League

David Harris, Author
David Harris, Author Bantam $21.95 (710p) ISBN 978-0-553-05167-4
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
In these 695 pages, Harris (Dreams Die Hard has written a powerful expose of the inner workings of pro football from 1960 to the present. In 1960, Pete Rozelle was elected commissioner and, instrumental in arranging for TV revenues to be split equally among all teams, became the sport's golden boy. But his function was to oversee the people who employed him, a formula sure to invite trouble, and, of course, trouble developed. Rozelle's apogee, according to Harris, came in 1978. After that, various owners began to chafe against the rule that they could not have financial interests in other sports; certain owners began pressuring their local communities to renovate or replace stadiums; union troubles burgeoned, with a player strike interrupting the 1982 season. Rival leagues were formed to challenge NFL supremacy. Finally, teams began to relocate, with the climax reached when Al Davis took the Oakland Raiders to Los Angeles, a transfer that Rozelle and the league opposed. ""League Think'' died and Rozelle's influence has sharply diminished. Harris has brought off a formidable undertaking. Photos not seen by PW. (October)
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