Michael MacCambridge's 2004 America's Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation:
And what, exactly, were those lessons? Perhaps paramount among them is that the popularity of a sport is not predestined, and shouldn't be taken for granted.
"Baseball in 1960 was run by people who loved baseball," said the writer and Red Sox executive Bill James, "but it was run by people who, because they loved baseball so much, assumed that there was something 'special' about baseball which had propelled it to its predominant position in the American sports world. And because they made this assumption, they allowed the game to drift. They didn't really think about the game, as a commercial product; they still don't. Pete Rozelle, Lamar Hunt, George Halas and the other people who ran pro football had serious disagreements among themselves, but they all assumed that they had both the right and the responsibility to shape football into the best possible commercial product that could be built upon the framework of the game. If the games were boring, they assumed it was their responsibility to make them more exciting. If the games were too long, they assumed it was their responsibility to trim the fat."
Tags: America's Game, Michael MacCambridge