This past weekend a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer claimed that in 1958 the Eagles almost hired Vince Lombardi. As we all know, he never became the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and went on to coach the Green Bay Packers. This story really got me thinking, that maybe the birds have been cursed by the ghost of Vince Lombardi.
Back in 1958, Eagles general manager Vince McNally really wanted to hire one of the New York Giants talented young assistant coaches, his name was Vince Lombardi.
McNally wanted Lombardi to be the head coach and help run the Eagles organization. The story goes on to say that Lombardi had accepted the job, but, the Giants blocked the move and offered Lombardi the same amount of money to stay on as a assistant. After some time discussing with his family, and many days praying at his local parish, Lombardi decided to stay with the the Giants. The next off season Lombardi became the coach of the Green Bay Packers and the rest is history. It seems like at the time, the Eagles organization did not take kindly to Lombardi turning them down.
However the Eagles moved on, hired Buck Shaw and he led them to the 1960 NFL Championship. It was the last time the Philadelphia Eagles won a world championship. Who did the Eagles beat for the world title? Non other than Vince Lombardi’s Packers. It was the one and only playoff game Lombardi and the Packers lost. At the time, the Eagles organization seem to really bask in the glory of beating the guy who turned them down a couple years early.
The loss was what drove Lombardi for the rest of his career. Many people who knew Vince, say that loss angered him for the rest of his career. Lombardi took much of the blame for that loss to the Eagles. He told his players that this would never happen again, and it never did, as the Packers went 9-0 with Lombardi in the playoffs after 1960.
So what does it all mean? I’m not sure it means anything, but, it seems like we are starting to connect the dots. Why have the Eagles been so snake bitten? They have never been able to win the Super Bowl, even though, they’ve had some very impressive playoff teams over the last 35 years. Is it simply because of bad coaching and poor draft picks? Or is their a deeper meaning to all this heartbreak and sadness.
Think about this for a second, Reggie White becomes a free agent in 1993 and the Eagles cheap owner Norman Bramen doesn’t really make him an offer. With that said, White claimed he prayed for days and the lord told him to sign with the Green Bay Packers. Is this some kind of weird connection? That arguably the greatest Philadelphia Eagle of all time leaves for the Packers, and wins a Super Bowl! The first championship in Green Bay since Lombardi left.
Green Bay also won the Super Bowl in 2010, and who did they beat in the wild card round? You guessed it…the Philadelphia Eagles. Remember the birds were favored in that game.
This isn’t exactly the curse of the Bambio, but, it seems as if there was some mutual resentment between the Eagles and Lombardi during the early sixties. How do we fix this? Do we all get together as Eagles fans and visit the great Lombardi’s grave. Do we ask the Lombardi family to come to Philadelphia and welcome them with open arms?
Or are we just doomed? Is it possible that one of the greatest American leaders, Vince Lombardi, turned down a job in Philly, then loss a championship to them two years later, and since has forever cursed the Eagles from touching his trophy.
Pic Via: wephilly.com