Sunday, January 15, 2012


It's not all fast cars and supermodels in the life of a pro athlete:

Emlen Tunnell, a star defender for the glittering, magnetic Giants, had been summoned to Green Bay. It was 1959, and the new Packers coach, Vince Lombardi, traded for Tunnell, ending his run of 11 record-setting seasons in New York.

A longtime Giants assistant, Lombardi was plotting a thorny overhaul of the bumbling Packers and needed allies from his roots. Tunnell, a dynamic safety and a Manhattan fixture in the golden era of New York sports, gamely made the trip halfway across the country to northeastern Wisconsin.

On arrival in his new home, Tunnell was told he had just doubled the black population in Green Bay. The city’s other African-American, Tunnell heard, was the shoeshine man at the Hotel Northland.

The word inspirational has been overused beyond the point of banality, so let me just say that, even if you don't give a hoot about football, the whole article is truly worth your time. Some things to applaud about Lombardi that I didn't know, too.

(h/t: KK, via email)

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