Jason Licht to daughter of Lombardi Trophy designer: “Lighten up, Francis”
Buccaneers G.M. Jason Licht has come a long way in seven years with the team. The fact that he even survived seven years constitutes a minor miracle, given the traditional impatience of the team’s ownership.
Licht not only survived but thrived, building a team that while jettisoning Jameis Winston also caught the eye of Tom Brady. Sprinkle in a few veterans attracted to the team by Brady’s presence, and the Bucs have a Super Bowl victory.
With the victory comes a Lombardi Trophy. Brady gave football fans everywhere a surprise on Wednesday by tossing the trophy from one vessel to the next during a Hillsborough River boat parade. Yes, it was the real trophy. Yes, if the trophy had landed in the water it would have plunged 80 feet to the bottom. Yes, one or more over-served players may have jumped in to retrieve it, which could have become problematic as those individuals tried to swim back to the surface after realizing that there was no way to get the thing without a scuba tank and flippers.
The throw itself created concern for Lorraine Grohs. In a video that went nearly as viral as the video of the throw, Grohs claimed that her father designed the Lombardi Trophy while working as a master silversmith at Tiffany & Co.
“It just really upset me that this trophy was disgraced and disrespected by being thrown, as if it was a real football,” said Grohs said. “I didn’t sleep the past two nights because of this, I was that upset. Because I know the passion that goes into this trophy. . . . I personally would like an apology, not just to me and my family, and the other silversmiths but to the fans.”
Licht responded to the clip that was posted on Twitter with a classic gif from Stripes.
While reasonable minds may differ on whether it was reasonably prudent for Brady to throw the trophy between boats (especially since Brady was reasonably drunk), it was a fun moment. Besides, it’s not some sacred idol or religious relic; it’s a hunk of silver -- one of 55 of official Lombardi Trophies, and counting.
The real question becomes, in a year, whether the next champions will try to one-up the Brady maneuver. And if the Bucs win it again, will Brady try to throw it even farther than he did in 2021?