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When Pride Still Mattered: A Life Of Vince Lombardi
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When Pride Still Mattered: A Life Of Vince Lombardi

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4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  5,929 Ratings  ·  217 Reviews
When Pride Still Mattered is the quintessential story of the American family: how Vince Lombardi, the son of an immigrant Italian butcher, rose to the top, and how his character and will to prevail transformed him, his wife, his children, his players, his sport, and ultimately the entire country.
It is also a vibrant football story, abundant with accounts of Lombardi's th
...more
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Published October 1st 1999 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 1999)
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Nicholas
Dec 14, 2015 Nicholas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written. Never a dull moment. I did not know half of what I learned in this book. More than just a book for a football fan.
Bob
Nov 20, 2011 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, sports
Summary: The biography of Green Bay Packers football coach Vince Lombardi, showing a man striving for excellence in, and caught in the tensions of the three priorities in his life: faith, family, and football.

Growing up a Cleveland Browns fan in the 1960's, if there was any team that quenched our hopes in the Jim Brown era, it was the Green Bay Packers quarterbacked by Bart Starr, with Hornung and Taylor in the backfield. And behind it all was legendary coach Vince Lombardi, for whom the Superbo
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Matt
Oct 26, 2011 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit-2011-2012
Summary:
This is a book about one of the greatest football coaches ever, Vincent Lombardi. This story depicts the life of Lombardi, from growing up in New York, to coaching at West Point, and then to coaching the Green Bay Packers. Not only does this story go into Lombardi the coach but also into Lombardi the father and husband.

Main Character:
Vincent Lombardi, a complex man who believed "God, Family, and the Green Bay Packers, in that order".

Other Interesting Information:
As a life long Packers f
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Todd Stockslager
Jun 02, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Review title: What is everything and the only thing
I have now in order read biographies of the two greatest football coaches of the 20th century. I hadn't intended to, but after finishing Paterno, and with Maraniss' highly-honored biography of Lombardi on my ready-to-read shelf, I felt the pairing unavoidable and perhaps worthwhile.

The similarities between the two men was sometimes striking:

They came from the same place, Brooklyn, and their paths even crossed briefly, when the high school coach
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Asher Pless
Mar 15, 2016 Asher Pless rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me a fan of David Maraniss.

This book goes far beyond the usual biography of a sports figure. In it the reader actually comes to believe they not only personally know Vince Lombardi, but his wife, and their children, too. We know their foibles, their strengths, and their weaknesses, too. We even know that they never used the fireplace even though they lived in cold Green Bay, Wisconsin because Vince had a fear of fire from a childhood incident.

It was no surprise that the author br
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Andrew Smith
I listened to this as an audiobook, read by the author. For anyone interested in sport (like me) it's a fascinating insight into a man who became a top coach: his upbringing, his playing career (limited as it was) and ultimately his distinguished years coaching the American Football team the Green Bay Packers. What I liked most was the anecdotes about specific games and incidents that drew out his personality (tough, driven, obsessed even) and his coaching methods (rigorous, hugely detailed, ver ...more
Evan Leach
Feb 13, 2012 Evan Leach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Maraniss is a truly gifted writer (his take on Clinton, First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton, is probably the finest biography I've ever read), and he does full justice to a football titan with this book. This is the definitive biography of Lombardi, and the only thing holding me back from a glowing 5-star rating is that Lombardi simply isn't the most fascinating subject for a 500+ page bio. He was a driven man who enjoyed phenomenal success, but even as an avid football fan I t ...more
Tom Hill
Jun 06, 2013 Tom Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. I had never read much about Coach Lombardi but found this to be a very well balanced and interesting account of his life. The author did not get carried away with the bigger-than-life aspect of Lombardi but gave us a good look at the man, warts and all. I am always amazed at the sacrifices great mean have to make in their lives, and those closes to them that have to sacrifice also. The lack of closeness with his son and the problems that his wife had to deal with are two examples ...more
Al
Dec 11, 2009 Al rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent, well-written book which evokes many memories to one who grew up in the 50's/60's. A book to be enjoyed by even the casual football fan as the author provides great insight into Lombardi's life and his family as well as a real window into another era already very different from today. He shows Lombardi as a real person, the good and bad points of a man who became an icon during the 60's.
The Scrivener's Quill
This is my fourth or fifth time with this book. It is one of those books that any lover of the game of football should read at the start of the season, or listen to. David Maraniss honors the life of Vince Lombardi and is a pleasant narrator to his work. This book is like the first warm cup of soup of autumn. Take it on a drive, enjoy the leaves changing colors, and prepare for the big game on Saturday.
Kifflie
Jul 26, 2012 Kifflie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Maraniss has written a beautifully researched and balanced biography of Vince Lombardi, a man who was much more complex than people think. It's sad to think that this was a man who was so driven to succeed, yet couldn't manage to take care of himself. Fifty-seven was way too young for him to die. The book is a long slog, but worth the time.
Todd Miles
Jan 28, 2013 Todd Miles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, sports
Excellent page turner. The author brought out the significance of Lombardi’s Jesuit background and how it shaped his coaching and leadership. I learned much about the NFL during the 50's and 60's. I thoroughly loved the book.
Michael
Oct 08, 2009 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost certainly the most well-researched sports biography I have ever read.
F. Pat
Mar 13, 2015 F. Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good sports bio, good bio of the times, great football history
Robert Guida III
Jan 13, 2016 Robert Guida III rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is by far the worst book I have ever read in my entire life. Don't read this.
Tim
Another outstanding book by Maraniss. An amazing book about an amazing coach.
Matt Grimm
Oct 25, 2016 Matt Grimm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Debunks the myth of the coaching legend and made him human. I took away a lot of football coaching advice, some things I would want to implement but others I would stay away. He had favorites, football was all-consuming and he was too egotistical. I was really surprised on how he treated his family and children versus his close friends and players. One of the most significant takeaways was his life paradoxes between fear and love and certainty vs uncertainty. The book flowed and definitely engag ...more
Clarke Tichy
Jan 10, 2014 Clarke Tichy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Pride Still Mattered is the story of the American family: how Vince Lombardi, the son of an immigrant Italian butcher, rose to the top, and how his character and will to win transformed him, his wife, his children, his players, his sport, and ultimately the entire country. It is also a great football story, abundant with accounts of Lombardi's thrilling life in that world, from his playing days with the Seven Blocks of Granite at Fordham in the 1930s to the glory of coaching the Green Bay ...more
Dan
Mar 07, 2017 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great book. this read was more than football, this was a life lesson. strong leadership has its price, but produces results.
Kai Palchikoff
When Pride Still Mattered is the quintessential story of the American family: how Vince Lombardi, the son of an immigrant Italian butcher, rose to the top, and how his character and will to prevail transformed him, his wife, his children, his players, his sport, and ultimately the entire country. It is also a vibrant football story, abundant with accounts of Lombardi's thrilling life in that world, from his playing days with the Seven Blocks of Granite at Fordham in the 1930s to the glory of coa ...more
Richard Bray
I hadn’t been out of college very long when my father, as a Christmas gift, gave me a plaque featuring a snippet of a Vince Lombardi speech. It was taken from one of Lombardi’s more common speeches, beginning with the statement that, “Winning isn’t a sometimes thing, it’s an all-the-time thing.” Since my dad gave it to me, I’ve kept it on the wall at my office, first at the newspaper I worked at and now behind me as a community college media relations specialist.

To me, the characteristics Lombar
...more
Erica
Oct 04, 2016 Erica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The biography of Vince Lombardi is very well written, giving a good understanding of the complex nature of this incredibly influential man. A true inspiration to aspire to your greatest potential.
Liz
Feb 15, 2014 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're any sort of football fan, you've heard of Vince Lombardi. The trophy that gets lifted in the air when your team wins the Super Bowl, the biggest game in all of football, has his name on it. He's a legend, an ideal...a myth. And this myth-person is what David Maraniss sets out to - not destroy, but to reveal, I suppose. He makes it clear from the start that this particular biography is not a prostrate worshipping of a legend - that wouldn't be anything new to bring to the table. Instead ...more
Margret Martodam
Feb 24, 2017 Margret Martodam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story of an amazing man. Very well written.
Aaron Million
Oct 23, 2013 Aaron Million rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Solid, absorbing biography of a very complicated human being. The mythology of Lombardi over the decades has strayed far from what he was really about. As Maraniss shows, this began even before Lombardi died in 1970. As with all of us, he often exhibited the very character flaws in himself that he readily criticized others for. Example: he said that family was most important to him, yet had a poor relationship with his son, a not quite as poor but still unsatisfactory relationship with his daugh ...more
Jake Fitzgerald
I read a book called “When Pride Still Mattered Lombardi,” by David Maraniss. This is a biography about one of the best coaches in NFL history, Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers. Vince Lombardi grew up in Brooklyn, New York. His father worked at a meat cutting shop. One time Vince was working the meat hook got stuck into his left thigh (he would never work there again). In addition, Lombardi was the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears and Tom Landry was the offensive coordinator. T ...more
Gavin
Nov 07, 2013 Gavin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I guess this review is more about the format than the actual book, but sweet bleeding Jesus on the cross, do biographies alway have to be so dry? In any other book, a cohesion of direction and story arc is a must. For reasons unclear to me, biographies exist in their own world...a world in which the exact dates of Vince Lombardi's attendance to summer camp at age 8 are presented as pertinent information. This is a problem for me. Just because it happened, and, due to some fluke of research, this ...more
Scott Pierce
Must read just to understand why Lombardi still has as much influence on our sporting culture as he does today.

Lombardi followed Sid Gillman in the assistant coaching job at West Point, and learned under Red Blaik.

Like most leaders and public figures at his level, he had admirable qualities (he was color-blind in an era of racial discrimination), but struggled to be everything to everyone (his family suffered from his obsessions).
Paul
Jan 02, 2012 Paul marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
From William C. Taylor, Author of "Practically Radical"

http://www.fastcompany.com/1714272/wi...

What are your three favorite business books, and why?

The first is Weird Ideas that Work by Bob Sutton, the endlessly interesting Stanford professor who should be familiar to most members of the Fast Company community. Bob's book is the smartest and most original take on leadership and organizational creativity that I've read, and it is just so witty and fun. I love it and have learned so much from it.

A
...more
Andy Spear
Dec 15, 2013 Andy Spear rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good biography will make the reader feel not only as if the author knew their subject personally, but that they did as well. Maraniss succeeded in this endeavor. The author is able to convey how Vince Lombardi was more than a manager. He was a smart man and a great leader who knew how to manipulate the talents and minds of those around him to achieve a solidarity between them for a success they both could share. Lombardi had a mania to him that drove him like a war chariot, always charging ahe ...more
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David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post and the author of four critically acclaimed and bestselling books, When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi, First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton, They Marched Into Sunlight War and Peace, Vietnam and America October 1967, and Clemente The Passion and Grace of Baseballs Last Hero. He is also the author of The Clinto ...more
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“There never was a champion who, to himself, was a good loser. There is a vast difference between a good sport and a good loser.” In Blaik’s opinion the “purpose of the game is to win. To dilute the will to win is to destroy the purpose of the game.” In this, as in most matters, he was influenced by General MacArthur. He never forgot MacArthur’s words: “There is no substitute for victory.” 2 likes
“I remember once he began a speech to us by asking ‘What is the meaning of love?’ ” recalled Bob Skoronski. “And this is what he said. He said, ‘Anybody can love something that is beautiful or smart or agile. You will never know love until you can love something that isn’t beautiful, isn’t bright, isn’t glamorous. It takes a special person to love something unattractive, someone unknown. That is the test of love. Everybody can love someone’s strengths and somebody’s good looks. But can you accept someone for his inabilities?’ And he drew a parallel that day to football. You might have a guy playing next to you who maybe isn’t perfect, but you’ve got to love him, and maybe that love would enable you to help him. And maybe you will do something more to overcome a difficult situation in football because of that love. He didn’t want us to be picking on each other, but thinking, What can I do to make it easier for my teammate?” 1 likes
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