I worked in publishing outside of sports for decades. It was mostly professional book publishing for a large international publishing company that included several business units and complex subjects. Occasionally, we might publish something that included the “body of knowledge” on a discipline. I loved those kind of projects because my strength was helping to put things in context. I worked with many smart company people and many outside authors who contributed to our stuff. Since I started out in a very low position, in some ways, I was just finding myself when my “career ended” 30 plus years later. However, by starting out at the bottom, I had a better understanding of the company’s history and operations than many people. I worked in the hot type days all the way through to “electronic” publishing.
For the last several years I have been working in sports publishing at Sporting Chance Press. We also work with several titles that we classify as “sports and faith.” There are some very good life lessons and encouragement in sports and faith! In this pursuit, I have worked with author Patrick McCaskey who is a Chicago Bears Vice President and grandson of “Papa Bear” George Halas–who was one of the founders of the National Football League and player/owner/coach of the Chicago Bears since it’s earliest days in 1920 until his death in 1983.
We published a book called Pillars of the NFL (can be seen in product section of this website) in 2014 about the top 10 NFL Coaches who have won three or more NFL Championships. But football history to the average fan these days gets as much attention as Ford’s early automobiles. Most people think of history as it relates to their history of the game, not the early days when it all started. It might surprise many fans that there were NFL Champions in the years before the Super Bowl.
During the history of professional football new leagues have come and gone. Sometimes teams from outside the NFL join the league, usually as the opposing league is running out of money and momentum. The American Football League competed with the National Football League in the 1960s. It was decided that both leagues would merge in 1970. For the 1966 season, the NFL Champion would play the AFL Champion in a Championship bowl game that would eventually be called the Super Bowl. While the rival leagues existed for a few years competing with each in their annual bowl game, ultimately the leagues became one and each organization would be organized a Conference as opposed to a league.
But the body of knowledge for the NFL goes all the way back to 1920; it doesn’t start with the Super Bowl. But pro football fans should take heart, the history of the game can be quite compelling even when you look at the earliest decades. But you have to go back in books and other histories. Chances are a 20 minute highlight film on the early days of the league is not going to do it justice. But y0u also should know that the history of the league in terms of its body of knowledge is really just getting started. But I can tell you there is much out there that is being rediscovered by fans all over the world who are finding old books, newspaper, and magazine stories. The body of knowledge is building. This is an exciting time for football history.