Of all the lessons Coach Lombardi taught his players — pursue excellence, never settle, honor the uniform, respect god, eat nutritionally, prepare thoroughly — one of the richest remains this: value friendship.
Honored residents of Titletown, Lombardi’s Packers bonded in the singular pursuit of championships and collective respect for their coach. That kind of high-fiving, champagne sipping, back slapping, memory making friendship is easy. With celebrity comes joyful gatherings and uncomplicated social occasions. The golf tournaments, poker games, hunting trips and parties ensured an effortless bonding that would have been enough for players of a different coach, men of a different era.
Both the test of genuine friendship and the basis on which it is built happens much more quietly, when dust starts to settle on the trophy case and family finances aren’t meted out from an even playing field.
With a dismissive attitude toward ego, Coach Lombardi encouraged his…