A Biography

Jerry Izenberg
Foreword by David Stern

312 pages


October 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

October 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

October 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Rozelle chronicles the life and times of the architect of the modern National Football League, Pete Rozelle, who transformed football into arguably the most successful sports league in the world. While he was never considered a serious candidate for the job of NFL commissioner early on, the position ultimately catapulted Rozelle into the role through which he transformed the NFL and became a trailblazer for all sports in the second half of the twentieth century. When he became commissioner in 1960, the league had twelve teams playing to half-empty stadiums and was mired in an outdated business model. Rozelle introduced revenue and television profit sharing to guarantee the success of small-market teams and brought every NFL game to national television. 
Rozelle’s monumental achievements include the introduction of the Super Bowl in the ’60s followed by the NFL’s most rapid expansion and the establishment of Monday Night Football. The ’80s saw Rozelle presiding over drug scandals, labor struggles, and the league’s legal battles with team owners such as Oakland’s Al Davis, who famously won a lawsuit to move his Raiders to Los Angeles.
Jerry Izenberg chronicles the iconic life of Rozelle, who revolutionized the culture of sports in America and is responsible for turning the NFL into the preeminent sports league in the world.

Author Bio

Jerry Izenberg is a sports columnist emeritus for the Newark Star-Ledger and is the author of several books, including Through My Eyes: A Sports Writer’s 58-Year Journey. He won the Red Smith Award from the Associated Press Sports Editors and was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 2000.
David Stern is former commissioner of the National Basketball Association.


"The book allows us to appreciate Rozelle's savvy. He always seemed to have something for everyone—you never went home hungry if you hung out with Pete."—Gerald Eskenazi, Wall Street Journal

"Izenberg's Rozelle:A Biography is an outstanding read and not to be missed."—Peter Finney, Times-Picayune

"All professional football fans will enjoy this well-reported biography of a seminal figure in NFL history."—John Maxymuk, Library Journal

"Rozelle: A Biography offers an in-depth illustration of the Rozelle’s appearance in popular culture and is useful for an understanding of his popularity—and why we now consider the commissioner such an important role in North American sport."—Andrew D. Linden, Sport in American History

"Jerry Izenberg was an astute observer of the NFL’s extraordinary growth during the Pete Rozelle era. His coverage was down to earth, his sources were in the know, and he often challenged conventional wisdom. Now, with the benefit of research and reflection, Izenberg’s assessment of Rozelle and key League personalities is as hard-hitting as one might expect. . . . [Izenberg’s views are] briskly rendered, sometimes humorous, and never ambiguous."—Paul Tagliabue, former NFL Commissioner

“Read Rozelle: A Biography, and you’ll know not only why the NFL got gargantuan, but why Rozelle is the single biggest reason why it got so big.”—Peter King, senior writer for Sports Illustrated

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword by David Stern
1. In the Beginning 
2. Moving On 
3. The Accidental Coronation 
4. The Boy Wonder Takes Center Stage
5. How Do You Tell Vince? 
6. Heads They Win, Tails He Loses
7. The 100-Yard Armageddon  
8. Sex, Lies, and Bringing Up Baby
9. Ain’t Gonna Study No War No More
10. Bringing in the Sheaves
11. The Failed Coups
12. Power to the Tackles
13. Another Day, Another Dragon to Slay 
14. At War with the Counterculture
15. Davis Again: Feud without End
16. Never Take a Knife to a Gunfight
17. The Final Battles                  
18. Death Be Not Proud    

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