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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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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
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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).Read more ›
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.
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.
While I'm an avid sports fan, I didn't realize that Lombardi and Landry's first pro coaching jobs were as coordinators for the New York Football Giants. Because Giant's head coach Jim Lee Howell was a manager of men rather than a micromanager, he gave both Lombardi and Landry unheard of authority in their coaching positions. While not an exhaustive biography of either man, Palladino provides a lot of information about both, and shows how each developed and honed their skills and football systems, which they took to their next jobs, as head coach of the Green Bay Packers (Lombardi) and head coach of the Dallas Cowboys (Landry).
The book is full of a lot of details, anecdotes, and covers the glory days of the 1950's Giants chronologically. And it shows that while Landry and Lombardi were football geniuses, the true hero of the day was Jim Lee Howell, who didn't let his ego get in the way of winning games for the Giants, and managed to keep both Landry and Lombardi from each other's throats, so to speak, and pulling together as a team.
Overall, this is a good book and easy read. I even managed to learn a bit about football in the 1950s. Four stars.
Kindle edition reviewed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I listened to this as an audio book while driving to and from work ( I have about a 30-35 commute, sometimes longer )
I thoroughly enjoyed it. Read more
Great book about two legendary coaches when pro football was becoming an American passion. Many entertaining stories about players, and coaches of that era.Published 14 months ago by James B.
My husband wanted this so I ordered it for him. He really enjoyed it.Published 20 months ago by Aunt Deb
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. Read morePublished 21 months ago by L. Kae
purchased as a gift for my favorite jock hoped to encourage some reading. You can lead a horse to water......Published 22 months ago by PATRICK CLARKIN
Very interesting book about two of the best coaches of all time.Published on August 26, 2014 by Gailya A. Kajihiro
If you like the history of football you will enjoy reading this book.Published on August 7, 2014 by John
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Palladino's book. It was truly a golden era in Giant football history. Landry and Lombardi were great coaches. Read morePublished on January 17, 2014 by Miguel E. Tersy