Brand NFL: Making and Selling America's Favorite Sport by Michael Oriard

By Michael Oriard

Specialist soccer at the present time is a $6 billion activities leisure undefined. during this astute field-level view of the nationwide soccer League for the reason that 1960, Michael Oriard appears heavily on the improvement of the game and on the snapshot of the NFL and its particular position in American lifestyles. on the middle of this tale is a question with out easy solution: has the extreme commercializing and "branding" of NFL soccer because the past due Nineteen Eighties satirically weakened the cultural energy of a recreation whose allure for greater than a century used to be essentially noncommercial?

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Lombardi won with carefully selected and self-selecting players. He won with men who were willing to be his boys. The ones whom Lombardi ran o√ mostly left no record of their feelings. At least one of them did, a tough little player named Billy Butler, who played just one season in Green Bay. ’’∏∂ Lombardi had initial success with the Washington Redskins before he was stricken with cancer, but had he repeated the same methods and not quickly produced a champion, he might have faced rebellion.

Even more than Roone Arledge, Howard Cosell believed that he was the show on Monday nights, the football game just his stage. To some degree he was right. Cosell instantly became both the most admired and most despised broadcaster in sports, and in both roles he drew viewers to Monday Night Football, which just as quickly became one of the top-rated shows in all of prime time. f Above all, I resented Cof. I would not appreciate Cosell’s politics—his championing of Muhammad Ali when the sporting establishment reviled and feared him—until many years later.

Rozelle would be commissioner of the combined leagues, a decision that left Davis embittered and his personal war with Rozelle and the nfl only postponed. As with the national television contract, one more hurdle remained: the merger violated antitrust law at the expense of the players, who would no longer be able to pit one league against the other in bidding for their services. Rozelle succeeded in Congress again, this time by promising Senator Russell Long and House Majority Leader Hale Boggs, both from Louisiana, to place a franchise in New Orleans.

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