This wide-ranging history synthesizes scholarship and media sources to give the reader an inside view of the television contracts, labor issues, and other off-the-field forces that shaped the National Football League. Historian Richard Crepeau shows how Commissioner Pete Rozelle's steady leadership guided the league's explosive growth during the era of Monday Night Football and the Super Bowl's transformation into a mid-winter spectacle. 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.
“[Crepeau] has brought together from a great many sources the information necessary to anyone who wants to understand the origins and the workings of the powerful and profitable entertainment vehicle the NFL has become.”—Bill Littlefield, NPR’s Only a Game
"NFL Football: A History of America's New National Pastime chronicles the NFL's growth in an insightful manner that is valuable to all NFL fans. This thorough research by Richard Crepeau does more than provide historical facts, it explains the league's business from an economic and media perspective in a way that no other book has. No understanding of the history of the NFL and its societal impact is complete without reading this book."
--John A. Fortunato, author of Commissioner: The Legacy of Pete Rozelle
"A solid resource for researchers and historians."--Library Journal
"Provides an important back-story on the spectator sport that has become as much a national pastime as a political lightning rod. NFL Football offers a fascinating lens through which to view some of the major themes of twentieth-century US History. Crepeau provides readers with the tools to begin unpacking some of professional football's many contradictions."--American Studies
"A readable, engaging narrative history. Recommended." -Choice