Founded as an obscure sports body, the National Football League has grown into a multi-billion-dollar colossus and cultural phenomenon at the center of American sports. In this wide-ranging history, Richard Crepeau synthesizes scholarship and media sources to give the reader an inside view of the television contracts, labor issues, and other forces that shaped the league off the field and all too often determined a team's success on it. He devotes significant attention to Commissioner Pete Rozelle's leadership during an explosive period of growth fueled in part by pro football's conquest of Monday nights, the merging of celebrity and athletics, and the transformation of the Super Bowl into a mid-winter spectacle with record TV ratings. Crepeau also delves into the league's masterful exploitation of media from radio to the internet, its ability to get taxpayers to subsidize team stadiums, and its success in delivering an outlet for experiencing vicarious violence to a public uneasy over the changing rules of masculinity. Probing and learned, NFL Football tells an epic American success story peopled by larger-than-life figures and driven by ambition, money, sweat, and dizzying social and technological changes.
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