The Essential Vince Lombardi
Readers craving a real insider's take on one of the NFL's most influential coaches should look elsewhere, but those seeking an assemblage of gridiron-inspired wisdom can call time here. Chock-a-block with snippets of motivating words the elder Lombardi uttered in speeches or screamed in locker rooms throughout his life and career, the volume also contains brief recollections from Lombardi fils. Everything the great coach said, from the key to a successful running game to how it's important to be polite to nuns, is meticulously documented for posterity. It's good stuff-platitudes with attitude, if you will-and had the book stopped there, it would have been a welcome addition to the motivational literature of sports fans and business leaders alike. Lombardi Jr.'s explanations of what his father meant and where and why he spoke the words, though, are superfluous, and sometimes serve to distract readers from the coach's thoughts on discipline, glory and personal growth. Quotes from Lombardi's players (e.g. Hall-of-Famers Bart Starr and Jim Taylor) provide pithier insights on the man ESPN named the Coach of the Century.