the day Vince #Lombardi died. Something tells me a few of us are tonight as well. #Packers"
"Thank you #HBO, thank you. Your portrait of #Lombardi is awe inspiring and heartfelt. Gut wrenching and glorious. A masterpiece. #Packers"
If you are a football fan, please make it a point to watch this unbelievably well constructed special. If you are a Packers fan, be prepared to be moved emotionally as you remember the man, or in my case, learn a little bit about the greatest coach in the history of the Green Bay Packers: Vince Lombardi.