February: More than romantic love.

February 1, 2016
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Vince Lombardi Trophy awarded to winner of the Super Bowl. Photo: SB Davis, at Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, OH, Sept. 2015

February the month of romantic love. Sorry but in my opinion just another excuse for card companies, florists and chocolatiers to make money. For me February is a month closer to spring and golf season, not only that but it is the shortest month of the year. Hurry up March and spring.

Planet Earth takes 365 and one quarter of our days to make its transit around the sun. How do we reconcile that odd figure? Every fourth orbit around the sun earthlings make an accounting adjustment. The year 2016 is a Leap Year. Normally February has 28 days but in Leap Years (every fourth year) it has 29 days to facilitate this accounting adjustment.

Those who happen to have been born in a leap year on the 29th day of February get to celebrate a birthday only every four years. Nice way to deceive oneself I think.

The big sports event of February is the National Football League’s Super Bowl. This is a major event this month and this year is the 50th time the game has been played. Football makes this a great month, but then the season is over which is sad. The big games is usually played the first Sunday of the month.

The new Canadian flag was introduced in February 1965 which is another reason to celebrate. The red maple leaf gives us a rallying point and has become the symbol of Canada throughout the world.

Here are some other interesting observances for the month of February.

Month-long observances:
American Heart Month – United States
Black History Month- Canada and United States

International Days:
Lunar New Year – Traditional Chinese Calendar
Chinese New Year – Chinese Calendar

Odd or Unusual observances:
National Wear Red Day – Feb 5th United States
First Saturday – Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (I really like the idea of this one)

National, State or Provincial Holidays:
Second Monday – Family Day – British Columbia, Canada
Third Monday – Family Day – Alberta, Canada
(Note: Family Day is now celebrated in other provinces too)
Third Monday – President’s Day – United States
Last Friday – International Stand Up to Bullying Day

February Symbols:
– flower – violet
– birthstone – amethyst
– zodiac signs – Aquarius (until Feb 18th) and Pisces (Feb 19th on)

So enjoy February whatever your perspective.

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On Any Given Day – Giants Upset Pats

February 3, 2008

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Above: Dave Tyree of the New York Giants scoring a touchdown. 

The perfect season is no more. Super Bowl XLII ended with David slaying Goliath. The underdog New York Giants played a magnificent game. They showed true heart in their win.

This is another example of the truism of, on any given day anyone can beat anyone. I believe it came down to the Giants wanting it more than the Patriots in this case.

The members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins are surely celebrating because their perfect season of 17-0 including the regular season, playoffs and the Super Bowl still stands. I think it will never be broken. The Patriots had a fantastic season and won 18 games without a loss, but by not finishing the string, that accomplishment will be forever tainted.

Although not a high scoring game it had great defensive plays, wonderful offensive drives and high drama. It should do wonders for the ratings of future Super Bowl games.

Finally to both teams I salute you for providing wonderful entertainment and for the incredible effort.


Vince Lombardi: Super Bowl Coach Personified

January 28, 2008

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I am a huge fan of the Super Bowl and of the National Football League (NFL). This Sunday Febuary 3, 2008 will mark the 42nd Super Bowl. This championship game started January 15, 1967 as a battle between the established NFL and the upstart American Football League (AFL). The AFL was a direct competitioner of the NFL. Eventually the AFL was merged with the established league. This merger took place after Super Bowl IV. Of the first four Super Bowls, the NFL won the first two, and the AFL the next two.

Today marks the day the Green Bay Packers hired coach Vince Lombardi so I thought I’d write about how this man had such a great impact on the Super Bowl. He was hired by the Packers on January 28, 1959. At the time the Packers were a losing team having finished with a 1-10-1 record the previous season. This was his first head coaching job in the NFL. For 4 years prior to this he was assistant coach of the New York Giants.

The first season with the Packers he lead them to a 7-5 record, and the next year to the championship game where they lost 17-13 to the Philadelphia Eagles. He won his first championship in 1961 when they defeated the NY Giants 37-0. In total his Packers won 5 NFL Championships (pre-Superbowl era) and the first two Super Bowls.

sbi_ringticket.jpgAfter the second Super Bowl Lombardi retired. He just could not stay retired though, and in 1969 he accepted a head coaching job with the Washington Redskins. The first season he coached the Redskins to their first winning record in 14 years. His overall coaching record now stood at 105-35-6 without a single losing season.

(above: Ring and ticket from Super Bowl I)

Vince Lombardi personified football coaching in the 1960s, and was perhaps the greatest coach in NFL history. Tragically, he died September 3, 1970 at the age of 57 of intestinal cancer. The NFL inducted him into the Pro Football Hall of Fame the next year. Most significantly, the Super Bowl Trophy was renamed the Vince Lombardi Trophy in his honor.

His beloved Green Bay Packers have appeared in four Super Bowls and have won three. This season they came close, but lost to the NY Giants in the NFC Championship Game in overtime.

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Above: Lombardi Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Super Bowl Championship being held aloft by winning players. 

I’ll leave you with some quotes about and by Vince Lombardi.

“He made us realize that if the mind was willing, the body can go.”
— Forrest Gregg, Green Bay Packer

“He made us all better than we thought we could be.”
— Jerry Kramer, Green Bay Packer

Vince Lombardi Quotes:

“To achieve success, whatever the job we have, we must pay a price.”

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”

“Winning isn’t everything – but wanting to win is.”

I think you’ll agree a lot of what he said made sense, not just to the sport of football, but to everyday life. Vince Lombardi was a truly remarkable man.


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