In a slightly di√erent assessment of Tagliabue’s accomplishments as com-
missioner, SportsBusiness Journal’s Daniel Kaplan mentioned labor peace

along with revenue growth and record tv contracts, as well as ‘‘a strict steroids
policy,’’ but he put above all of them Tagliabue’s ‘‘transforming the very entity
he leads from what was essentially a football league with some tv contracts
into something approaching a full-scale media company.’’≥ It is telling that in

the early weeks after Tagliabue’s announcement, speculation on his suc-
cessor included not just insiders Roger Goodell and Rich McKay but also

possible candidates from outside the nfl, perhaps an executive from an

entertainment, media, or technology company. Kaplan contended that ‘‘refer-
eeing how media and digital rights are divided locally and nationally will be

one of the key tasks of the new commissioner.’’ He also noted, though,
‘‘While the league may look to someone with more media experience to drive
the league, there will be a strong emotional pull to ensure that the person has
a firm connection to football.


Professional football became Americans’ favorite spectator
sport in the 1960s. It was a decade of great players (as is every decade):
Johnny Unitas and Sonny Jurgensen, Lenny Moore and Gayle Sayers, Deacon
Jones and Dick Butkus, John Mackey and Raymond Berry. Nearly the entire
starting lineup of the Green Bay Packers—Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Jim
Taylor, Boyd Dowler, Max McGee, Jerry Kramer, Fuzzy Thurston, Jim Ringo,
Forrest Gregg, Ron Kramer, Willie Davis, Henry Jordan, Ray Nitschke, Herb
Adderley, Willie Wood—became household names. Without question, the
greatest of them all was Jim Brown, one of the nfl’s few truly transcendent
players from any era. In just nine seasons Brown rushed for 12,312 yards,
averaging 5.2 yards per carry and leading the league eight times. He was
Rookie of the Year, then league mvp four times; he played in nine Pro Bowls
and missed not a single game—then walked away after the 1965 season, at
age 30, still in his prime but with nothing left to prove. Few stars in any sport
have been so unfettered by their own stardom. Among other interests, Brown
embraced his role as a black man in a barely integrated sport, as few African
American professional athletes of his generation did, at a time when such
actions provoked more anger and resentment than respect. On the field,
Brown was an astonishing fusion of speed, power, and agility, but no one
player, no matter how good, can guarantee championships in pro football.
Brown and Cleveland were perennial runners-up,a

winning just one title, in
1964, an interruption in the run of the Green Bay Packers through the 1960s.


There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.