Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vince Lombardi

After finishing When Pride Still Mattered, written by David Maraniss I discovered several parallels between Vince Lombardi with the life of my grandfather, Howard Dunney. Born in Brooklyn within a few years of each other, both men ended up playing for rival football teams, the Fordham Rams and NYU Violets(see attached article). Their lives became different not so long after the game, my grandfather going to command a ship in the Pacific Theatre, Lombardi coaching high school basketball then onto football in Englewood, NJ then onto becoming the greatest coach and a figure that typified the authoritative 1950's style patriarch. I am so glad that Maraniss dug deeper into the complex and deeply flawed nature of him while completely defending the essence of his character.

On a supernatural note, one part relating to his dying is going to stay with me. Lombardi's most favorite player, Paul Hornung, who by the tone of the book seemed to be as beloved to him as his own son, synchronizes with Vince at the moment of his death from a town away. "Hornung... was jolted awake with an odd sensation, 'It was freaky', he said later, 'I woke up and said to myself, We lost him, We lost him"
Its true that a similar event occured upon the moment of Howard Dunney's death at the age of 91 where I was awoken and just knew, I had a real vision on the moment, literally could see it when it happened.