Vince Lombardi is remembered as the greatest NFL football coach. In fact, the Championship Super Bowl trophy is named the “Vince Lombardi Trophy”.
Lombardi was also known as a great motivator. His speech “What it Takes to be Number One” is used in sports and in business. It lists principles for the athletic field and the field of life.
Lombardi was known for his toughness. In fact, rookies and veterans alike were known to fear him. To start out every season, he would gather the players around for the first meeting of preseason. There, he would give his famous “This is a Football” speech. A summary of it below comes from Bob Kimbrell’s “Book on Management”.
“All the players knew that at the first team meeting, the legendary coach would waste no time getting straight to the point. Many of the men, half Lombardi’s age and twice his size, were openly fearful, dreading the encounter.
The coach did not disappoint them, and, in fact, delivered his message in one of the great one-liners of all time.
Football in hand, the great coach walked to the front of the room, took several seconds to look over the assemblage in silence, held out the pigskin in front of him, and said, “Gentlemen, this is a football.”
The story goes that Lombardi stressed fundamentals. After holding up the football as though they had never seen one and describing its importance; He would then take the team out and show them the field. He’d point out the out-of-bounds lines and the end zones. Then, he would remind the players that the football is to go across the end zone line.
Every Monday, the lawyers at the firm get together; and we discuss the fundamentals of handling a case. Every meeting, I learn something.
The courtroom is where the excitement occurs. But, the details of the case come together at the office. Early in the process, you even begin to put your jury instructions together, as the law of the case.
Sometimes, it’s just a good reminder to go through the checklist of the proof of the case; the medical bills and how you are going to deal with the defenses. In those instances of going over the details, it almost feels like Lombardi is growling, “Gentlemen, this is a football”.
For pic o’ day, I found a picture where someone forgot to focus on the details:
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