Classic Design Awards
Inspirational Plaque Series

back to Inspirational Awards page

Pre-printed copy reads:

What it takes to be No. 1

You’ve got to pay the price.

    Winning is not a sometime thing, it's an all-the-time thing. You don't win once
in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time.
Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

    There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game and that
is first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don't ever
want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for
losers played by losers. It is, and always has been, an American zeal to be first in
anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.

    Every time a football player goes out to ply his trade, he's got to play from the
ground up -- from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to
play. Some guys play with their heads. That's O.K. You've got to be smart to be No. 1
in any business. But more importantly, you've got to play with your heart -- with
every fiber of your body. If you're lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a
lot of heart, he's never going to come off the field second.

    Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of or-
ganization -- an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same.
The object is to win -- to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don't
think it is.

    It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games
draw the most competitive men. That's why they are there -- to compete. They know
the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The objective is to win fairly,
squarely, decently, by the rules -- but to win.

    And in truth, I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep
down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in
good men that really yearns for, needs, discipline and the harsh reality of head-to-head

I don't say these things because I believe in the "brute" nature of man or that men must be
brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly
believe that any man's finest hour -- his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear -- is that
moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field
of battle -- victorious.

Vince Lombardi