John Pinero is Vince Lombardi in a One Man Play and Motivational Presentations
Vince Lombardi Motivational Keynote Speaker, Professional Public Speaker, Inspirational Speaker, Sports Speaker, Corporate Events, Theater Performance


 

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Green Bay Press Gazette

**** (Excellent - Highest Rating)

ONE-MAN SHOW BRINGS VINCE LOMBARDI TO LIFE

By Warren Gerds

 

DE PERE - Imagine Vince Lombardi sitting and watching Vince … The Life and Times of Lombardi performed by John Pinero.

Would the real man raise his arms, his hands clenched in excitement, and whoop “Hot dog!” as when Bart Starr scored and iced the ice bowl win?

Or would he have a different sideline outburst, an angered shout: “What the hell is going on out there?”

Pinero squared off with the local giant Friday night in Walter Theatre of St. Norbert College and would have captivated the man himself.  Hot dog!

Much of Vince delves into the philosophy of Lombardi.  His tenets about duty, respect for authority and discipline come to life in Pinero.

Like Lombardi, Pinero is from Brooklyn and has the same sensibilities about excellence.

Pinero looks a lot like Lombardi and generates the same kind of intensity.

Vince packs a lot into less than two hours.  Pinero did his homework, and then some.

With Lombardi’s 1969 retirement speech as general manager of the Green Bay Packers as the foundation, Vince weaves through Lombardi’s life pretty much from start to finish.

While we see many of the prime characters in his life, which Pinero plays with a simple addition of a coat or another prop, the play’s prime ground is motivational material.

“I believe the strength of a group is in the strength of the leader,” Pinero/Lombardi says.

The toughest battle for a leader is winning hearts, he says later. “Once you win their hearts, they will follow you anywhere.”

Many of Lombardi’s players hold him dear to this day.  I’ve witnessed that.

Witnessing Vince on the turf Lombardi once prowled was fascinating.  The full house of 750 was a mix of young and old.  Packer garb was spread throughout the crowd.  The audience was rapt at crucial points.  It laughed freely at others.

“It’s a quiet ride to Green Bay,” Lombardi says in a car after accepting a job in a place his wife, Marie, first thinks is “the end of the Earth.”  Lombardi tries to explain away the weather with, "It's cold, but it's a dry cold."

Little in Vince does not ring true, or close to it.  However, references to Lombardi missing exits while driving his kids to school are puzzling. Green Bay had no freeway at the time.

Pinero is disarming.  Vince is thoughtful, provocative and entertaining. It is hero-worshipping for a lot of good reasons. 

 “We make no issue about a man’s color,” Lombardi says at one point. The only colors on the Packers are green and gold, he says at another.

Pinero also has a wonderful way of saying “Green Bay Packers”--- reverent, mellow and earnest.

He earned a standing ovation Friday night.  At his curtain call, he beamed and spoke warmly of the city, “which welcomed me with open arms.”

He would be welcomed back.

You are never beaten, time just runs out on you. Fatigue makes cowards of us all. Mental toughness is essential to success. Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. I don't give a damn about statistics as long as we win. If you don't think you're a winner, you don't belong here. Confidence is contagious, so is lack of confidence. The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender. The real glory is being knocked to your knees, then coming back. Competition builds stamina, character and aggressiveness. We will play every game to the hilt, with every ounce of fiber in our bodies. Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice, makes perfect. The quality of life is a full measure of your personal commitment to excellence and victory. Leadership is not a quality, but rather a blend of qualities, and each man must develop his own blend to be successful. Success rests not only on ability, but upon commitment, loyalty and pride. Some of us will do our job well, some of us will not, but we will be judged by one thing, the results. If you never settle for anything but your best, you'll be surprised what you can accomplish. Leaders are made, not born, and they are made like everything else is made. They are made by hard effort. Character is the result of two things, mental attitude and the way we spend our time. The will is character in action. The successful man is honest with himself. Our greatest glory is not in falling, but in rising every time we fall. Mental toughness is essential to success. Somewhere deep down there is a burning desire to excel, and if you believe that, then pack your bags and get the hell out of here. Dancing is a contact sport, football is a hitting sport. Leadership should extend further than your company. You can't always be first, but you have to believe you should have been. You are never beaten, time just runs out on you.

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