Jack Elway lives and dreams the NFL. For him, it is a way of life, and one that truly represents everything that makes America great. He also believes that there are certain figures and characters that have truly shaped the NFL, seeing them as the forefathers of the league. He has now revealed who these people are, and why.
The Top NFL Influencers Ever According to Jack Elway
Elway’s top people influencing the NFL are:
- George Plimpton, an author from New York, who wrote Paper Lion. He was responsible for ensuring millions of people could understand and come to love the game.
- Ed Sabol, who got the rights to film, for just $3,000, the NFL championship game in 1960. He also attracted John Facenda, who became the voice of the NFL films, heard by millions the world over.
- Joe Namath, who provided legitimacy to the American Football League. In fact, it is believed that the American Football League would never have merged with the NFL if it wasn’t for Namath.
- Red Grange, who was able to transform the Chicago Bears by signing George Halas. During the 1920s, Grange was part of the true Golden Age of sports, together with such other greats as Bobby Jones (golf) and Babe Ruth (baseball).
- Dan Pastorini, the quarterback for the Houston Oilers, who, in 1978, took on the New Orleans Saints. His ribs were broken and cracked after that encounter and he required Novocain injections during the game itself! He took a quick break to visit hospital but was back on the field the week after. In hospital, he was visited by Byron Donzis, who got an assistant to hit him in the chest with a baseball bat, feeling nothing. This was because he had it covered with the “flak jacket” prototype, which all football players now wear.
- Ronne Arledge, who brought the NFL to the ABC Sports network, thereby effectively saving the channel.
- Tex Schramm, the first president of the Cowboys, and Lamar Hunt, who originally owned the Kansas City Chiefs. They truly merged the AFL and the NFL in 1970, ensuring that the two leagues could become a single entity, moving the Steelers, Browns, and Colts.
- George Halas, a founder of the NFL and owner of what came to be known as the Chicago Bears.
- Pete Rozelle, who was the NFL’s commissioner between 1960 and 1990. He also handled the PR for the L.A. Rams, ensuring that their owners’ egos were suitably managed and making sure that the NFL would be able to survive. He is also now mandatory reading for anyone who wants to learn about sports.
As you can see, very few of these people were players. However, according to Jack Elway, the NFL could not have existed if it wasn’t for these people and he feels the country owes them a debt of gratitude. The NFL is now so ingrained in people’s lives, that it is impossible to imagine a world without it.