Date of this Version
Rozelle chronicles the life and times of the architect of the modern National Football League, Pete Rozelle, who transformed football into arguably the most successful sports league in the world. While he was never considered a serious candidate for the job of NFL commissioner early on, the position ultimately catapulted Rozelle into the role through which he transformed the NFL and became a trailblazer for all sports in the second half of the twentieth century. When he became commissioner in 1960, the league had twelve teams playing to half-empty stadiums and was mired in an outdated business model. Rozelle introduced revenue and television profit sharing to guarantee the success of small-market teams and brought every NFL game to national television. Rozelle’s monumental achievements include the introduction of the Super Bowl in the ’60s followed by the NFL’s most rapid expansion and the establishment ofMonday Night Football. The ’80s saw Rozelle presiding over drug scandals, labor struggles, and the league’s legal battles with team owners such as Oakland’s Al Davis, who famously won a lawsuit to move his Raiders to Los Angeles. Jerry Izenberg chronicles the iconic life of Rozelle, who revolutionized the culture of sports in America and is responsible for turning the NFL into the preeminent sports league in the world.