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

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009 - Sports & Recreation - 292 pages
4 Reviews
On the 50th anniversary of Vince Lombardi's first season in Green Bay, an irresistible and little-known comeback story

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.


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User Review  - knightlight777 - LibraryThing

I started watching football in about 1963. I had the good fortune of growing up in Wisconsin. There was Vince Lombardi on our black and white TV pacing the sidelines cursing his players on to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - clif_hiker - LibraryThing

I don't read too many sports history books... and when I do read one I always wonder why I don't read more. This easy read chronicles Vince Lombardi's first season as the Green Bay Packers head coach ... Read full review


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About the author (2009)

JOHN EISENBERG was an award-winning sports columnist for the Baltimore Sun for two decades and is the author of Ten-Gallon War , That First Season , My Guy Barbaro (co-written with jockey Edgar Prado), and The Great Match Race . He has written for Smithsonian , Sports Illustrated , and Details , among other publications.

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