Vince Lombardi Trophy

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Vince Lombardi Trophy
SportAmerican football
Awarded forWinning the Super Bowl, the championship game of the National Football League (1966–present)
CountryUnited States (United States)
Presented byNational Football League
History
First awardJanuary 15, 1967; 54 years ago (1967-01-15)
Editions54
First winnerGreen Bay Packers
Most winsPittsburgh Steelers (6), New England Patriots (6) (Tied) (AFC)
San Francisco 49ers (5), Dallas Cowboys (5) (tied) (NFC)
Most recentTampa Bay Buccaneers
Websitesuperbowl.com

The Vince Lombardi Trophy is the trophy awarded each year to the winning team of the National Football League's championship game, the Super Bowl. The trophy is named in honor of NFL coach Vince Lombardi, who led the Green Bay Packers to victories in the first two Super Bowl games.[1]

History[edit]

During lunch with NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle in 1966, Tiffany & Co. vice president Oscar Riedner made a sketch on a cocktail napkin of what would become the Vince Lombardi Trophy.[2] The original trophy was produced by Tiffany & Co. in Newark, New Jersey.[3] Others have since been handcrafted by the company in Parsippany, New Jersey.[4] As of 2017, the trophy is produced at the Tiffany & Co. Forrest Hills manufacturing facility in Cumberland, Rhode Island.

The first trophy, inscribed with the words "World Professional Football Championship," was awarded to the Green Bay Packers on January 15, 1967, after they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I. Following the death of Vince Lombardi in 1970, the trophy was officially renamed in his memory.[1][5] It was presented for the first time as the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the Baltimore Colts after their victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V.[citation needed]

Originally, the trophy was presented inside the winning team's locker room. Since Super Bowl XXX, it has been presented to the owner of the winning team on the field. Packers team president and CEO Bob Harlan and Mark Murphy accepted the trophy on behalf of the Green Bay community after Super Bowl XXXI and Super Bowl XLV, respectively.[citation needed]

Unlike trophies such as the Stanley Cup and the Grey Cup, a new Vince Lombardi Trophy is cast every year, and the winning team maintains permanent possession of it. The one exception is the trophy won by the then-Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V, possession of which the city of Baltimore retained as part of the legal settlement after the Colts made their infamous "Midnight Mayflower" relocation to Indianapolis, Indiana, on March 29, 1984. Both the relocated Colts and their successors, the Ravens, have since earned trophies in their own right.[citation needed]

Since Super Bowl XLV, the Vince Lombardi Trophy has been prominently featured in the Super Bowl logo design.[6][7]

Appearance[edit]

The Vince Lombardi Trophy stands 22 inches (56 cm) tall, weighs 7 pounds (3.2 kg) and depicts a football in a kicking position on a three concave sided stand, and is entirely made of sterling silver.[citation needed]

The words "Vince Lombardi Trophy" along with the Roman numerals of that year's Super Bowl are engraved on and the NFL shield is affixed onto the base. After the trophy is awarded, it is sent back to Tiffany's to be engraved with the names of the participating teams, the date, location, and the game's final score.[8] It is then sent back to the winning team for them to keep. Smaller replicas are made for each person on the winning team.

For the first four championship games, both the NFL and the AFL logos were in the center of the trophy. Starting from Super Bowl V, only the NFL shield was on the front. Beginning with Super Bowl XXXVIII, the shield took on a frosted appearance. Starting with Super Bowl XLIII, the slightly redesigned NFL shield began appearing on the trophy, still with a frosted appearance. Other than the logo, the trophy has had no significant changes made since the first Super Bowl. While no franchise possesses all four versions, the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, New York Giants, and Pittsburgh Steelers have three of the four designs.

Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski using the trophy as a bat (left), and the baseball-sized dent left after, April 2019

Rob Gronkowski denting incident[edit]

On April 9, 2019, Rob Gronkowski (who had retired from the New England Patriots two weeks before) used the Super Bowl LIII Vince Lombardi trophy as a bat to bunt a practice pitch from wide receiver Julian Edelman during the Boston Red Sox season opener where he was to throw the ceremonial first pitch with his former teammates.[9] It left a baseball-sized dent in the trophy – his third overall – and his former team's sixth.[10] The humorous documentary-style video released by the Patriots about the incident became popular, with special teamer Matthew Slater, who witnessed the incident first hand, saying that if anyone can get away with it, it would be the "[Super Bowl] MVP (Edelman) and the future Hall of Famer (Gronkowski)."[11] Patriots vice president of media relations Stacey James stated that "Maybe they’ll [the organization] fix it down the road. That’s something they can always fix in the future, but at least for now, we’re going to keep the dent and tell the story."[12][13]

Teams with the most Vince Lombardi Trophies[edit]

The Super Bowl is currently played in early February (the game originally took place in early to mid-January), culminating a regular season that generally begins in September of the previous calendar year. For example, Super Bowl 50, which was played on February 7, 2016, determined the league champion for the 2015 NFL season. The years shown below refer to the season, not the date that the Super Bowl was actually played.

Former US President George W. Bush with the trophy, June 2006

The Pittsburgh Steelers (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005, 2008) are tied with the New England Patriots (2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016, 2018) with six Vince Lombardi Trophies. The Dallas Cowboys (1971, 1977, 1992, 1993, 1995) and the San Francisco 49ers (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994) are tied for third with 5 each. The Green Bay Packers (1966, 1967, 1996, 2010) and the New York Giants (1986, 1990, 2007, 2011) are tied for fifth with four each. The Oakland Raiders (1976, 1980, 1983), the Washington Football Team (1982, 1987, 1991) and the Denver Broncos (1997, 1998, 2015) are tied for seventh with three each.

Although none of these teams have ever won three straight Super Bowls, two teams have won three Lombardi trophies in four years and one team twice won the trophy two out of three consecutive years: The Dallas Cowboys (1992, 1993, 1995) and the New England Patriots (2001, 2003, 2004) and (2014, 2016) and (2016, 2018). The Pittsburgh Steelers won four Super Bowls in six years (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979).

Presentation ceremony[edit]

Trophy presentation after Super Bowl LIV

The trophy has been presented on a stage constructed on the field since Super Bowl XXX in 1996. A personality from the network broadcasting the game handles the presentation ceremony. Terry Bradshaw has hosted every presentation for FOX since Super Bowl XXXI, with the exception of Super Bowl XLVIII, when Michael Strahan substituted for him. Jim Nantz has handled the duties for CBS since Super Bowl XXXV.[14] Dan Patrick hosted the ceremony for NBC from Super Bowl XLIII[15][16] to Super Bowl LII.[17]

The winning owner, winning coach, winning quarterback, and (if not a quarterback) the game MVP are usually recognized. Until Super Bowl LIII, "The Lombardi Trophy Theme," composed by David Robidoux in 2005, played during the trophy handoff.[18]

From Super Bowl I to Super Bowl XXIX, the trophy was held by the commissioner to begin the ceremony and the commissioner then handed the trophy directly to the team owner in the winning locker room.

From Super Bowl XXX to Super Bowl XXXIX and from Super Bowl LIV on, the trophy was set on the stage to begin the ceremony and the commissioner handed the trophy directly to the team owner on the field.[citation needed]

From Super Bowl XL to Super Bowl LIII, a former NFL player, usually a past Super Bowl MVP or notable figure of the host city's franchise, brought the Lombardi Trophy to the center of the stadium, as he walked past members of the winning team. Players who have partaken in Lombardi Trophy presentation ceremonies are listed below:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Korn, Morgan (February 3, 2016). "Vince Lombardi Trophy: A Tiffany Piece Money Can't Buy". ABC News. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  2. ^ "Vince Lombardi Trophy". ProFootballHOF.com. NFL Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  3. ^ Nix, Naomi (January 7, 2014). "Original Vince Lombardi trophy comes home to Newark". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  4. ^ Horovitz, Bruce (January 30, 2002). "Football's super prize reaches icon status". USA Today. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
  5. ^ Tanier, Mike (January 31, 2010). "Excess Reigns at Super Bowl and That's No Ballyhoo". The New York Times. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "NFL unveils new Super Bowl logo, with national and regional looks". NFL.com. NFL Enterprises, LLC. February 4, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  7. ^ Watkins, Calvin (February 4, 2010). "2011 logo is first of NFL's standard look". ESPN Internet Ventures, LLC. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  8. ^ George, Shannon (September 10, 2009). "Let's Learn About: The Vince Lombardi Trophy". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  9. ^ Reiss, Mike (April 17, 2019). "Gronk leaves his mark: Dent in Lombardi Trophy". ESPN Internet Ventures, LLC. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  10. ^ Fiske, Angelique (April 18, 2019). "The story behind the dent in the Super Bowl LIII Lombardi trophy". Patriots.com. NFL Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  11. ^ Princiotti, Nora (April 17, 2019). "Gronk dented the Lombardi Trophy". The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  12. ^ Goss, Nick (April 17, 2019). "WATCH: Gronk dents new Lombardi Trophy". NBC Sports. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  13. ^ Garro, Adrian (April 18, 2019). "Rob Gronkowski dented Super Bowl trophy at Fenway". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  14. ^ SUPERBOWL XXXV post game and Trophy, retrieved 2020-12-08
  15. ^ Super Bowl Interview of the Pittsburgh Steelers Pt. 1, retrieved 2020-12-08
  16. ^ Gardner, Steve. "Dan Patrick won't return as NBC's 'Football Night in America' host". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  17. ^ Eagles Trophy Presentation & MVP Ceremony! | Eagles vs. Patriots | Super Bowl LII Postgame, retrieved 2020-12-08
  18. ^ "The Lombardi Trophy Theme (The Official Theme of the Super Bowl)". iTunes. Retrieved 2012-11-28.