People in this neck of the woods have a great affinity for Peyton Manning, who is now the new quarterback for the Denver Broncos. His exploits on the field will no doubt be followed closely.
The Tennessee Volunteers are hoping for a bowl game birth, preferably a BCS Bowl. Certainly in every college football player’s heart is the desire to one day win a National Championship. The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) or Coach’s Trophy is awarded to the NCAA National Champions each year.
On the professional level, the goal of every player is to win the Super Bowl. For this feat, the Lombardi Trophy is awarded annually. This latter trophy is named for Vince Lombardi, renowned coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1959-1967.
Over his career, Lombardi accumulated quite a record: 96 wins (vs. 34 losses), 6 Division championships, 2 conference championships, and 2 Super Bowl victories. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio in 1971.
Lombardi is considered to this day to the paradigmatic football coach. Often, when asked his reasons for success, he would demure and give the credit to others, including his fellow coaches, the players, and even the fans. Those who knew him, however, knew he was just being modest. For many, the key to his success was found in his method of coaching, which was based, above all else, on attention to detail.
Each year, as his team gathered for its first pre-season meeting, we are told that he would give them a similar speech. That speech invariably began with the statement, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” From here, he would proceed to talk about what a football was and why it mattered so in the game.
Following this, he would transition from the locker room to the playing field, where we are told he would carefully explain the lay-out of the field, including the yard-markers, the end-zones, and even the out-of-bounds lines. From this would come an ever increasing delineation of the rules of the game, the division of the teams into offense and defense, and the various positions played by members of each squad. Ultimately, he would get around to the designing of plays and overall strategies for winning the game.
We would do well to take note of Lombardi’s approach. There is a reason he was so successful. That reason is arguably because he never got away from the basics. He continually returned to the fundamentals, understanding instinctively that a failure to do so would cause his players to lose focus and thereby hinder them in the ability required to execute on the field.
It strikes me that life can get pretty complicated at times. If we are not careful, we can get caught up in that complexity and confusion, and lose sight of the things that really matter. And what is true of life in general is especially true in the spiritual realm.
At the end of the day, certain things are fundamental to our faith: the facts that we were created by God, that we then sinned against God, that we were nonetheless redeemed through the sacrificial death of God’s Son, that we are now being sanctified, and that we will one day be glorified by this gracious and loving God. These things are paramount in our convictions and must ever be held dear.
These basic tenets must be cherished, guarded, and returned to frequently throughout life. As we do, we will be reminded of exactly who we are and of what really matters in life. And this will give us the inspiration we need to carry on until that final trump when time is no more and the victory is finally ours!
SOURCE: Many pages on the web are devoted to Vince Lombardi. The official page for Vince Lombardi is: http://www.vincelombardi.com/number-one.html.
My immediate source was:
http://natesrestoration.com/notes/2012/May%202012.pdf. Another good page is:
Check also Amazon.com’s Vince Lombardi page at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Vince+Lombardi.