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NFL Century

The One-Hundred-Year Rise of America's Greatest Sports League
Narrated by: Mark Deakins
Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: History, American
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the former executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame comes a sweeping and lively history of the National Football League, timed to coincide with the NFL's 100th-anniversary season.

"I can think of no one better qualified - or more enthusiastic - to chronicle the National Football League’s century-long history than Joe Horrigan." (Marv Levy, Hall of Fame NFL coach)

The NFL has come a long way from its founding in Canton, Ohio, in 1920. In the 100 years since that fateful day, football has become America’s most popular and lucrative professional sport. The former scrappy upstart league that struggled to stay afloat has survived a host of challenges - the Great Depression and World War II, controversies and scandals, battles over labor rights, and competition from rival leagues - to produce American icons like Vince Lombardi, Joe Montana, and Tom Brady. It is an extraordinary and entertaining history that could be told only by Joe Horrigan, former executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and perhaps the greatest living historian of the NFL, by drawing upon decades of NFL archives. Compelling, eye-opening, and authoritative, NFL Century is a must-hear for NFL fans and anyone who loves the game of football.

Advance praise for NFL Century 

"Joe Horrigan takes the reader on a delightful tour of the seminal moments of the NFL in the past one hundred years - the players, owners, coaches, executives, and historical events that made the game of football the most popular in America. It’s a wonderful walk down memory lane for any football fan, young or old." (Michael Lombardi, author of Gridiron Genius

“There is no one - and I mean no one - who knows more about the history of the NFL than Joe Horrigan, the heart and soul of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As the gold standard of sports leagues celebrates its 100th season, it’s appropriate that the gold standard of sports historians has written NFL Century, an entertaining and educational journey.” (Gary Myers, New York Times best-selling author)

©2019 Joe Horrigan (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Believe me, it is a daunting challenge to weave a narrative from the years of Jim Thorpe and Fritz Pollard to the years of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Joe Horrigan pulls it off elegantly in NFL Century. His choice of subjects to highlight is spot-on. His reporting sheds new light on decades-old events. A century of rollicking pro football history flies by." (John Eisenberg, author of The League: How Five Rivals Created the NFL and Launched a Sports Empire)

"Joe Horrigan may not have witnessed all one hundred seasons of the NFL in person, but it seems that way. The legends and lore of professional football come to life in NFL Century just as if we were back in the years and decades in which they lived. Some of the story lines we know; others are a revelation. I’ve known and worked with Joe since the eighties, and every time he talks about the history of the NFL you can see the twinkle in his eyes. That very same twinkle appears throughout these pages." (Chris Berman, ESPN sportscaster)

"An entertaining, passionate, and educational rags-to-riches story of the NFL’s greatest names, games, and events of the past one hundred seasons of America’s most popular sport. NFL Century should be on the shelf of every football fan’s library." (Chris Willis, head of the Research Library at NFL Films, author of Red Grange)

"[Horrigan] delivers an expansive and celebratory history of the NFL.... Sports fans will find plenty to sink their teeth into, as Horrigan provides detailed and lively depictions of stars and coaches from various teams, including Joe Namath and the Jets’ legendary Super Bowl III triumph, the successes of the 1972 undefeated Dolphins, and the recent Patriots dynasty. This fast-paced history will thrill football fans of all allegiances." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Humf
  • 10-11-19

Fascinating history of the sport

As a UK fan a lot of this was new to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the history lesson in particular how big a part of it George Halas played.

An avid fan since 1985 (Ditka and da Bears) I was particularly fascinated and how the sport progressed to that point. The role that the NFL commissioner played in various aspects was very interesting. Loved the chapter on Jerry Jones and the advertising strategies. Well read too.