Home > Back to Search Results > Bert Bell... Co-founder of the Philadelphia Eagles...
Click image to enlarge 553356
Show image list »

Bert Bell... Co-founder of the Philadelphia Eagles...

Item # 553356

January 12, 1946

THE NEW YORK TIMES, January 12, 1946 

* Bert Bell 
* Co-founder of the Philadelphia eagles 
* Becomes the new NFL commissioner 

This 28 page newspaper has one column headlines on page that include: "LAYDEN QUITS POST; SUCCEESED BY BELL" "Resignation of Commissioner Big Surprise to National Football League Men" and more with related photos. (see)

Other news of the day throughout. Good condition.

wikipedia notes: On January 11, 1946, Bell was selected to replace Elmer Layden as NFL commissioner and subsequently sold his ownership in the Steelers after being given a three-year contract at $25,000 per year. A year later, the contract was changed to a five-year pact at the same salary, a move that was followed in 1949 by a ten-year agreement that boosted his annual pay to $30,000.

Among his accomplishments as commissioner, Bell merged the league with the All-America Football Conference, and did battle with the Canadian Football League over scheduling and player rights. He also coined the phrase, "On any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team."

One of his first major acts dealt with a gambling scandal that marred the 1946 NFL Championship game. In response, he was able to create laws in virtually every state that made it a crime for an athlete not to report a bribe attempt.

In addition to all these duties, he also single-handedly plotted out league schedules each season on his dining-room table by using a giant checkerboard. He created the revenue-sharing system that enables the small-market teams to make larger profits and remain competitive.

He also embraced the idea of television blackouts for home teams, especially after watching the Los Angeles Rams lose money after they televised all of their 1950 season games. However, he was seen as being a little too strict when he refused to lift a blackout for Detroit viewers to watch the sold out 1957 NFL Championship between the Lions and the Cleveland Browns, claiming it would be considered "dishonest" to the paying customers.

Category: The 20th Century

Available Now