That First Season: How Vince Lombardi Took the Worst Team in the NFL and Set It on the Path to Glory

ISBN 10: 0618904999 / ISBN 13: 9780618904990
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John Eisenberg's That First Season is the seldom-studied prequel to a phenomenal football career for Vince Lombardi and the Packers, drawing on exhaustive research and interviews to tell an incredible ensemble tale of a team, a town, and their leader.

The once-vaunted Green Bay Packers were a laughing stock by the late 1950s. They hadn't fielded a winning team in more than a decade and were close to losing their franchise to another city. They were in desperate need of a savior, and he arrived in a wood-paneled station wagon in the dead of winter from New York City. In a single year, Vince Lombardi—the grizzled coach who took no bull—transformed a team of underachievers into winners and resurrected a city known for its passion for sport.

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In the late 1950s the once vaunted Green Bay Packers were a laughing stock. They hadn't fielded a winning team in more than a decade and were very nearly in jeopardy of losing their franchise to another city. The ultimate low came in 1958, when, with 7 future Hall of Famers on the team, they went a lousy 1-10-1 under a too-soft coach, Scooter McLean. They were desperately in need of a savior, and he arrived via wood-paneled station wagon in the dead of winter from New York City.

That First Season chronicles Vince Lombardi's remarkable first year as head coach with the franchise he would reinvent and etch forever in football history. In a single year, as the grizzled coach who took no bull, he would transform a team of underachievers into winners and reignite a city known for its passion for its sport. Based on exhaustive new research and interviews, That First Season is the seldom-studied prequel to a football career marked by greatness. Eisenberg pushes away the mist that surrounds the Lombardi legend to bring readers the real story of how the seeds of a football dynasty were sown. He also brings alive an incredible ensemble tale of a team, a town and their leader.


Photographs from That First Season
(Click to Enlarge)

The Packer offense took off when Lombardi inserted Boyd Dowler Paul Hornung, a key player in Lombardi's offense
Don McIlhenny runs the ball against the Colts A fan congratulates Lombardi as he leaves the field

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Title: That First Season: How Vince Lombardi Took ...
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