Pro Football in the 1960s

The NFL, the AFL and the Sport’s Coming of Age


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About the Book

The 1960s were a tumultuous period in U.S. history and the sporting world was not immune to the decade’s upturn of tradition. As war in Southeast Asia, civil unrest at home and political assassinations rocked the nation, professional football struggled to attract fans. While some players fought for civil rights and others fought overseas, the ideological divides behind the protests and riots in the streets spilled into the locker rooms, and athletes increasingly brought their political beliefs into the sports world.
This history describes how a decade of social upheaval affected life on the gridiron, and the personalities and events that shaped the game. The debut of the Super Bowl, soon to become a fixture of American culture, marked a professional sport on the rise. Increasingly lucrative television contracts and innovations in the filming and broadcasting of games expanded pro football’s audiences. An authoritarian old guard, best represented by the revered Vince Lombardi, began to give way as star players like Joe Namath commanded new levels of pay and power. And at last, all teams fielded African American players, belatedly beginning the correction of the sport’s greatest wrong.

About the Author(s)

Patrick Gallivan is a longtime member of the Pro Football Researchers Association and has written numerous articles for their publication The Coffin Corner. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Bibliographic Details

Patrick Gallivan
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 249
Bibliographic Info: 27 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7831-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4040-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 3
One. Lombardi and Namath 13
Two. Crisis Brings Change 22
Three. The First Star 38
Four. The First Tyrant 46
Five. Ground and Pound 57
Six. New Neighbors 70
Seven. Man of the Decade 80
Eight. Can We Just Get Along? 98
Nine. New Leadership 113
Ten. War 129
Eleven. Cease Fire! 144
Twelve. Settle It on the Field 158
Thirteen. New Generations 174
Fourteen. Beating Big Brother 191
Fifteen. Keepers of the Flame 199
Sixteen. Instant Replay 208
Seventeen. The Dream 219
Eighteen. Closing 222
Chapter Notes 225
Bibliography 233
Index 239