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Lombardi and Landry: How Two of Pro Football's Greatest Coaches Launched Their Legends and Changed the Game Forever Hardcover – September 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A riveting look back at two Hall of Fame coaches who were instrumental in making pro football the great game it is today. It's one of the best books I've ever read about this momentous era in Giants history." --Frank Gifford, New York Giants Hall of Famer

"This is a fascinating behind the scenes look at arguably the two greatest assistant coaches on one staff in NFL history. The dynamics of these very different but brilliant men is compelling. Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down." --Ernie Accorsi, former General Manager, New York Giants

"Greatness is not born; it's developed and honed. The history and greatness of Coach Landry and Coach Lombardi is developed and honed by Ernie Palladino is his page-turning book. It's a great read for all of us who love sports and who love a challenge." --Dan Lauria, star of the Broadway play "Lombardi"

"In accessible, exciting prose, sportswriter and Giants beat reporter Palladino highlights the achievements of legends Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry, who both worked as assistant coaches under the New York Giants' Jim Lee Howell." --Publishers Weekly --Publishers Weekly

"A revealing look at a significant period in NFL history." --Booklist --Booklist Publishers Wee

About the Author

Ernie Palladino is a sportswriter with nearly fifty years of experience. He spent thirty-three of those years at the Journal News (Westchester, N.Y.), including twenty covering the New York Giants as a beat reporter. Presently, he writes Ernie Palladino’s Giants Beat for Scout.com, part of the Fox Sports Blog Network. He lives in Staten Island, New York.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616084413
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616084417
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 6.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a sportswriter with four decades of experience, the last 22 years as a New York Giants beat writer.

In a 33-year career at The Journal News (Gannett Westchester) I covered just about every sport imaginable, on every level. But telling the story of the New York Giants has easily been the biggest thrill of my pro career. Since I started on the beat in 1989, I covered a dozen Super Bowls, including three with the Giants starting with their victory in Super Bowl XXV, or "Wide Right" as Giants fans have come to know it, as well as the loss to Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV, and the stirring victory over the then-undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII that was highlighted by "The Catch" by David Tyree.

I have won numerous writing awards, including my newspaper's Mighty Pen end-of-the-year award for my coverage of Super Bowl XXV, several national Gannett Well Done awards, and several New York Associated Press Sports Editors Association plaudits.

I have also covered the Yanks and Mets, where my infamy in bringing torrential rains upon the proceedings was matched only by my fame in entertaining readers with compelling writing. My crowning achievement, much to the dismay of my Yankee Stadium colleagues, was the 7 1/2-hour rain delay we sat through in 2009 as a 1:30 p.m. start against the Washington Nationals turned into a 9 p.m. first-pitch. One writer offered to pay my salary for the day if I would just go home. Heartwarming bunch, those guys.

I also broke three ribs at the Roberto Duran-Davey Moore fight at Madison Square Garden in the mid-1980s, and grew close to legendary St. John's coach Lou Carnesecca during my years covering that school and college basketball in general.

An educator as well, I am a frequent guest lecturer in college journalism course, most notably at my alma mater, Fordham University. I taught his own sports writing and basic reporting classes at Long Island University for 10 years between 1986 and 1996 and was regarded as one of the toughest, though fairest, professors in the journalism department. Among my several success stories were Daily News assistant news editor Rocco Parascandola and Hall-of-Fame fantasy football writer Scott Engel of Rotoexperts.com.

Since departing from the Journal News in August of 2009, I have been busy freelancing for such publications and services as AM-New York, the Staten Island Advance, and the Associated Press, among others. I currently serve as publisher and editor of Ernie Palladino's "The Giants Beat" website (http://nyg.scout.com) on the Scout.com network, a subsidiary of FOXSports.com.

"Lombardi and Landry" marks my debut as an author. I hold it as my proudest career achievement.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Fred Goodwin on October 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Review: "Lombardi and Landry" by Ernie Palladino

Palladino, Ernie. Lombardi and Landry: How Two of Pro Football's Greatest Coaches Launched Their Legends and Changed the Game Forever, New York: Skyhorse Publishing. 2011. HB, 284 pages, illus. List: 24.95, ISBN: 978-1-61608-441-7

Palladino does a great job of bringing to life a golden age of pro football that few current fans were around to see. I was born in the mid-50s and became a Cowboys fan in the mid-60s so I missed the Giants era of greatness that Palladino describes. But having read his book, now I understand why the Giants were so good during that time.

As a Cowboy fan, I wanted to read this book to learn more about Tom Landry's early coaching days, and I wanted to know what it was about him that attracted the attention of Clint Murchison (Cowboys owner at the time) and Tex Schramm (Cowboys then-GM). Palladino covers much of the usual ground about Landry's innovations: e.g., reading defensive "keys", fine tuning the 4-3 defense into the 4-3 "inside" and the 4-3 "outside" (although I must admit I'm still not exactly sure of the difference between those two), and the evolution of the middle linebacker position, in particular how Sam Huff played it. It's all very fascinating stuff, but many true Cowboy fans will already know a lot of this.

What I didn't know until reading this book was how intense was the rivalry between not just Landry and Lombardi, but between the offensive and defensive units, the competition between the units for practice time and between the coaches for players (this was long before the era of 53-man rosters and complete 2-deep units on both sides of the ball).
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Eric Mayforth on August 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Virtually all serious NFL fans know about the storied coaching careers of Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers and Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys, but there are many younger fans that do not know that in the 1950s both of these legends served together as assistant coaches for the New York Giants under Jim Lee Howell. In "Lombardi and Landry," author Ernie Palladino looks back at the era when the two coached in the Big Apple.

Palladino recalls how the Giants' superlative coaching staff was assembled, how fortunate Lombardi and Landry were to work for Howell, and describes the working relationship between the two. The author notes some of the innovations Lombardi made on offense and Landry made on defense, and relates some of the personal characteristics of each that were integral to their coaching success.

The book provides good detail of the key games in Giants history during the five seasons (1954 through 1958) that Lombardi and Landry were both assistants for the team, with special emphasis on the 1956 title season and the 1958 campaign in which the team fell to the Baltimore Colts in the famous title game. The author closes by chronicling the post-New York years of the two coaches.

Since it has now been almost a half-century since the first Super Bowl was played, many tend to focus on the Super Bowl era only and forget that the NFL had much rich, interesting history prior to 1967. In "Lombardi and Landry," Palladino does fans of the league a service by providing a thoroughly researched, well-written look back at the role of two legendary coaches in an era of NFL history that deserves to be remembered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alan Beggerow VINE VOICE on May 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It would be hard to imagine two men more different in temperament than Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry. Lombardi, the passionate and emotional offensive coordinator and Landry, the defensive coordinator of controlled emotions and few words. Both worked for the same team, the New York Giants, and brought excellence to the squads in their charge. Lombardi was an innovator on offense, a man that knew how to work relentlessly "toward perfection and achieving excellence", while Landry got the same quality of results by different means.

Both of these men changed their sport forever. Both of them achieved success like few others before or after. The game would not be what it is today without their innovations and philosophies. This book is a joy for anyone interested in the history of professional football. It was a different time, football was a different game, but these two giants of the game were instrumental in creating the basis for the modern game.

The book is well written, and a great read. Most highly recommended.
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By L. Kae on November 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Football fans will be thankful they read this book. It's well written and full of information & not just about Lombardi and Landry but other players also, such as Frank Gifford. I hope Santa gives it to every person that's ever watched a football game. It's not just about the game but people also. I can't recommend it highly enough. If Santa doesn't bring it, get it on Amazon -- maybe even right now.
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By Miguel E. Tersy on January 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Palladino's book. It was truly a golden era in Giant football history. Landry and Lombardi were great coaches. I sometimes wonder if one of them had stayed how great the Giants would have been. A very good book that I am sure any football fan would appreciate.
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Lombardi and Landry: How Two of Pro Football's Greatest Coaches Launched Their Legends and Changed the Game Forever
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