Birth of the New NFL

How the 1966 NFL/AFL Merger Transformed Pro Football

Book Description

The year 1966 marked the birth of the National Football League as we know it, when owners in the NFL and the upstart American Football League agreed to an unprecedented merger, to take place at the start of the 1970 season. They also agreed to play, beginning at the end of the '66 season, a game between each league's champion—a game that came to be called The Super Bowl.

The Birth of the New NFL tells the story of that historic season, leading to the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. It also tells the off-the-field story, the one between warring owners and cities—a story often more brutal than the one on the field. Larry Felser has interviewed the leading men of the day, from Al Davis and Jack Kemp, to Wellington Mara, Art Modell, Lamar Hunt, Gene Upshaw, Dan Rooney, and many others. He presents the struggles of top teams for the chance to represent their respective leagues in the biggest game ever, while also offering a behind-closed-doors view of the wheeling and dealing it took to reach the agreement.

About Felser, Larry

Larry Felser is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America. In 1983 he became the youngest winner of the McCann Award for distinguished writing about professional football and was elected to the writers' wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He covered first pro football game in 1957 and reported on the Buffalo Bills from their inception through 1960 for the Buffalo Courier-Express and from 1963 through 1976 for the Buffalo News. He was a sports columnist for the Buffalo News from 1977 through 2001, adding the title of sports editor in 1982. He wrote a football column for The Sporting News for 25 years and for Street & Smith's pro and college annuals for 25 years and has written articles for many other magazines, including Pro Football Weekly.