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Buy It; Buy It; Buy It
on February 11, 2009
When I first saw this set of DVD's advertised I thought it might be too pricey especially was for something I'd already recorded for myself off the NFL Network. But when the set's price came down and I checked further, I knew I had to have it. Not only is there an extra hour of rare vignettes on the Packers and Vince Lombardi, but the quality is first rate. It's far better than anything I could put on DVD myself.
The vignettes include a new 15-minute segment on the Ice Bowl, one of the greatest games ever played. For me, just to have this 2007 segment was worth the price of the 3-disk purchase. There are also bits on the 1965 college all-star game where Lombardi's Packers suffered something of a mental letdown and lost the game. Did this discourage the coach and his players? Not for long, as they say in the NFL. Lombardi used this game over and over again in the ensuing season to push his team to victory. In the 1966 re-match against the collegians, the Packers won, 38-0. Finally, there are interviews and profiles of some Packer greats, including Ray Nitschke, Elijah Pitts, Bart Starr, Jerry Kramer, Dave Robinson, and Coach Lombardi, himself. What golden nuggets these are!
For Packer junkies like me, who grew up in Wisconsin with the great Lombardi teams, these DVD's are a treasure. Only problem is that it makes you want more, like a DVD collection of Lombardi's 12 greatest games. In my view, these would be his 9 championship victories and playoff wins against the Colts in 1965 and Rams in 1967. Another one should be the comeback win against the Lions in Detroit in 1965.
Someone also needs to put on DVD the made-for-TV special, "Legend in Granite." The show was produced in 1973 and stars Ernest Borgnine as Vince Lombardi. I've never seen this piece myself but have read write-ups on it. Since we hear the Lombardi estate has now opened its vault on other memorabilia, why not contact them on this one? If Mr. Borgnine is a stumbling block, why not contact him? He's still alive and active. Moreover, his recent "Grandpa for Christmas" shows he hasn't lost his touch. And why not search the archives of WBAY-TV in Green Bay for some of its treasures from the "Vince Lombardi Show," filmed in the 1960's? OK, they may not be high tech by today's standards, but they'd have the superstar coach and his opinions before and after important games.
These programs should not only inspire football fans, but people everywhere who'd appreciate a special man and a special team that never stopped striving for excellence. In today's world of vast mediocrity, we can use a lot more coverage of Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers. The coach used to say that football is a lot like life, because what you think is bad can be turned to your advantage. Also, that the greatest thing is not in never falling but in rising each time you fall. No wonder the Super Bowl trophy bears his name.
Now we also need the NFL Hall of Fame to put guard Jerry Kramer in the hall. Gene Hickerson, the great guard from the Cleveland Browns, has rightfully been installed and now it's Kramer's turn. If Lombardi were alive today, he'd certainly ask, "What the hell's going on around here?"
Last but not least, the 1996 Packers championship season, masterminded by Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren, is included in this set. The DVD also has sidelights on Reggie White and Brett Favre, the players most responsible for the Packers recent return to prominence. Narration is done by actor Kevin Bacon with major contributions by Holmgren, Favre, and Desmond Howard. Gee, this is great stuff.