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Thursday, May 26, 2011
BBAO: Fan maintains Lombardi gravesite

By Kevin Seifert

We're Black and Blue All Over:

We've all experienced a resurgence of interest in former Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi over the past year. He's been the subject of a Broadway play, an excellent HBO documentary and the trophy named in his honor returned to Green Bay this past winter. We've even read long stories about the house he lived in while coaching the Packers.

On Thursday, Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette brings us the story of Lombardi's gravesite in New Jersey, which is maintained meticulously by a devoted fan who found it overgrown and neglected when visiting 25 years ago. Gary Martin, now 58, has made the three-hour drive to the cemetery anywhere from four to 12 times per year go ensure the stone is readable and the plants around it are trimmed.

Martin was discovered recently by Lori Keck, who was Lombardi's secretary in Green Bay. She visited the site last Sunday.
Martin: "He's the guy that really brought professional football to the table, and the Super Bowl. I think he was a true leader of men, and I have to respect that. I noticed that nobody ever took care of his grave. So I felt like I was obligated to do that for all the joy he gave me."

The legend grows.

Continuing around the NFC North: