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February 7, 2011 by David Gillaspie

The Bandwagon Helmet

When Titletown claims another Lombardi Trophy, it’s worth review, a deep review.  

When they snag it in Texas you can’t just look away.  Even the losers have history there.

My mom spent her first ten years in Dallas.  GrandDaddy Ragle made sure we were Cowboy fans early by taking us kids to the training facility to meet guys from the Doomsday Defense.

We’ve been Cowboys for life.

Oregon’s own Mel Renfro, known as the Deion before Deion wasn’t there, but others were.

The Pack collected their fourth title on Cowboy turf.  

Their first two had some Cowboy on it, too.

Two years in a row the Packers beat the Cowboys in the NFC championship game before running the Chiefs and the Raiders for the first two Super Bowl wins.  

No one says it, but if the Cowboys had advanced, they would have beat those teams too.

Chiefs and Raider Nation might not say it, but as long as it was warmer than a deep-freeze, the Cowboys had a chance.

When they finally moved up to the final game of the year they found the Steelers waiting three times.  

Just like the Packers did twice before, the Steel Curtain dropped on Big D the first two times.

Those Steeler teams ran the 70’s with four rings.  If you can’t remember them, think Jack Lambert with no teeth at middle linebacker, and Terry Bradshaw with similar fierceness behind center.  

All they did was set the standard of excellence for one group of players, from Franco Harris to Mean Joe Green.

Current Steelers could have used a page from the old Steelers.  It might have helped them.  

Would former players have helped with the Packers?  They didn’t need any help.  

But if the Pack had the same choice in former players, it’s easy to know who to pick.

Ray Nitschke‘s face is still tattooed on many running back’ nightmares.  That’s the sort of thing that never washes off.

Would a dash of cold water and few slaps make Ray go away?  Not if #66 was administering treatment.

The Packers of yesteryear ruled the league from the top.  They knew what to do, and how to do it.  How many steps does a pulling guard take before making a cut?  How long does it take a ball to reach a spot before a receiver breaks?

They all knew the answers.  They had to know the answers. 

One of the most intriguing family trees in the NFL sprouts from the New York Giants, of all places.  Vince Lombardi was their offensive coordinator in the 50’s.  Tom Landry was the defensive coordinator.

Together, they changed the game. 

The Green Bay Packers changed it a little more in the 2011 Super Bowl.

The Lombardi Trophy will travel north and get unpacked at its home.

The old coach must be smiling.


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