A Surprise Super Bowl Halftime Duet: Beyoncé and Vince Lombardi

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 3 2013 9:49 PM

A Surprise Super Bowl Halftime Duet: Beyoncé and Vince Lombardi

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Kelly Rowland, Beyonce Knowles and Michelle Williams of Destinys Child perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show.

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Before the double fire outlines of Beyoncé's face and the Destiny's Child reunion, the Super Bowl halftime show opened with a male speaker intoning an inspirational quote. Who was he?

It was the man, the myth, the legend, Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi—the winning coach from Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II and the namesake of the Lombardi Trophy.

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Here's the quote:

Excellence must be pursued, it must be wooed with all of one's might and every bit of effort that we have each day there's a new encounter, each week is a new challenge. All of the noise and all of the glamour all of the color all of the excitement all of the rings and all of the money. These are the things that linger only in the memory. But the spirit, the will to excel, the will to win, these are the things that endure.

This is a version of a standard speech Lombardi gave. David Maraniss' Lombardi bio When Pride Still Mattered includes a similar excerpt from the coach's retirement letter to Green Bay:

Each of us, if we would grow, must be committed to excellence and to victory, even though we know complete victory cannot be attained, it must be pursued with all one's might. The championships, the money, the color; all of these things linger only in the memory. It is the spirit, the will to excel, the will to win, these are the things that endure. These are the important things and they will always remain in Green Bay.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.

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