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September 04, 1970 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-09-04

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* Friday, September 4, 1 970


Page Nine

j Friday, September 4, 1970 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Nine

By The Associated Press
Vince Lombardi's death struck
deep for many people of various
professions. But it was the players
whose grief ran deepest.
Bart Starr, the Green B a y
quarterback tapped for the No. S
1 job by Lombardi when he took
over for the Packers, expressed itN
to his wife before leaving f o.r
"I told my wife before I leftI
the house this morning that it!
was like losing a fathei" a sol- Mo
emn Starr explained. "I felt that
strongly about" him. Fellows who
had the pleasure of playing under after I ca
him are better people for it. ed winnin
. "One thing that was character- second p
istic of him was the pursuit of ex-. Carroll D
cellence. He said the pursuit of our chur
excellence would /make your a -first with
better person than you otherwise Green Ba
might be content to be. I think it order.
was the most valuable thing he "He ha
left with us. personal
"I remember in his first talks said veter


re sports, see page 7
me here that he stress-
ng - that there was no
place," recalled receiver
Dale. "He always told us
ch and God should come
us, then our family and
ay Packer football in that
ad a big influence on my
approach to football,"
;ran tackle Forrest Gregg,

"and also had a ,big influence on
my personal life. There have been
a lot of coaches who have had
an influence on football players
and other coaches.
"I thinic Coach Lombardi was
the greate'st, most complete coach
I've ever come in contact with,"
linebacker Dave Robinson stated.
"I think his influence on this
team, even now, is immeasurable.
"I don't think he ever taught
me any football," said former
Packer All-Pro defensive tackle
Henry Jordan. "What he"d do
three times a week was preach on
Similar feelings were expressed
by members of the Washington
Redskins. Despite the fact he only
coached the Redskins for one year,
Lombardi apparently left the same
lasting impressions with t h o s e
players. /
"I ' just can't believe it," s a i d
receiver Charley Taylor. "It seems

like all the people whom I loved~
and admired and gained so much
from in my life aren't with us any-
more - John F. Kennedy, Martin
Luther King and now Coach Lom-
"All the things a man searches
for all his life I found in Coach
Lombardi," said tight end Jerry
Smith. "He gave me a deeper"
meaning of life. He justified hard
work, dedication, pride and love.
His teachings and ideals, which he
gave us all, both in football and
life, will stay with us forever."
It also was a great shock to.
the coaches who succeeded him
- Phil Bengtson at Green Bay
and Bill Austin, who took over at
Washington when Lombardi was
Bengtson, who succeeded Lom-
bardi .as both head coach a n d
general manager of the Packers
said, "several men have had a
great influence on my life and my
profession. These include coaches
whom I have played under and
coached with."
Bill Austin, interim Redskins
coach, added in a statement:
"Words are inadequate to' express
my deep sorrow and regret at the
passing of Coach Vince Lombardi,
a great leader and a greater man.
Those who tried to beat him at
football likewise were touched by
the man.
Dallas coach Tom Landry, who
lost two National Football League
title battles with Lombardi when
Lombardi was coaching at Green
Bay, said "professional football
has lost its greatest coach."
"Lombardi will no doubt go
down as the greatest coach in pro-
fessional football history."
George Halas, 75-year-old own-
er and former coach of the Chi-
cago Bears, lauded the "unforgett-
able personality" of Vince Lom-
bardi and said his former Green
Bay coaching rival's death "is a
great loss not only to football,
but to the entire country."
"I regret that I really became
Nixon lauds

closer to Vince only within the
last five years," said Halas. "That
was all too short a time to enjoy
and admire his great qualities.
We understood each other. I loved
him as a friend and as a man.
"He taught me that you get
out of life exactly what you put
into -it, no more, no less.
"Vince Lombardi was a rare
man who possessed to a marked
degree the most priceless commo-
dity in the world today - force-
ful, intelligent leadership based
upon the love of God and respect
for his fellow man."
Hank Stram of the Kansas City
Chiefs. "He was an inspirational
leader and earned the right to be
regarded as one of the great
coaches of our time.
"He was a very emotional man
of high standards and strong prin-
ciples. He demanded excellence not
only from his people but also from
himself. Football and our country
have suffered a severe loss."
Government and state officials
also talked about the man they
"Vince Lombardi was a good
man, a man for the discipline, de-
dication, self-sacrifice this coun-
try needs today," said Sen. William
Proxmire (D-Wis).
"We in New York State have
a special sorrow," said Gov. Nelson
A. Rockefeller. "It was as a line-
man, one of the famed Seven
Blocks of Granite at Fordham
University,that he first came to
prominence: And he figured prom-
inently as an assistant coach in
the success of the Giants.,
"Vince was more than a giant
in the world of athletics. He was
a leader in every sense of the

Fin Green Bay eulogize
man who built Packer dynasty

By The Associated Press
GREEN BAY, Wis.-It rained in
to Green Bay yesterday. It was as if
the steel-grey skies we'e in mourn-
ing, too.
Shrouds of rain obscured Lam-
beau Field, the site of many of
Vince Lombardi's triumphs, and
also adjoining Lombardi Avenue.
Lombardi's d e p a r t u r e from
4 Green Bay slightly' more than a
year ago under less-than-perfect
circumstances helped ease the
pain of his death early yesterday
morning. But it didn't ease the
hurt of losing a friend.
St. Norbert College, where the

Packers hold their preseason
training camp, in nearby West
Depere, immediately established a
Vincent T. Lombardi Scholarship.
The very Rev. D. M. Burke, col-
lege chancellor, will be the prin-
cipal concelebrant at a memorial
mass today in St. oJseph Chal on
the campus.
The chapel is where Lombardi
used to serve mass every morning
when the Packers were housed- on
campus.. I
Don Tilleman, Green Bay may-
or, said the city would take some
action to h o n o r Lombardi's

"He will be sorely missed not'
only here in Green Bay, his second
home, but throughout the nation
whefe his example provided in-
spiration for millions," Tilleman
Dominic Olejniczak, president
of the Green Bay Packers, said
Lombardi left him with "a sense
of great personal grief at the loss
of a warm and close friend."
Olejniczak s a i d Lombardi's
"genius as a coach was in/ no
small degree the result of the
many attributes of his personal
"Vince Lombardi will forever be
identified closely with the golden
period in the history of the Green
Bay Packers,,'! Olejniczak said.
"For it was here that his career
as a head coach began and blos-
somed into universally recognized
greatness until both the man and

WASHINGTON Redskin players
and personnel pause before the
start of yesterday's practice in
Tampa, Fla., for the official
team announcement .- of the
death of Redskin coach Vince
Lombardi. The Redskins pro-
ceeded to hold normally sched-
uled practice.
Michigan Coach Bo Schem-
be 'hler asked his players to ob-
serve a moment of silence yes-,
terday at the end of practice in
memory of Vince Lombardi.
"Lombardi always worked his
players hard Schembechier
said, "but he really cared about

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YINCE LOMBARDI once said, "I believe a man should fight.
for his country,- but he should also stand up and say, 'let's
do it right.'"
Judging from the acclaim he received after it became
apparent his days were numbered, as well as the plaudits heaped
upon him now that he is dead, you would have thought that
Lombardi had said, "A man should fight for his country" and
nothing more.
The beauty of the total remark, like the beauty of the total
man, has been lost, buried beneath a sea of laudatory words,
words that fail to capture the man.
Sports are fickle, and it is sadly ironic that Lombardi's
greatness was not realized until after he passed the pinnacle of
his suedess. He was a great coach, perhaps the greatest of all
time, but during Green Bay's glory years in the mix-sixties, no
one really loved the Packers or Vince Lombardi.
JERRrY KRAMER loved the Packers and he loved his coach,
and when Kramer told of his loves in Instant Replay, the
'world suddenly found a man named Lombardi where before
there had been only an automaton.
Lombardi has pased- away amidst accolades heaped upon
him by sports writers, congressmen and other hacks. He pro-
bably would have preferred to have been buried rather than
praised, but avoiding your own obituary may be death's greatest
blessing. Lombardi will not have to endure eulogies from those
who never really knew him.
I never knew Vince Lombardi, so no words of mine could
do him justice. Perhaps no one could sum up the. essence of
Lombardi better than Jerry Kramer. Instant Replay is an
intensely personal book. and should be read in full. It is a
wonderful book, and the agony and ecstacy in it gives football
a dimension far beyond the sidelines.
Instant Replay also removes Vince Lombardi from the
bounds of mere mortals.
"The man is," according to Kramer, "a very emotional man.
He is spurred to anger or to tears almost equally easily. He
gets misty-eyed and he actually cries at times, and no one
thinks less of him for crying. He's such a man."
He will be missed.
Associate Sports Editor

his team became synonymous with ; T
invincibility. The sports world will
never forget that it was at Green
Bay that Lombardi established a CORONADO, Calif. W) - Pres-
r e c o r d of achievement never ident Nixon said yesterday t h a t
equaled in all the annals of sports, Vince Lombardi, Weshington Red-
a record that probably will never skin football coach who died in
be surpassed.kthe national capital, was tops
"To those of us who were pri- in his field "because he was able
vileged to know him well, his loss to help others discover the best
is a deep one." that was in themselves."
"Like the power sweep which
'the game has trademarked," Nixon
Titkets go on sale today for said in a statement, "the power
the New York Knicks-Detroit of Vince Lombardi's personality
Pistons exhibition game at swept the world of sports and
Crisler Arena on September made a lasting impact on the life
24 at 8 p.m. of all it touched."
The price of the tickets, Nixon called Lombardi an im-
which will be sold at the ticket posing, inspiring figure whose
office in the athletic adminis- very presence was commanding on
tration building at the corner the field and off. He said as he
of Hoover and State streets, thinks of Lombardi that way he
will be $1 for students with ID knows that Lombardi always will
cards; $1 for faculty and staff hold a commanding place in the
with athletic cards; and $2.50 nation's memory.
''The lesson all Americans can
for adults. learn from Coach Lombardi's
The tickets will be on sale life," Nixon said, "is that a man
from 8:30 until 5. 1 can become a star when he be-
comes an apostle of teamwork."

--5JA . 11-6


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