Robert De Niro will have to start practicing his motivational speeches. According to Variety, Mr. Focker will star as Vince Lombardi in a feature film about the legendary Green Bay Packers coach. De Niro will start roaming the frozen tundra of Lambeu Field for the expected 2012 release date. ESPN, Andell Films and the NFL are all attached to the story of probably the most famous coach in football history.

I get a little worried when I see former employers, specifically employers who have reputations on the line, OK’ing a script about one of their icons. Specifically, I wonder about how gritty and real the story will be or if the whole feature will be a feel-good, Lombardi love fest pre-approved by the NFL. For it to be a truly great sports film Eric Roth’s (The Curious Case of Benjamin Blah, Blah, Blah) script will have to give every gritty detail about the years Lombardi spent walking the sidelines for the Green Bay Packers.

Most professional football biopics (Brian’s Song, Invincible) center on the player and his feel good story. This is one of the first I can remember about a coach. I guess the coaches just don’t make for good stories, but the consummate motivator Lombardi may be the one exception. I just want to hear De Niro ask once, “If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?”
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