Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tom Landry


I never thought of Tom Landry as a player but imagine the surprise at coming across this photo. He did indeed play. He was a cornerback for the NY Giants for a few years before finding his calling. He transitioned to defensive coordinator in 1956 to begin his coaching career. Vince Lombardi was his opposite number as the Offensive Coordinator on that Giants team. In 1960 Landry was installed as head coach of the NFL expansion Dallas Cowboys.

I really don't care much about the Cowboys but I find it interesting how Landry fits into the old guard NFL. I was never fooled by the stoicism. I knew he must be repressing emotions. You can't be a football guy and not have strong emotions. I learned later he was a deeply spiritual man. I suppose this can account for an ability to control one's emotions but it all seemed so blank, meaningless. Why be involved in the game if you are not going to enjoy the experience? For me Landry represented a facade for the business of football.

Though I guess he let his hair down a bit and smiled after the Cowboys first Super Bowl win in 1972.

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