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Book Review: 'Raising Lombardi'

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Raising Lombardi (by Ross Bernstein)
Raising Lombardi (by Ross Bernstein)

'Raising Lombardi: What It Takes To Claim Football's Ultimate Prize,' by Ross Bernstein is a look at the players in the NFL that have been fortunate enough to be able to hoist the ultimate Super Bowl prize known as the Lombardi Trophy. The trophy was renamed for the legendary head coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi, whose team captured the first of what will be the 46th Super Bow in league history next February in Indianapolis.

Included in these players own words are many from the old Baltimore Colts, who not only won Super Bowl V in 1971, but lost in 1969, as well as winning the NFL Championship in 1958 and 1959, before there was a Super Bowl game. The guys on the Baltimore Colts who were interviewed included Raymond Berry, Lenny Moore, Gino Marchetti, Artie Donovan, Andy Nelson, Ted Hendricks, Earl Morrall, Alex Sandusky, Bill Curry and Don Joyce.

Although there were guys who had won some of the more recent Super Bowls with the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers, I found it interesting that there were no quotes or interviews with any members of the Baltimore Ravens, who won Super Bowl 35 in 2001. I wrote to the publishers to ask Mr. Bernstein why no Ravens quotes were in the book and received this response:

"Please convey to Bruce that I tried repeatedly to get some Ravens but was unfortunately unsuccessful in my efforts.  Tell him I am sorry!  Thanks!  Ross"

Overall, the book is a great read, as it is fascinating to read how thrilled these players were to win that elusive ring, how appreciative they were for the guys around them in the locker room and how much they respected their coaches who paved the way by preparing them for being able to say they reached the pinnacle of everyone's goal in the NFL.

(Read more about the book and the author after the 'Jump')

Raising Lombardi:

What It Takes to Claim Football’s Ultimate Prize

By Ross Bernstein

Foreword by Michael Strahan & Daryl "Moose" Johnston


"What did it meant to raise Lombardi? It’s almost indescribable. You’re at a loss for words when it happens because it’s such a profound moment. Your whole world changes in an instant."

            —Joe Theismann



To raise it means you’ve won it. And to win it means you’ve survived a season-long journey fraught with peril and untold adversity. In his highly anticipated sequel to Raising Stanley, Ross Bernstein interviewed over 75 current and former NFL players and coaches who all had one thing in common—they were champions.



Raising Lombardi: What It Takes to Claim Football’s Ultimate Prize features in-depth interviews, rich history, and inspirational stories of determination and perseverance from players and coaches of all eras, including: Jerome Bettis, Steve Young, Mike Ditka, Paul Hornung, Tony Dungy, Jerry Kramer, Mike Singletary, and the 2010 Packers’ Mason Crosby and Cullen Jenkins, among others. These players’ accounts span more than a half-century of football champions—from the NFL championship games featuring the likes of Frank Gifford and Johnny Unitas, to the first Super Bowls matching the NFL’s and AFL’s best, to the modern era where conference champions meet in the most highly anticipated sporting event of the year.



Raising Lombardi is full of unheard stories, from hilarious behind-the-scenes antics in the huddle, the practice field, under the pile, and on the team plane, to poignant life-lessons and hard-earned wisdom about motivation and leadership that resonate from the locker room to the board room. Entertaining as well as compelling, readers will learn about the win-at-all-cost mentality necessary to claim the game’s ultimate prize and what it truly means to become a champion. Raising Lombardi celebrates the honor, courage, and sacrifice that bonds teammates together and is a must read for any die-hard football fan who wants to know what it takes to be a winner both on and off the gridiron.



About the Author:

Ross Bernstein is the best-selling author of nearly 50 sports books and has been featured on CNN and ESPN, as well as in The Wall Street JournalNew York Times, and USA TODAY. As an internationally recognized motivational speaker, Ross uses inspirational sports stories as a metaphor for life and for business to energize and connect his audiences. His program "The Champion’s Code," is all about the DNA of what makes champions so unique. Ross and his wife, Sara, have a daughter and presently reside in EaganMinn. For more information,