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EXIT OF THE DAY:
EXIT 72b; I-95s to Fort Lee, New Jersey & Englewood, New Jersey
Upcoming is a fork in the road. If you go west you merge onto the Interstate 80 which goes all the way across the nation terminating at the Oakland Bridge in San Francisco, California. Nearby both I-95 and I-80 pass Hackensack, New Jersey. What’s in Hackensack? Well Hackensack is rebranding itself as “the Sack”… As in, “Consider moving to “the sack” for job and career opportunities!” A racially diverse region, Hackensack is emerging as a tech and medical center. It can claim not just a world class health care facility in the Hackensack University Medical Center, but also boasts one of the country’s top High Schools in the Bergen County Academies. In fact, in 2020 BCA ranked number one in the country.
Nearby in Englewood, New Jersey in 1939, a 26 year old Italian American teacher named Vince accepted a job to be a teacher at Saint Cecilia — a Roman Catholic high school. In addition to physics, chemistry, and Latin, young Vince also signed up to be assistant coach on the football team. He was paid an annual salary of just under $1,000. Four years later, in 1943, Vince was now Head Coach. That year, Saint Cecilia's was recognized as the top high school football team in the nation.
Saint Cecilia closed it s doors in 1986. But the teacher went on to become the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s. There he led the Packers to 5 National Football League championships in just 7 years. Even more memorable, once the NFL merged the AFL into its ranks, the teacher and the packers won the first two Super Bowls in 1966 and 1967.
Today the winning Team of the Super Bowl receives a trophy named for that physics, chemistry and Latin teacher. The trophy is famously named the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Vince Lombardi demanded total dedication to the game -- even to the point of denying his players, well, let's just say, "interpersonal relations" with their spouses on the night before the game. Lombardi thought nookie would detract from his players' game day passions. (I wonder if coaches do that today?)
Sadly Lombardi’s career was cut short. Lombardi died from colon cancer at the height of his success. Still, Coach Lombardi is considered to be one of the best and most successful coaches in professional football history.
In 1970, the NFL named the award for the annual Super Bowl Champions "The Vince Lombardi Bowl".
Here are some Fast Facts about the Vince Lombardi Bowl itself:
Fast Fact One: the trophy is made by Tiffany's & Company and is sometimes called "The Tiffany Trophy".
Fast Fact Two: It originally had the words inscribed on it: "World Professional Football Championship". No longer.
Fast Fact Three: Since Super Bowl 30, the award has been presented to the winning team's owner on the field following the game. Previously, it was presented inside the winning team's locker room.
And finally, unlike trophies such as Hockey's Stanley Cup, a new Vince Lombardi Trophy is made every year and the winning team maintains permanent possession of that trophy.
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