The NFL’s Most Prized Possession
Last night, I stood in an office chatting with Hall of Famer Jim Taylor. The former Green Bay Packers fullback was about to carry the Vince Lombardi Trophy for Super Bowl XLIV through a crowd of invited guests and more than 20 of his fellow Hall of Famers and place it on exhibit in our new Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery.
He was the only member from the Packers Super Bowl I championship team on hand for the event and as such was given the honor of placing the trophy, named after his former coach, on exhibit. This marks the first time ever that the actual trophy will be on exhibit at the Hall (we’ve had a replica trophy on display for many years). In fact, it’s the first time any fans can see the actual trophy before it’s unveiled in the Super Bowl host city.
What dawned on me in this brief conversation with Taylor is just how much the Super Bowl has grown. Any fan can absorb this fact by touring our new Super Bowl Gallery but this message was reinforced by watching Taylor as he took a look at this year’s trophy.
He glanced down as the shiny Super Bowl Trophy that will be awarded in February to the champions of Super Bowl XLIV and marveled at how quickly 44 years had passed. There were a few of us from the Hall’s staff along with security guards from Brinks who had just delivered the trophy chatting about football. The conversation quickly turned to Taylor’s thoughts on the Super Bowl. Most striking was how Taylor just seemed to shake his head in disbelief at how great of a symbol that relatively small trophy has become.
We asked him if the Packers had passed the trophy around the locker room. And he nonchalantly said, “no, we were just happy the long season was over!”
Yet, he continued to reminisce about the Packers win and seemed like a proud grandfather on just how big of an icon the trophy has become. He grabbed a hold of the Super Bowl XLIV trophy and happily led the way to place it on exhibit.
It was a special moment. Now, it’s going to be fun to watch the reactions of the thousands of fans who will get a glimpse at the NFL’s most prized possession over the next several months as it resides as the centerpiece to our spectacular new Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery.
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