Commissioner: The Legacy of Pete Rozelle

Commissioner: The Legacy of Pete Rozelle

by John Fortunato
     
 

In The Commissioner, John A. Fortunato looks at how Rozelle elevated the NFL from a disparate, 12-team league in 1960 to the colossus it is today. He also critiques a number of Rozelle's more controversial decisions, such as the gambling suspensions of Alex Karras and Paul Hornung in 1963 and his decision to play games on the Sunday following the Kennedy

Overview

In The Commissioner, John A. Fortunato looks at how Rozelle elevated the NFL from a disparate, 12-team league in 1960 to the colossus it is today. He also critiques a number of Rozelle's more controversial decisions, such as the gambling suspensions of Alex Karras and Paul Hornung in 1963 and his decision to play games on the Sunday following the Kennedy assassination the same year. Rozelle also endured two players' strikes (one of which involved the controversial use of replacement players) and an antitrust action brought against him by the USFL. Finally, an entire chapter is devoted to his battles, both in and out of court, with Raders' owner Al Davis.

Editorial Reviews

Sports Illustrated
Finally, the inside story of one of the five most important men in the history of football. When you read this book, you'll understand how Pete Rozelle built this game into the American obsession that it is—and you'll understand just who Rozelle was.
— Peter King
Ernie Accorsi
In my opinion, Pete Rozelle was the most compelling sports executive of the 20th Century and his life and career needed to by written. I am so pleased that it finally has. What is so apparent in reading about this great man is not only his vision, his brilliance, his often understood toughness when he needed to be, but also his incredible humility. He was the most humble super star I have ever been around. To have been able to work on his staff is one of the precious privileges of my life.
Sports Illustrated - Peter King
Finally, the inside story of one of the five most important men in the history of football. When you read this book, you'll understand how Pete Rozelle built this game into the American obsession that it is—and you'll understand just who Rozelle was.
Frank Gifford
I first became aware of Pete Rozelle when he was with the Los Angeles Rams and I was getting ready to leave USC for the NFL. One of the "biggies" at the Rams had assured me I would be their top draft pick. I wasn't, and because of that, I got to New York 10 years before Rozelle arrived. Our friendship grew over the next almost 30 years and we came to share many great times, sad times, triumphs, and failures. His success as Commissioner is well documented and he is without question the greatest sport executive in all sports history. Not so well documented is his success as a dear friend. He was intensely private about his own personal life. So while we know much about those he touched in so many ways professionally, we will never now the magnitude of kindness and caring to so many of us who were blessed with a truly wonderful friend. Pete Rozelle is a man I truly loved and still miss most every day.
David Stern
Pete Rozelle was not only a man of extraordinary integrity, grace, and humility; he was an unparalleled pathfinder in the profession of sports leadership. His remarkable vision and strategic approach helped grow the NFL in ways that no other sports league had ever experienced or considered, thus shaping the imagination and direction of the entire sports landscape. He remains a beacon for me and countless other industry leaders — providing a great example of not only what to do but how to do it.
Dan Rooney
The National Football League reached an awesome point during the Rozelle years. Pete Rozelle's integrity, consistency and vision are woven throughout the League's traditions. Pete was a man of distinction in his era (field). I am grateful for his leadership and friendship. He was a friend from the day I met him in the 1950s. The League will always be in his debt.
NFL Hall of Famer
I first became aware of Pete Rozelle when he was with the Los Angeles Rams and I was getting ready to leave USC for the NFL. One of the "biggies" at the Rams had assured me I would be their top draft pick. I wasn't, and because of that, I got to New York 10 years before Rozelle arrived. Our friendship grew over the next almost 30 years and we came to share many great times, sad times, triumphs, and failures. His success as Commissioner is well documented and he is without question the greatest sport executive in all sports history. Not so well documented is his success as a dear friend. He was intensely private about his own personal life. So while we know much about those he touched in so many ways professionally, we will never now the magnitude of kindness and caring to so many of us who were blessed with a truly wonderful friend. Pete Rozelle is a man I truly loved and still miss most every day.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781589792913
Publisher:
Taylor Trade Publishing
Publication date:
09/25/2006
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
8.42(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.93(d)

Meet the Author

John A. Fortunato is assistant professor of Communications at the University of Texas. His current research interest is sports media and aspects of advertising, public relations, and marketing. Fortunato is the author of "The Ultimate Assist," a book about basketball and media. He has also authored articles that have appeared in Public Relations Review, Communications and the Law Journal, Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, and the New Jersey Journal of Communication. His industry experience includes working for NBC sports at both the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics. He lives in Austin, TX.

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