Tuesday
Nov102009

For Vince Lombardi, Broadway Isn't Everything, It's The Only Thing

November 10, 2009: Will Rodgers, Teddy Roosevelt, Harry S Truman and Jackie Mason have all starred on Broadway. Now it's Vince Lombardi's turn.

The legendary NFL coach will get a new playbook on the Great White Way via Ponturo Management Group, the New York-based sports and entertainment management, investment and marketing company headed by Tony Ponturo. Lombardi, a new multi-character play written by playwright Eric Simonson, who won an Oscar 2006 for Documentary Short for A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin, is scheduled to open in Fall 2010. The play will be based on the best-selling biography When Pride Still Mattered by Pulitzer Prize winning author David Maraniss, who is currently working on a biography of President Barak Obama.

Ponturo Management said that the NFL is considering activating behind the play.

Lombardi actually will be returning to his roots. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1913. He played college football for Fordam University in The Bronx, where in 1936 he was one of the legendary "Seven Blocks of Granite" offensive line, and semi-pro ball with the Brooklyn Eagles. His first NFL job was as an assistant coach for the New York Giants. Lombardi earned his fame as head coach of the Green Bay Packers (1959-67), where he won five league championships and led Green Bay to victory in the first two Super Bowls in January 1967 and January 1968. Following his death in 1970, the NFL championship trophy was renamed the Lombardi Trophy. He was posthumously elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

A big part of the Lombardi legend is based on his motivational quotes, including "Fatigue makes cowards of us all," "Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence" and "A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall."

The quote most attributed to him, "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing," was actually first said by UCLA Bruins' football coach Henry "Red" Sanders but was adapted by Lombardi, who also was quoted as saying, "If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?" and  "If you can't accept losing, you can't win."

“Sometimes we need to go back in our history, to learn lessons for today. Vince Lombardi’s name is on the Super Bowl trophy, but many young people do not know the story of this man.” Ponturo, whose Broadway projects include the current producer of Memphis, said in a statement. “In a time where people continue to look for the shortcuts to success, Vince Lombardi’s story teaches that hard work, discipline, respect and time are the elements needed to succeed.”

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