TALES FROM TRAINING CAMP II
GREAT STORY FROM LOMBARDI ERA
This guy delivered pizzas to Vince Lombardi, and tried to deliver them to some of his players.
Mike from Kenosha has a story worth sharing about Packer training camp. He used to work at a pizza place that, as far as I know, is still there in East De Pere, just across the river from St. Norbert College. If you're ever up that way, visit Bilotti's Pizza Garden. It was my favorite pizza up there for a lot of years.... good joint.
So Mike used to deliver once a week to the Lombardi home, which as some of you who know your Packer history will recall... was just up the way from De Pere in Allouez... on the same side of the river as Bilotti's. Mike says coach always asked about him and gave a 10 dollar tip every trip... including the one where the pizzas may, or may not have made it to their intended destination. Here's Mike's story:
As you know, the Packer training camp was at St. Nubs. Veterans could walk across the bridge and enjoy our Italian food, but rookies were confined to camp and the menu of the day. Still, they would call for pizza and we'd deliver. We parked by the bridge and walked stealthily along the river to the back door of Sensenbrenner Hall and rapped quietly at the back door. One evening my future brother in law and I had such a mission. We rapped at the door repeatedly and got no response and then a shadow like that of Alfred Hitchcock came down the stairs.
It was Lombardi! He opened the door. 'Hello Mike, Hi Earl. Got some pizzas I see. Who are they for?." Nervously I read off the names; Archamboult, Duke Cunningham, Grabowski etc and then Earl read his.
Mr. Lombardi then paid us and gave us both his customary ten buck tip and said, "I'll deliver them myself" with his big toothy grin.
I totally believe it. Everything I've read about Vince Lombardi tells me that happened for sure.
I've included a link to an article by St. Norbert on training camp. Check it out if you want to. Later this week... as we approach the first pre-season game... the first guy cut in my first training camp. He's from the Milwaukee area, and he's still playing in the league.