The Lombardi Curse

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The NFL's Super Bowl championship trophy, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, was named in honor of Vince Lombardi after his death in 1970.

The Lombardi Curse was an alleged sports-related curse that supposedly prevented the National Football League (NFL)'s Philadelphia Eagles franchise from winning the Super Bowl for as long as the game's trophy is named after Vince Lombardi.[citation needed] Its origin is traced to the Eagles upsetting the Green Bay Packers in the 1960 NFL Championship Game. This game ended up being the lone playoff defeat in Lombardi's coaching career as his Packers would go on to establish a dynasty that would win five NFL championships in the next seven seasons, including the first two Super Bowls.

Meanwhile, the Eagles had not won another league championship since, including having never won the Super Bowl since the game started being played annually in 1966. They appeared in Super Bowl XV in the 1980 season and Super Bowl XXXIX in the 2004 season, but lost both times. In 1970, the Super Bowl trophy was officially named the Vince Lombardi trophy when the league decided to honor Lombardi by naming the trophy after him following his death in 1970.[1] This renaming of the Super Bowl trophy combined with the Eagles inability to win the championship game has led some Eagles fans to believe that the franchise is cursed by Vince Lombardi; that beating Lombardi meant never winning the trophy named after him.[2]

The Eagles defeated the New England Patriots by a score of 41 to 33 in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 4, 2018, ending the alleged curse.[3][4]

Origins[edit]

In 1958, the Philadelphia Eagles offered and nearly hired Vince Lombardi to be their head coach after having served as the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants, but after some discussion he refused it in the end.[5] The Eagles were reportedly not happy with his decision.[6]

The Eagles hired Buck Shaw as their head coach later that offseason. After spending an additional season with the Giants, Lombardi would go on to become head coach for the Green Bay Packers in 1959.

On December 26, 1960, the Eagles defeated Lombardi and the Packers 17–13 in the 1960 NFL Championship Game. While the Eagles organization celebrated the victory over the man who had turned them down two years earlier, Lombardi did not take the loss kindly, and it is said that the loss is what drove him for the rest of his coaching career.[6] He took the blame for the loss and reportedly told his team after the game that "We'll never lose another championship".[7] Lombardi would fulfill his promise, as the Packers went 9–0 with Lombardi in the playoffs since that defeat, winning five championships which included the first two Super Bowls.

Meanwhile, the Eagles did not win another championship for 57 years, the third longest active title drought among all NFL franchises after the Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions. In 1970, Lombardi passed away following a battle with cancer, and the league decided to honor him by naming the Super Bowl trophy after him. While there are no reports that Lombardi has said anything that would suggest he placed a curse on the Eagles, some[according to whom?] Eagles fans believed the franchise was cursed to never win the Super Bowl for as long as the game's trophy was named after the man they handed his lone playoff defeat to.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weatherly, Kaleel (February 5, 2017). "Why is the Lombardi Trophy named after Vince Lombardi?". SB Nation. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  2. ^ Eckel, Mark (15 September 2016). "Big 50: Philadelphia Eagles: The Men and Moments that Made the Philadelphia Eagles". Triumph Books – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Wesseling, Chris (February 4, 2018). "Philadelphia Eagles knock off Patriots, win Super Bowl". National Football League. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Cormier, Ryan (February 5, 2018). "Three generations of Delaware family kiss Lombardi Trophy". The News Journal. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  5. ^ Fitzpatrick, Frank (January 31, 2015). "How Lombardi almost became Eagles coach". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Are the Philadelphia Eagles Cursed by Vince Lombardi? – BrokenBellSports". brokenbellsports.wordpress.com.
  7. ^ Longman, Jeré (January 7, 2011). "Eagles' 1960 Victory Was an N.F.L. Turning Point". The New York Times. Retrieved September 17, 2017.