Book Report: Run to Daylight by Vince Lombardi (1963)

Book coverThis book chronicles the week of preparation that the Green Bay Packers the week before the October 7, 1962 game against the (spoiler alert) Detroit Lions from the perspective of head coach Vince Lombardi. The book doesn’t name the opponent, but a little research will yield it. Although a Google search asking who the opponent was for this book apparently has not until now not yielded the result. Instead, I sussed it out by the final score and confirmed it by the mention of the UCLA upset of Ohio State. Look, ma, I’m a researcher!

At any rate, it discusses how much Lombardi studies films, how short that the actual practices are, and how long the meetings with the players are. It reminds those of us who have played the game a little for fun but never in an organized fashion how complex the games are, where each play in the playbook has variations upon variations not only upon where the players are supposed to line up, but also what shoulder they should block on their blocking assignment and whatnot. Even the rockheads on the line have to remember so much. Frankly, a detailed book like this makes me appreciate what they do weekly, and it also reminds me why I only want to dedicate six or nine hours of my life a week on it instead of 50 hours a week year-round.

If you’re a Packers fan, it’s definitely a worthwhile read to get a little behind the Lombardi legend. The book takes place five years before Jerry Kramer’s Instant Replay, which I also recommend, and the time frames are different (Instant Replay is the story of a whole season, not just a week). Are modern football books this detailed, or are they personality-based? The ones I’ve read aren’t like this.

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