Brand NFL: Making and Selling America's Favorite Sport

By Michael Oriard | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I owe thanks to John Wright for suggesting that I split a book on college and pro football in two, fleshing out a narrative about the NFL alone. I am also grateful for the various suggestions provided by the two anonymous scholars who read my manuscript as part of the editorial process, particularly for their endorsement of my decision to wed a personal perspective to my interpretation of the NFL's recent history.

Producer Steve Seidman and archivist Chris Willis at NFL Films were generous with videos and print materials to help me understand the company's history. And from a serendipitous meeting with Dave Meggyesy—for 25 years the western regional director of the National Football League Players Association, after having been pro football's original radical critic—came his agreeing to read my discussion of the NFL's labor wars. Dave is blameless for my own take on the subject but fully responsible for clarifying some issues.

I also thank the former chair of my department at Oregon State University, Bob Schwartz, and my current boss, Dean Kay Schaffer, for many kinds of support. Most particularly, I thank Kay for allowing me the time to continue writing as I have taken on my responsibilities as her associate dean. In the early stages of my research, a number of my undergraduate students photocopied newspaper and magazine articles for me. To Rimi Arrell, Travis Huntington, Courtney Bowman, Brad Canfield, and Molly Ostrem: thank you all. As always, my manuscript benefited from superb editing and production at the University of North Carolina Press. Much thanks to David Perry, Jay Mazzocchi, Richard Hendel, and their staffs. A book about football during my own lifetime is inevitably informed by innumerable interactions with friends, family members, teammates (and opponents), and colleagues both at Oregon State and around the country. I cannot name them all, and I will not attempt to single out the most important ones because I would regret my egregious omissions. Instead, if you are reading my book, I hope that you know who you are.

In attempting to understand the great public spectacle and drama of football, I have never forgotten that individuals always experience it as human beings. My own sense of football over the past 40-odd years, as well as my attempts to grasp its larger meanings, have been inextricably linked to my wife and sons. To them, my secret sharers, I dedicate this book.

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Brand NFL: Making and Selling America's Favorite Sport
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: The Creation of the Modern Nfl in the 1960s 10
  • 2: No Freedom, No Football 55
  • 3: The End of the Rozelle Era 95
  • 4: The New Nfl 140
  • 5: Football as Product 175
  • 6: Football in Black and White 210
  • Conclusion 250
  • Notes 259
  • Acknowledgments 309
  • Index 311
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