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There is a story circulated about the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi. As many of you know Vince Lombardi strove for excellence on and off of the field. He demanded it of himself and of his players.

Well, as the story goes during his last season as head coach of the Packers Lombardi and his Packers suffered a rare humiliating defeat on the football field. Certainly those who worked for and around him knew the game of football. But on this day, realizing that many of his players had lost their focus, Vince Lombardi faced a difficult challenge: where to begin after yesterday's humiliating defeat. Realizing that may of his players had lost their focus, he wanted to help them understand the significance of their situation. But there was very little he could say to his team that hadn't already been said. There were few aspects of the game that they had not practiced and analyzed extensively. These men were professionals. They knew that their performance on the field yesterday had been atrocious. They know their performance bore no resemblance to their game plan. They were angry, frustrated, and disappointed, to say the least.

In his remarkable manner, Lombardi met the challenge head-on. Picking up the familiar oblong, leather ball, he went directly to the heart of the matter. In a deliberate manner he brought everyone's attention back to eh basics with five simple words; "Men, this is a football!"

SOURCE: Spader and Mayes, Growing A Healthy Church, Moody Press, Chicago, p. 13

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