What is the Vince Lombardi Trophy?
The NFL is the pinnacle of sports in the U.S. Each year, millions of Americans will turn their eyes to watch the sport of the year, and an amazing 45.2 million Americans will bet on the NFL and be wiggling ready to place their Super Bowl bets as the season comes to a close.
Each year the season closes with the Super Bowl and the winners are handed a trophy, namely the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The Vince Lombardi Trophy is the trophy that is awarded each year to the winning team of the NFL’s Super Bowl. It is named in honor of the NFL coach Vince Lombardi, who led the Green Bay Packers to victories in the first two Super Bowl games in the NFL.
What is the origin of the Super Bowl Trophy?
The trophy can have its roots traced back to a lunch in 1966 where NFL Pete Rozelle wanted to have a trophy to present for the inaugural AFL-NFL Championship Game. The only company that contacted the NFL for this task was Tiffany & Co. vice president Oscar Riedener. He went on to meet with Rozelle for lunch, however spent some time beforehand wanting to think up a concept for the trophy.
Riedener knew nothing of the sport, so he went to FAO Schwartz and bought a football that he put on his kitchen table. He grabbed a box of Cornflakes and sat staring at the football as he ate. When he finished his bowl, he began to cut up the box into the base, to wit the football resides on top of today. When he met with Rozelle, he sketched out the design on a cocktail napkin. Rozelle liked his idea and the trophy is still in this exact design to this day.
The ‘World Championship Game Trophy’ was presented for the very first time in 1967 to Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers, who beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I.
What is the Trophy made out of?
Would it surprise you to know that there is no expense lost in the craftsmanship of the trophy? It is crafted entirely of sterling silver by Tiffany & Co. silversmiths in a Rhode Island workshop. It stands a good 22” tall and weighs 7lbs. The original trophy was made in the Tiffany & Co. in New Jersey, however, since 2017 it has instead been made in Cumberland, Rhode Island.
Many would say that winning this trophy is ‘priceless’ which is not strictly true. The trophy actually costs $50,000 to make, and it takes four months and 72 hours of labor to complete.
Players do not get their own Lombardi Trophy, simply because it takes so much to produce. Instead, every player on the winning team gets to take home a mini replica. Yet, still, these are with a good $1,500, a piece. They also get to look forward to their Super Bowl rings, which are crafted by Jostens for 36 of the last 54 Super Bowls.
When was the Super Bowl Trophy named the Vince Lombardi Trophy?
Before we knew the game as the ‘Super Bowl’ it was known as the AFL- NFL Championship Game. Only four years later did the name of the trophy get changed. It was in 1970 that the league decided to change the name of the award from the ‘World Championship Game Trophy’ to the ‘Vince Lombardi Trophy’ after the passing of Vince Lombardi.
So, who was this legend who had such an astounding trophy named after him? Well, Vince Lombardi was a legendary head coach for the Green Bay Packers. He had managed to capture five championship titles within nine years. In the preseason, Lombardi had a .840 winning percentage, as he won 42 of his 50 games.
Yet, it wasn’t until the post season that he became a renowned legend, he had a winning percentage then of .900 with a record of 9-1. The only loss being to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1960.
The NFL decided that they wanted to honor the former legendary coach by renaming this incredible trophy after him when he passed.
Lombardi once said, ‘Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing’.
Which team has won the most Vince Lombardi Trophies?
As it currently stands, the teams who have the most Vince Lombardi trophies stand tied, between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots. The Steelers have won 6 Super Bowls and hence have 6 Vince Lombardi Trophies, having won games in 1974,1975, 1978, 1979, 2005, and 2008. The Patriots have won 6 Super Bowls also, and therefore, also have 6 Vince Lombardi Trophies, having won games in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016, and 2018.)
The Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers both have 5 Trophies each, having won 5 Super Bowls each. The New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers both have four Vince Lombardi Trophies each, two of the trophies won by the Packers are actually trophies won by Lombardi himself.
Since the first awarding of the trophy in 1967, every winner of the Super Bowl has had their own trophy to show for it, with just one exception. This exception is when the Baltimore Colts defeated the Dallas Cowboys 16-13 in Super Bowl V, however, when they moved to Indianapolis, they agreed with the city of Baltimore that the trophy would remain there instead of going with them. So, despite them winning the trophy, it still sits in Baltimore.
No team has yet won three Super Bowls in a row, however there are two teams that have managed to win three Lombardi Trophies in a four-year period, with two of these in consecutive years. These are The Dallas Cowboys, having won the trophy in 1992, 1993, and 1995, and the New England Patriots, who won the trophy in 2001, 2003, and 2004.
This trophy is obviously the most sought after in the NFL, and it is a pride to have won one for every team. Lombardi would be proud to see how far his name has gone.