Host Ed Sutkowski talks football, business, life, integrity and what it was like to play for Vince Lombardi with Bob Skoronski, Co-Captain of the Green Bay Packers for Super Bowls I and II.
Bob Skoronski is a grandson of Polish immigrants and the son of parents who worked in a rubber factory. Bob’s parents encouraged him and his brothers and sisters to attend college. Though he could have entered Notre Dame, Bob would only go to a school that offered a scholarship to his brother as well. Bob’s two younger brothers went to Harvard and his sister earned a Ph.D. At Indiana University, Bob earned a B.A. in marketing, was co-captain of the football team, never missed a college game, and was voted the Hoosier’s Most Valuable Player as a senior. He has been inducted in Indiana’s athletic Hall of Fame and earned All Big Ten and All American honors.
Bob played in the North-South All Star Game in 1955, and the College All-Star Classic in 1956. Post-Indiana, Bob, then 6’3” and 250 pounds, was drafted in the 5th round by the Green Bay Packers where he received a $5,000 signing bonus and not more than $7,000 per year during his 13 years at Green Bay.
“Ski,” as he was called by his teammates, earned All Pro honors and Co-Captained Green Bay’s victorious Super Bowl I and II teams. Bob was a Packer during the reign of the great Vince Lombardi. Bob describes Green Bay’s conversion from loser status to winner status, Lombardi’s coaching style, and complex, driven and tormented personality; Lombardi became the subject of the David Maraniss book, When Pride Still Mattered, and is memorialized by dozens of his motivational urgings e.g.,
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” Like his coach, Bob led by example on and off the field. Green Bay Packer teammate, Jerry Kramer, wrote in Distant Replay, “Skoronski’s formidable energy and enthusiasm carried him, like so many others who played for Lombardi, from an impoverished childhood to remarkable success on the football field to equal success in the business world.
Post-Green Bay Packers, Bob and other teammates founded and grew a sales organization from zero to $16 million in revenues. He is now retired but remains an avid hunter and fisherman, and, along with some of his Super Bowl teammates called the “Green Bay Legends,” presents motivational speeches country wide. The Legends donate all proceeds to charity.