When Pride Still Mattered

  • by David Maraniss
  • Narrated by Richard M. Davidson
  • 28 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

More than any other sports figure, Vince Lombardi transformed football into a metaphor for the American experience. The nine seasons during which he led the Green Bay Packers to five world championships is the most storied period in NFL history. Lombardi became a legend, a symbol to many of leadership, discipline, perseverance, and teamwork, and to others of an obsession with winning. Maraniss captures the myth and the man, football, God, and country in a thrilling biography that has become an American classic.
This year, on the fortieth anniversary of Vince Lombardi’s death, the immortal coach strides onto the Broadway stage in a new American play, Lombardi, based on Maraniss’s critically acclaimed book, written by Academy Award winner Eric Simonson.

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What the Critics Say

"An astonishingly good book....A triumph, a classic American biography." (Robert W. Creamer The Washington Post Book World)
"Forges a near-perfect synthesis of fine writing and fascinating material. May be the best sports biography ever published." (Ron Fimrite, Sports Illustrated)
"A superb book, one of the best on football that we have." (Michael Oriard, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

when men still mattered

vince lombardi was at heart an actor and a playwright
the oldest son of southern italian immigrants
he longed to be, but never was, a scholarly jesuit priest

for a time he was the offensive line coach at army
he longed to be a soldier and a leader of men in battle
but despite being 28 y.o. in 1941 he never served in the military

modern life seemed artificial, complicated and weak to him
it was only on a football field that life made sense to him
it was there that his virtues, talents and courage mattered

some men need to be tested and know where they stand
they look for ways to face their fears and overcome pain
lombardi understood this better than anyone in his generation

he game these men a stage on which to demonstrate their abilities
he created a world and a set of rules that fit their needs and talents
his demands to "pay the price for victory" resonated deeply with them

all of this success came at a terrible price, of course
his alcoholic wife remained in his fearful shadow all of her life
his son and daughter can honestly say they never knew him

life in post WW II america slowly quit rewarding the male virtues
being clever, attractive, political and comfortable became significant
lombardi would have none of it and wore his old fashioned style with pride

this is easily the best sports biography i've ever heard or read
the themes and scale of the story come close to an american opera
it makes sense that people would want to bring the story to broadway


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- Raleigh

Nostalgia, football and a legend.

Where does When Pride Still Mattered rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was a very nice companion for my weekly 90 minutes highway drive to the city. I will miss it.


What did you like best about this story?

It did a great job taking me to "feel" the 30s, 40's and the movement to the 50's and 60's with their idiosyncrasy. As the chapters occur, you can also feel how the sport change, the strategies and the men that play it. I liked the stories about the people that surrounded Lombardi, the relationship with his players, other coaches and owners. Also allows you to look into a human Lombardi; if you take judgment outside, it's a great experience. It takes you to the era of writers and radio, when the power of the pen could create a legend.


What about Richard M. Davidson’s performance did you like?

The way he personifies Lombardi.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It's not a moment per se, but the constant love for the team, for a game that offers so much for those that are willing to pay the price. The feeling group of men (people) learning from each other, taking care of each other, growing and sharing, football and life.


Any additional comments?

Lombardi is the Sum of people that had a passion for the game and life. Knowledge given to those eager to learn. Each experience builded Lombardi way of coaching...and still does.

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- Jean

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-04-2011
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio