The League: The Rise and Decline of the NFL

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9780553051674: The League: The Rise and Decline of the NFL

Based on three years of research, extensive interviews, and confidential NFL documents, an investigative report documents the little-known power struggles that have recently reorganized the internal structure and politics of the football business

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From Publishers Weekly:

In these 695 pages, Harris (Dreams Die Hard has written a powerful expose of the inner workings of pro football from 1960 to the present. In 1960, Pete Rozelle was elected commissioner and, instrumental in arranging for TV revenues to be split equally among all teams, became the sport's golden boy. But his function was to oversee the people who employed him, a formula sure to invite trouble, and, of course, trouble developed. Rozelle's apogee, according to Harris, came in 1978. After that, various owners began to chafe against the rule that they could not have financial interests in other sports; certain owners began pressuring their local communities to renovate or replace stadiums; union troubles burgeoned, with a player strike interrupting the 1982 season. Rival leagues were formed to challenge NFL supremacy. Finally, teams began to relocate, with the climax reached when Al Davis took the Oakland Raiders to Los Angeles, a transfer that Rozelle and the league opposed. "League Think" died and Rozelle's influence has sharply diminished. Harris has brought off a formidable undertaking. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Rather than an upbeat playing history of the National Football League, New York Times writer Harris gives a sober, heavily detailed study of the League's business, labor, and legal dealings. The early years of Commissioner Pete Rozelle's tenure saw unlimited success, particularly after the 1970 merger with the American Football League. Soon, however, the NFL and Rozelle were beset with strikes, lawsuits, unsanctioned franchise moves, and the new rival, the U.S. Football League. Crowning blows were declining TV audience and the all-out Rozelle-Al Davis war. Harris gives revealing, often scathing profiles of principal actors in this valuable addition to college and comprehensive public library sports collections. Morey Berger, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Freehold, N.J.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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