Vince Lombardi Trophy

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Vince Lombardi Trophy
Lombardi Trophy.png
SportAmerican football
Given forWinning the Super Bowl, the championship game of the National Football League (1966–present)
CountryUnited States (United States)
Presented byNational Football League
First awardJanuary 15, 1967; 53 years ago (1967-01-15)
First winnerGreen Bay Packers
Most winsPittsburgh Steelers (6), New England Patriots (6) (Tied) (AFC) San Francisco 49ers (5), Dallas Cowboys (5) (tied) (NFC)
Most recentKansas City Chiefs

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]


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 trophy was first awarded to the Green Bay Packers after they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 35–10 to win Super Bowl I on January 15, 1967.

Even though it is a national tournament, the award was initially inscribed with the words "World Professional Football Championship". It was officially renamed in 1970 in memory of NFL head coach Vince Lombardi, who led the Packers to victories in the first two Super Bowl games, after his death from cancer.[1][5] It was thus presented for the first time as the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl V when the Baltimore Colts defeated the Dallas Cowboys 16–13. It has also been referred to as the "Tiffany Trophy" after Tiffany & Co.[6][7]

Since Super Bowl XXX, 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. In the case of the community-owned Packers' two titles since Super Bowl XXX, the team's President & CEO (Bob Harlan in Super Bowl XXXI and Mark Murphy in Super Bowl XLV) has accepted the trophy.

Unlike trophies such as the Stanley Cup and the Grey Cup, a new Vince Lombardi Trophy is made every year and the winning team maintains permanent possession of that trophy, with one notable exception being Super Bowl V's, won by the then-Baltimore Colts. The city of Baltimore retained that trophy as part of the legal settlement between the team and the city after the Colts' infamous "Midnight Mayflower" relocation to Indianapolis, Indiana on March 29, 1984. Since then, both the relocated Colts and their replacement in Baltimore, the Ravens, have won the Super Bowl and earned trophies in their own right.

Since Super Bowl XLV, the Vince Lombardi Trophy is also prominently featured in the standardized logo design now used for all future Super Bowl games.[8]


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.[9] 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.[10] It left a baseball-sized dent in Gronkowski's last championship trophy– his third overall– and his former team's sixth.[11] 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)."[12] Patriots vice president of media relations Stacey James stated that "Maybe they’ll [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."[13][14]

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 Redskins (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]

The trophy has been presented on a stage constructed on the field since Super Bowl XXX in 1996. A personality from the TV network broadcasting the game handles the presentation ceremony. Traditionally this has been Terry Bradshaw, a four-time Super Bowl champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers when the game is televised on FOX, the first being Super Bowl XXXI (except Super Bowl XLVIII, when Bradshaw had to return to his native Louisiana the day before the game after a death in his family; Michael Strahan substituted for Bradshaw. This change allowed Strahan to present the trophy at MetLife Stadium, the successor to Giants Stadium, where Strahan spent the entirety of his 15-year Hall of Fame career with the New York Giants). Jim Nantz has handled the duties for CBS since becoming the network's lead NFL play-by-play voice, beginning with Super Bowl XLI.

The commissioner, winning owner, winning coach, winning quarterback, and-if not a QB-the MVP, are usually recognized. The Lombardi Trophy Theme, composed by David Robidoux in 2005, plays during the trophy hand-off.[15]

From Super Bowl XXX to Super Bowl XXXIX and Super Bowl LIV, the trophy was set on the stage to begin the ceremony.

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, brings the Lombardi Trophy to the center of the stadium, as he walks past members of the winning team. Joe Namath has participated in the most Lombardi Trophy hand-off ceremonies with three appearances.

The players, along with the Super Bowls in which they participated in the Lombardi Trophy presentation ceremony, are listed below.

See also[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". 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. ^ Weiner, Evan (February 3, 2011). "Super Bowl XLV: Vince Lombardi wanted no part of the Super Bowl". Retrieved February 19, 2012. The Jets apparently didn’t think too highly of the Tiffany Trophy the organization received for winning [Super Bowl III]
  7. ^ Christl, Cliff (February 7, 2011). "Packers GM Thompson made all right moves". Rockford Register Star. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2012. [Packers General Manager Ted] Thompson actually clapped his hands in celebration a few times, spoke a few words and helped hoist the Tiffany trophy with [President Mark] Murphy and coach Mike McCarthy
  8. ^ Watkins, Calvin (February 4, 2010). "2011 logo is first of NFL's standard look". ESPN Internet Ventures, LLC. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  9. ^ George, Shannon (September 10, 2009). "Let's Learn About: The Vince Lombardi Trophy". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  10. ^ Reiss, Mike (April 17, 2019). "Gronk leaves his mark: Dent in Lombardi Trophy". ESPN Internet Ventures, LLC. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  11. ^ Fiske, Angelique (April 18, 2019). "The story behind the dent in the Super Bowl LIII Lombardi trophy". NFL Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  12. ^ Princiotti, Nora (April 17, 2019). "Gronk dented the Lombardi Trophy". The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  13. ^ Goss, Nick (April 17, 2019). "WATCH: Gronk dents new Lombardi Trophy". NBC Sports. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  14. ^ Garro, Adrian (April 18, 2019). "Rob Gronkowski dented Super Bowl trophy at Fenway". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  15. ^ "The Lombardi Trophy Theme (The Official Theme of the Super Bowl)". iTunes. Retrieved 2012-11-28.