From Publishers Weekly
The National Football League is more than a collection of well-sculpted athletes; it is a business colossus that has mastered marketing and features media- savvy players, and owners who have taken full advantage of corporate sponsorship. Oriard, a former NFL offensive lineman in the 1970s and now a university professor, examines how the NFL became a business titan, examining the effects of such landmark events as the 1960 hiring of NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle and how the 1993 labor agreement between the players and owners made the league's economic structure more stable and thus much more lucrative. Oriard sometimes gets off track in detailing the league's rise to iconic status, but even his diversions on the players' struggles with owners and how racial stereotyping (even when black quarterbacks are no longer an anomaly) still colors the game are enlightening and well researched. With his casual humor and refreshing lack of academic-speak, Oriard has fashioned a riveting examination of how a violent sport has become a staggering mainstream American success. (Sept.)
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Oriard, a former pro player and current professor, makes the epic tale of the NFLA AE'A AcentsA AcentsAcentsa -A A A-A AcentsAcentsa -A3/4A Acentss touchdown drive from tainted image to powerhouse brand as intensely exciting as a Sunday game on a highlight reel.--Robert Lipsyte, contributing writer, "T