Vince Lombardi Was a Traitor
I work in advertising, and with the annual buzz about the Super Bowl, you’d think my main topic of conversation would have been Super Bowl advertisements. Instead I found myself thinking, as I do every year ‘round the Super Bowl, that Vince Lombardi was a back-stabbing traitor. Many of my friends have pointed out, rightly so, that when a man leaves his long-time team, he is to be immediately and permanently ostracized. Vince Lombardi was a shining example of this.
Now hold on Packers fans, I know what you are going to say, “Lombardi took a previously dismal Packers team and brought them years of success and glory and BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.” The simple fact of the matter is that Vince Lombardi decided to retire and … wait for it… come back to join a different NFL team! Do you believe this guy??!! Look, buddy, retirement means RETIREMENT. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in my mind: Legacy ruined. Way to go, Vince, you could have been a Packers legend respected by football fans the world over, but you had to disgrace your legacy by joining another organization. No wonder the name Lombardi is now synonymous with indecision and selfishness.
Now you’re probably thinking, “Come on, Garth. Packers fans are bigger than that. Time heals all wounds and eventually history will remember Vince Lombardi for his love of the game, passion for winning, and dedicated service to the Packers.” That’s all well and good, but look what happens when a guy like Reggie White (remember this joker?) retires and later comes back to play for the Carolina Panthers. Ouch! You can’t speak the name Reggie White within 50 miles of Green Bay without getting a cold, dirty stare. Serves you right, traitor.
Look, history repeats itself, Vince, and you should have learned your lesson from another legacy-destroying Judas: a guy by the name of Curly Lambeau. This guy firmly cemented his place in Packers infamy when he unceremoniously left Green Bay after a long and ugly dispute with the Packers front office. After taking off in a huff, the guy had the gall go on and coach TWO different NFL teams. Harsh! Now granted, Lambeau did refuse to ever return to Green Bay and wished to be permanently dissociated with the Packers, so it’s no surprise that his name is roughly equivalent to that of Beelzebub around these parts, but his shattered rep should have taught you something, Vince. Packers fans don’t forgive turncoats. Period.
So say what you want about Lombardi, I think history has already spoken. They don’t make statues for traitors, streets don’t get named after deserters, and stadiums don’t bear the names of those who betray their city. It’s too bad Lombardi never got the chance to bring the Redskins to Green Bay to get the resounding chorus of boos he deserved. If I were around back then, I’d be in the front row with my new t-shirt, reading, “We’ll never forget you, Vance.”