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The Birth of the New NFL
-How the 1966 NFL/AFL Merger Transformed Pro Football-
By Larry Felser

Book Review - By Bob Silvestri

With all the drama and back stabbing of a Hollywood movie Larry Felser tells the story of the build up to the merger of the upstart AFL with the established NFL and the rivalry and animosity between the owners of both leagues. Felser, sportswriter emeritus with the Buffalo News and long one of the most respected writers in the nation, was on the beat covering the Bills during this time and has some interesting first hand antidotes to share. In 1966 the owners of both leagues agreed to play each other in what came to be called the Super Bowl and for a full scale merger for the 1970 season. Felser's account of the behind closed doors cloak and dagger affairs are buttressed by interviews with the movers and shakers themselves including owners Art Modell, Dan Rooney, Lamar Hunt and Al Davis along with players Jack Kemp, Gene Upshaw and others. Through it all the bottom line came down to money. Triggered by the free agent signing of Pete Gogolak by the New York Giants from our Buffalo Bills the owners of both leagues realized an escalating free agent bidding war for players would only cause both leagues to go bankrupt. The decisions of these men changed the face of pro football forever. To find out more information go to www.lyonspress.com


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