Let's Learn About: The Vince Lombardi Trophy
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The National Football League's iconic Vince Lombardi Trophy, awarded each season to the Super Bowl champions, was originally called the World Championship Game Trophy.
The trophy's design began as a sketch on a cocktail napkin in 1966 by Oscar Riedner, vice president of design for the Tiffany & Co. jewelry company.
Mr. Riedner's sketch, developed during a luncheon with NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, featured a regulation-size football in kicking position on an elongated tee. Aside from updating the NFL's logo, the trophy design has remained unchanged since its original drawing.
Requiring approximately four months and 72 hours of labor to complete, each Lombardi Trophy is hand-spun, assembled and engraved at Tiffany & Co.'s workshop in Parsippany, N.J. The seven-pound, 22-inch-tall trophies are cast entirely of sterling silver and valued at more than $25,000 each.
The NFL renamed the World Championship Game Trophy in 1970 to honor legendary Green Bay Packers head coach -- and winner of Super Bowls I and II -- Vince Lombardi.
The Lombardi Trophy is presented to the Super Bowl champions during an on-field ceremony immediately following the game. After the presentation, the trophy is sent back to Tiffany & Co. to be engraved with the date and final score of the game, as well as the winning team's roster. A new trophy is created each year -- unlike professional hockey's Stanley Cup -- and kept at the winning team's headquarters.
After winning Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1, 2009, the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise earned its sixth Lombardi Trophy, the most of any team in NFL history. The San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys are tied for second with five trophies apiece.
As the Steelers kick off the 2009 NFL season, visitors to the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the History Center can learn about the team's Super Bowl success and experience nearly 50 never-before-seen photos of team players and management at the new exhibit, "Behind the Scenes With the Pittsburgh Steelers: Photographs by Mike Fabus."
First Published September 10, 2009 12:00 am