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1965 NFL 1965 NFL
The NFL Explosion

The following from a book ‘The Story of Football’ by Robert Leckie - 1965 Edition In 1946 Elmer Layden resigned as NFL Commissioner and Bert Bell took his place. Bert Bell was the old Penn star and had brought pro football to Philadelphia. Under him, the NFL weathered its battle with the All-America Conference, and pro football began to explode. By the time of Bert Bell’s death in 1959, the twelve-team NFL was playing to more than three million paying customers every year. Under young and energetic Alvin ‘Pete’ Rozelle, who eventually succeeded Bert Bell, the annual ‘gate’ rose to more than four million fans in 1962. It keeps rising every year. In some cities in the National League it is next to impossible to buy a ticket to a home game. The only way to secure a season’s ticket is to inherit one. In 1963, the franchise of the Los Angeles Rams sold for $7,100,000. In 1941 that same franchise had been worth only $100,000. Twenty years before that, a pro franchise went for just one hundred dollars. Some experts say that the 1963 franchise, worth more than seven million dollars, may be a better risk than the one that went for a mere hundred. That is because the possibility of pay television may open up even more profitable frontiers. And it is also because television has enabled pro football to challenge pro baseball as the national pastime.