The Lombardi Trophy


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Watching Tom Brady tossing around the Lombardi Trophy from boat to boat yesterday like it was nothing got me wondering about the trophy. What's the history behind it, what's its worth, does the winning team just get one? I'm sure many people are wondering the same thing as me, so let's look into it.


Obviously the trophy is named after legendary Packers head coach Vince Lombardi. They named the trophy for him in 1970 after he died from a battler with cancer. The current version of the trophy was first presented to the Baltimore Colts after they won Super Bowl V. According to express.co.uk:

The trophy’s appearance features a football in a kicking position on a three-sided stand. It stands at 22 inches (56 cm) tall and it weighs seven pounds (3.2 kg). The Super Bowl trophy is made entirely of sterling silver.
The trophy costs $50,000 to produce, takes four months and 72 man hours to complete. Each player on the winning team also gets a small replica of the trophy said to be worth $1,400.

The origin of the trophy is one that I would never expect for such an important trophy.

According to dujour.com:

Like any great design moment, it started with a sketch: Not long after the merger of the National Football League and American Football League in 1966 (think of them as the precursors to the NFC and AFC), Tiffany & Co. Vice President Oscar Riedener got together for lunch with Pete Rozelle, the first commissioner of the newly created NFL, to discuss the design of a trophy to be awarded for the “world-championship” game created as a result of the merger. Riedener sketched the original trophy, which has not changed in size or design, on a cocktail napkin.

One of the most infamous trophies in the world got its design on a cocktail napkin. I guess that shouldn't be too surprising. How many people out there do you think exist because a waiter/waitress left their number on a napkin or check. The winning team gets to keep the trophy. This is unlike the Stanley Cup trophy which is passed from team to team each year with the previous teams names added to the engravings. Again according to before Super Bowl 49 dujour.com:

An AWOL trophy: This Sunday marks the 49th Super Bowl, but Tiffany & Co. has actually crafted 50 trophies. The Baltimore Colts captured the Vince Lombardi Trophy for Super Bowl V in 1971; owner Carroll Rosenbloom traded the Colts for the Rams in 1972, but in what’s now considered a rather sneaky move, he finagled to get the trophy back into his hands a few years later for a Super Bowl party, and he never returned it. Rather than get in the middle of an argument, Rozelle decreed that a replica of the trophy should be made and given to Baltimore. When the Colts moved to Indianapolis in 1984—known as the infamous “Midnight Move”—the city of Baltimore was allowed to keep the replica trophy as part of its legal settlement with the team. That trophy now resides in the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

What an absolutely rotten move by Rosenbloom, I love it. Claiming he just needed the trophy for a party knowing all along he was never giving it back. What's even more preposterous is that the League just let him get away with it. To be fair the Baltimore franchise deserved it for all the shit they've pulled in their history. Another weird Baltimore Lombardi story is after the Ravens beat the Niners a few years back the Ravens lost track of the trophy for several hours that night. It was supposed to be at an after party after the game, but it never showed up. The team found it the next morning for the return home luckily. To this day where the trophy went that night remains a mystery.


So there you hopefully learned a little about the Lombardi Trophy. Good thing Tom didn't throw it into the water. There would've been a dive team down there, or it would have cost him a cool $50,000 to replace.