The definitive biography of the powerful commissioner who masterminded the Super Bowl and changed professional sports forever
Pete Rozelle built a sports empire. He invented the Super Bowl, tripled the size of the NFL, and turned football into a billion-dollar business. Before he came along, Monday was just another weeknight. Rozelle was the archetype of the modern sports commissioner and one of Time magazine’s 100 most important people of the 20th century.
In Rozelle, critically acclaimed biographer Jeff Davis goes deep into the extraordinary life of this legendary figure. Showcasing exclusive interviews with more than a hundred of Rozelle’s family members, colleagues, admirers, and detractors, Davis weaves a compelling narrative fabric that masterfully spans Rozelle’s life from childhood through his days as an executive with the L. A. Rams, to his triumphs as commissioner of the NFL and his everlasting impact on the American way of sport.
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Jeff Davis is a lifelong Chicagoan and career journalist. He has covered network and local news and sports for more than three decades as a writer, television producer, and reporter. His work has earned numerous honors including five Emmys, plus AP and UPI awards for reporting and documentary production. He is the author of Papa Bear, the acclaimed bestselling biography of Chicago Bears coach and owner George Halas.From Publishers Weekly:
Pete Rozelle is often considered the greatest commissioner in sports history. Under his nearly 30-year regime as commissioner of the National Football League, Rozelle essentially turned the NFL from a well-organized recreation league into a business empire. Most sports fans would relish a well-reported look at a man who changed the American sporting landscape, but they won't find it here. Davis (Papa Bear: The Life and Legacy of George Halas) inexplicably devotes entire chapters to events that Rozelle had little involvement in—the controversial death of Eugene Big Daddy Lipscomb, the Heidi game—and goes on numerous tangents about other people while Rozelle makes only cameo appearances in his own biography. Failing to condense rambling quotes from many of his sources, Davis even inserts his own reminiscences into the narrative, crippling the momentum. There are some revelations (especially on Rozelle's rocky first marriage and his abilities as a father), but they are not enough to make this either a clear picture of a monumental sports figure or an entertaining read. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
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