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5.0 von 5 Sternen Carefully Researched, Very Human Portrait of an Icon
Maraniss has done his typical excellent job of bringing a larger-than-life character, in this case legendary coach Vince Lombardi, to life in this engaging biography. The author explores Lombardi's humble beginning, his Catholic upbringing, and his will to win which enabled him to compete as one of the famed "Seven Blocks of Granite" at Fordham despite a...
Veröffentlicht am 19. September 2000 von J. Mullin

versus
3.0 von 5 Sternen When Pride Still Mattered
I bought the book based on Paul Gigot's review in the WallStreet Journal, where he said it was worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. It'snot. It didn't really make the man come alive the way a goodbiography does. It's a fast read and it's a book I don't plan to keep on my bookshelf.
Veröffentlicht am 27. Januar 2000 von Robert Ziller


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Carefully Researched, Very Human Portrait of an Icon, 19. September 2000
Von 
J. Mullin (Plantation, FL USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Maraniss has done his typical excellent job of bringing a larger-than-life character, in this case legendary coach Vince Lombardi, to life in this engaging biography. The author explores Lombardi's humble beginning, his Catholic upbringing, and his will to win which enabled him to compete as one of the famed "Seven Blocks of Granite" at Fordham despite a lack of both size or exemplary athletic talent.
Early in the book, Maraniss provides a fascinating glimpse into the college football programs of former national contenders Fordham and Army, where Lombardi was an assistant under the famed Red Blaik, and where he sometimes sat watching film with huge Army supporter Gen. Douglas MacArthur. At West Point Lombardi learned some of the coaching techniques, including a manic obsession with film study and precise repetition in practice, that served him so well later.
For those who know nothing about Lombardi apart from his years with the Green Bay Packers, there is much here to learn and enjoy. Vince was an assistant coach for the NY Giants, coaching the offense while another future hall of famer, Tom Landry, coached the defense, and he gives a stirring account of the famous 1960 championship game, believed by many to be the greatest football game ever played. Maraniss explores Lombardi's frustrating delays in obtaining a head coaching job, which he thought was due to his Italian heritage, and explores his Green Bay days in thorough, skillful fashion. Characters such as Paul Hornung (the coach's "Golden Boy" and favorite player), Bart Starr, Jerry Kramer, Ray Nietzsche, Alex Karras, Willie Wood, Dick Schaap,and countless others were apparently interviewed, and their personal remembrances of the Packer era made this a football fan's dream.
But Maraniss does not simply concentrate on x's and o's, as he also explores Lombardi the husband and father, painting a sometimes unflattering picture of Lombardi the reluctant family man with little or no time for quality interaction with his kids. The author even quotes from a devastating letter written by Lombardi's wife Marie to their son, in 1970 as Vince was beginning to get ill and their son was starting his own career and family, expressing frustration at the apparent lack of effort expended by both Lombardi men to cement their father-son relationship. Ultimately Lombardi was a complex man, standing up for his players (he would not tolerate discrimination against players who were black or gay) as he berated them on the practice field. The portrait is especially relevant now, as the country debates the antics of another "tough disciplinarian" coach by the name of Bobby Knight.
I would have enjoyed a little more complete picture of Lombardi's one year back on the sidelines coaching the Washington Redskins in 1969. Maraniss skillfully explores Lombardi's hiring and uneasy split with Green Bay, as well as his introduction to D.C. and his power lunches with owner Edward Bennett Williams. However, after some good material regarding his initial reactions and impressions of the team (he thought Sunny Jurgenson was blessed with incredible talent), Maraniss virtually skips the entire season and tells you how the Redskins did in retrospect, without any of the detail or anecdotes that made the Packers years come alive in his retelling. It was as if Maraniss knew it was time to wrap things up, and he had tired of writing about football. However, all in all, this is a fascinating portrait of a man whose impact is still felt on the gridiron, and whose fanatical dedication to team and especially character lately have been sorely missed in the NFL (and in all sports for that matter.)
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Carefully Researched, Very Human Portrait of an Icon, 19. September 2000
Von 
J. Mullin (Plantation, FL USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Maraniss has done his typical excellent job of bringing a larger-than-life character, in this case legendary coach Vince Lombardi, to life in this engaging biography. The author explores Lombardi's humble beginning, his Catholic upbringing, and his will to win which enabled him to compete as one of the famed "Seven Blocks of Granite" at Fordham despite a lack of both size or exemplary athletic talent.
Early in the book, Maraniss provides a fascinating glimpse into the college football programs of former national contenders Fordham and Army, where Lombardi was an assistant under the famed Red Blaik, and where he sometimes sat watching film with huge Army supporter Gen. Douglas MacArthur. At West Point Lombardi learned some of the coaching techniques, including a manic obsession with film study and precise repetition in practice, that served him so well later.
For those who know nothing about Lombardi apart from his years with the Green Bay Packers, there is much here to learn and enjoy. Vince was an assistant coach for the NY Giants, coaching the offense while another future hall of famer, Tom Landry, coached the defense, and he gives a stirring account of the famous 1960 championship game, believed by many to be the greatest football game ever played. Maraniss explores Lombardi's frustrating delays in obtaining a head coaching job, which he thought was due to his Italian heritage, and explores his Green Bay days in thorough, skillful fashion. Characters such as Paul Hornung (the coach's "Golden Boy" and favorite player), Bart Starr, Jerry Kramer, Ray Nietzsche, Alex Karras, Willie Wood, Dick Schaap,and countless others were apparently interviewed, and their personal remembrances of the Packer era made this a football fan's dream.
But Maraniss does not simply concentrate on x's and o's, as he also explores Lombardi the husband and father, painting a sometimes unflattering picture of Lombardi the reluctant family man with little or no time for quality interaction with his kids. The author even quotes from a devastating letter written by Lombardi's wife Marie to their son, in 1970 as Vince was beginning to get ill and their son was starting his own career and family, expressing frustration at the apparent lack of effort expended by both Lombardi men to cement their father-son relationship. Ultimately Lombardi was a complex man, standing up for his players (he would not tolerate discrimination against players who were black or gay) as he berated them on the practice field. The portrait is especially relevant now, as the country debates the antics of another "tough disciplinarian" coach by the name of Bobby Knight.
I would have enjoyed a little more complete picture of Lombardi's one year back on the sidelines coaching the Washington Redskins in 1969. Maraniss skillfully explores Lombardi's hiring and uneasy split with Green Bay, as well as his introduction to D.C. and his power lunches with owner Edward Bennett Williams. However, after some good material regarding his initial reactions and impressions of the team (he thought Sunny Jurgenson was blessed with incredible talent), Maraniss virtually skips the entire season and tells you how the Redskins did in retrospect, without any of the detail or anecdotes that made the Packers years come alive in his retelling. It was as if Maraniss knew it was time to wrap things up, and he had tired of writing about football. However, all in all, this is a fascinating portrait of a man whose impact is still felt on the gridiron, and whose fanatical dedication to team and especially character lately have been sorely missed in the NFL (and in all sports for that matter.)
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Well researched and well thought out, 24. Januar 2000
Von 
Sean Claycamp (overland park, ks) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
As I read this book, the thing that kept running through my mind was how much research the author had to do. That is the difference between this book and other biographies, especially when you think that the two best sources of information - Vince and wife Marie - have long since passed away. I commend him for his efforts as not just a writer, but as a researcher. I will say this though, there are volumes and volumes of information about the Packers and Lombardi, making the writer's job not easier, but less time-consuming because of the availability of all the information out there.
As for the writing, I loved the way he blended Lombardi's day-to-day life with the football seasons. Just when you thought he was going to give you some boring play-by-play, he took you in another direction, describing Lombardi's relationship with a player, an assistant coach, a business leader, even his secretary, and he did so in a thorough and fascinating manner. He then took you back on the field for the play-by-play, and as a reader you felt like you never left.
You don't have to be a sports lover to love this book, because to me it's not really a sport book. Instead, it is a journey into the psyche of a man who was driven to succeed in everything he did. Chapters on his personal appearances, business ventures and other interests were nearly as interesting as the tales of his obsession with football. Lombardi was truly driven to be the best at everything he did.
The title of this book says volumes because to Lombardi pride did matter. Everything he did - except perhaps his relationship with his immediate family - he did with the intent of showing others that quality mattered to him.
I loved the book and despite his many shortcomings, I love Lombardi.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen THE BEST OF THE BOOKS ON THE GREEN BAY PACKERS, 14. Januar 2000
Though I'm strictly a baseball fan, I did follow Lombardi's Packers in the 1960's. This is not only the best of the Packer books, including the classic "Instant Replay", it is one of the very best books I have ever read on any subject. I liked it so much I ordered four extra copies for friends who are Packer fans. David Maraniss does a thorough job of research on Lombardi and portrays him as a human being, warts and all, instead of the icon that some make him out to be. Parts that stood out for me was how hard he personally took the suspension of Paul Hornung, which reminded him of Red Blaik's experience with cheating players at West Point. The continued demand of excellence took it toll on Lombardi, and he really left the Packer coaching job an exhausted man. The often told Jim Ringo story of his trade to Philadelphia didn't happen the way many books have told it. Lombardi often stressed the importance of God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order, but reality showed the order to be God, the Green Bay Packers, and family last. His immediate family suffered and his own children felt he was more affectionate with children of his players than he was with them. One also gets the feeling that he wasn't really disappointed with the showing of the Phil Bengston Packers, feeling that the slipage of the Packers was due to his not being there. Anecdotes of others notables such as Otto Graham, Packer announcers Ray Scott and Tony Canadeo, George Wilson, in addition to the Packer players make this a simply outstanding book to add to your library. Want to know how the Super Bowl got its name? It's an interesting story and it's here in the book. You can order the book here from Amazon for half the price you would pay in a book store. This book is one for your permanent library.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen "The Pope of Green Bay"ÿ, 5. Januar 2000
Von 
Douglas Walters "dtw" (Norman, OK, USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Most of us have worked for this guy before. He's the type who makes mighty mountains out of insignificant molehills. He pushes. He screams. He roars over spilled milk, all the while convinced that he's doing it for the good of his employees, if not in the name of some higher cause. His subordinates (and even his bosses) grind their teeth 24 hours a day. He takes his principles to an extreme, even for a football coach. Enter Vince Lombardi.
David Maraniss's WHEN PRIDE STILL MATTERED ( a masterpiece of a title) is the biography of the workaholic football coach who ushered in the modern era of pro ball. As in most such cases, there were victims: family. "The Pope of Green Bay" apparently loved his star running back/playboy Paul Hornung, more than his own children. He spent little time with the latter, usually unable to make the difference between family turf and the playing field. When his adolescent daughter borrowed one of his socks, Coach became apoplectic as easily as if one of his linemen had missed a snap count in the playoffs. Maraniss explains that Lombardi drove Mrs. Lombardi to drinking and, even on his deathbed, relations between he and Vince Jr. were tense and awkward. But the thrust of PRIDE was two-fold.
Green Bay's glory days were a time when pride really did count more than money. Maraniss points out that football was in fact a moonlighting occupation. Ballplayers had off-season jobs as insurance reps, salesmen and, even engineers. They risked crippling injury out of sheer love of the game. Salaries were little more than beer money. It was a time when players (and society as a whole) respected legitimately-exercised authority. It was before Bosworth bombast intimidated the Barry Switzers of football. On the other hand, Maraniss stresses that the past is not always as innocent as it seems.
Lombardi went to mass daily, constantly playing up obedience, responsibility, and patriotism. But he didn't always practice what he preached. The media frequently highlighted Coach's honor-student success and his law degree at Fordham. Maraniss points out that Lombardi was a very average undergraduate. He flunked out of law school. Coach Lombardi did nothing to dispel reports to the contrary. At "Saints" parochial school, he used local cops to flush potential ballplayers out of the brushpiles of delinquency (even Switzer never did that).
Maraniss reveals that, as a Westpoint assistant, Lombardi turned a blind eye toward a university-wide cheating scandal, the ringleaders of which were none other than the varsity football team. Bye-bye, responsibility.
Finally, Coach exploited his friendship with President Kennedy to obtain mililtary leave for Hornung so the all pro could play in the '61 title game. So much for patriotism. Overall, Maraniss's account is balanced and objective. PRIDE leaves one hating Lombardi on one page, deeply respecting him on the next--just how his contemporaries felt about him.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the best biographies ever written., 18. November 1999
My dad was one of the eight men who played under Lombardi for his entire tenure in Green Bay. In fact he is a frequent contributor to Mr Maraniss's work. Now that my some of bias has been revealed I want to say that this is the finest biography I ever read. Mr. Maraniss filled out so much about a character I thought I knew well. I had heard my dad say the things about Lombardi that are quoted in the book, so in some ways the inclusion of his thoughts in the book were its least interesting parts to me. The author's research into Lombardi's early life and his conclusions from that research, not just names and dates, is a thread carefully woven through every chapter to a point that near the end the effect is nearly haunting. Lombardi was not really the myth he is often portrayed as, but rather a man acutely aware of his surroundings in nearly every circumstance who was able to absorb enough positive material from each that when his opportunity finally came he seized it and delivered all he had absorbed in a way no one ever had and maybe never will again. The true inspiration that comes from this book is not what Lombardi became but rather the revelation of the power of something so simple as paying attention to what makes great things great and staying dedicated to those values. I am forty years old and there is picture in my office that is one of my most prized possessions. The photo is of my dad, my brothers, Lombardi and me getting off the plane before the NFL Championship in 1960. It was always important to me because of its unique representaton of that part of my family. Though I never thought it possible, Mr. Maraniss made it more precious to me because of what he taught me about the only guy in the picture who was not a member of my family.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen JReese7131@aol.com loves the book....., 17. April 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Former Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi was chosen the Coach of the Century by a panel of experts from ESPN. To win he had to beat out the likes of John Wooden, Knute Rockne and others. We're talking real tough competition here. Maraniss' book shows clearly why Vince deserved the honor. From the first time I ever saw him, in 1946, when he coached St. Cecilia's against my older brother's team from St. John's Prep in Brooklyn, to the time he drove me up to West Point to meet Red Blaik to recruit me for Army, to the time I met him in the Giants locker room to get sideline passes before a memorable New York-Cleveland game, I'll never forget my images of him. They are exactly as the author describes in the book. He seemed much bigger in person than he actually was - he wasn't a large man, but he looked like he was - possessed of a voice that you automatically listened to, and obeyed. He was the quintessential Coach. I never saw him after he left for Green Bay, but, like all of us, followed his wonderful career from afar. The book chronicles all the ecstasy and sadness of his life: his struggle to balance a home life with celebrity status, his trying to deal with the complexities of the '60's, the relationships with his players, love-hate as it was. I think , amongst all the poignant passages in the book, the one where his wife, Marie, sings to him through a smoky haze in a club in Green Bay after a memorable victory, her eyes locked onto his, amongst a group of their friends, "You're nobody til Lombardi loves you" is pure magic! This is the most richly detailed sports biography I've ever read.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Book with Value, 15. Januar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
The title says it all: "When Pride Still Mattered." Looking to read a book about strength, character, of what really matters, values and leadership. I suggest that if one is not even a armchair football participant you will find this book worthwhile. I cannot say enough positive things about it. Simply. This book is great. As an aside I am curious about other books customers bought. My suggestion: Go beyond organized sports for great reading entertainment. I found in nonfiction LIFE WITH NOAH: Stories and Adventures of Richard Smith... a book that impressed me as much as Maraniss' writing. It has similar parallels. A strong presence of authority -- Noah John Rondeau, the Adirondack Mountain's last hermit. Men of knowledge -- Smith and Rondeau, outdoors men supreme. A strong sense of right and wrong -- distaste toward how some people become spoiled living in a world of convenience and wealth. Winning (success) isn't everything -- tipped against civilization's greed and opulence both men left the world behind learning far more about themselves and the joy one can experience in the wilds than making a buck. Devotion and discipline -- choose to live on the edge of society? These men choose to explore their ability (and skill) to survive. Strong, single-minded figures. Discipline is everything. Through experiences came the inner satisfaction of learning about one's self. I enjoyed this book also because it presented a portrait of real people who faced nature on its austere terms and won. The photographs are also great.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Re-live the Glory Days of the Pack and the NFL, 12. März 2000
When Pride Still Mattered reveals the great Lombardi at a time when America was beginning to discover the power behind pro football. Thanks to this book, I now understand the totality of this man and his influence on the fledgling NFL. This when the Sunday afternoon battles were disputed in the snow, mud and gravel of Lambeau field, the Polo Grounds and Wrigley Field. It was sad to learn of Vince's problems balancing the needs of his faith, family and teams. However, this conflict is business as usual in our society today and was not a revalation to me as much as a reaffirmation that Lombardi was a man, a good man who had great mentors that influenced his abilities to lead and manage the talent of the great Packers of the 1960's. The author reports Max Magee's comments on Lombardi's lack of usefullness on the sideline during games. I would point the author to the San Franciso 49's of the 1980's and the relative ease that coach Bill Walsh exhibited both in the locker room and side line. In one famous photo, Walsh is on his back in the locker room before a game napping on a bench while the players prep for the days activites. Vince had it on automatic. A system that was simple yet powerfull. The power in the huddle and hands of the quarterback, Bart Starr. That is the total fruition of leadership and management. Lombardi understood this. A great man and great American. My blood runs green and yellow. GO PACK GO!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Rewarding Sports Biography and more, 29. November 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Although I grew up in during Lombardi's rise to fame in the 1960's, I have never read any other sports book or biography that dealt with him, up to this time, motivated finally more by Mr. Maraniss's previous books on President Clinton, which I have read, than by any great desire to become knowledgeable about this football great.
There is not much that I can add that hasn't already been said in all the other reader reviews that appear on this page. The author's biography presents a no-holds-bared look at this interesting sports coach and personality that fortunately, as another reader said, presents a man whose reality lives up to the myths that have been built up around him.
What I would like to add is that this book also provides some very useful historical context around the Lombardi years that makes his life all the more vivid: life in the fifties and sixties, the rise of professional football to its prominence today and the rise and influence of the media in the sports world as well as in all other aspects of late 20th century life.
This is a book ANYONE will enjoy, not only because of the subject matter it covers, but also due to the meticulous reporting, fluid writing style, and most of all, for the way the book sincerely tugs on the emotions of the reader, for Lombardi, his family and for a time period gone by.
In sum, this is a book that rewards the reader all the way around.
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When Pride Still Mattered: A Life Of Vince Lombardi
When Pride Still Mattered: A Life Of Vince Lombardi von David Maraniss (Taschenbuch - 3. September 2000)
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