Present at the Creation:...

Present at the Creation:...

Postby Ken Crippen » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:03 pm

Peter King mentioned this in his latest column:

...
9. I think this could be the Underrated Book of the Year: “Present at the Creation: My life in the NFL and the rise of America’s Game,” by Upton Bell with Ron Borges (University of Nebraska Press). I say it’s really good though I’ve read only four chapters. The title of the book is pretty accurate. Upton Bell worked and scouted for the Colts in the Johnny Unitas glory days of the ’60s, then ran the Patriots in the ’70s then was a radio host in Boston, then … well, let me tell you about what happened earlier in his life. Bell’s father, Bert Bell, was the commissioner of the National Football League before Pete Rozelle. “He put the schedule together on the kitchen table,” Upton Bell writes. This was 60 years ago. Bert Bell died of a heart attack watching his beloved Eagles in Franklin Field, and the story of Upton racing to get to his side when he lay dying is truly touching.

But the stories from Bell, a white man from the North, about scouting in the South in the ’60s are eye-popping. In 1965 he stopped to get gas at a filling station in a time of great tension, and he said to attendant when he saw the WHITE and COLORED signs for the bathrooms, “That’s terrible.” Bell writes that the attendant looked at him and said: “Keep that up and you may get your brains blown out. If you don’t think so, I’ve got my gun in the office, mister.” Hours before Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis in 1968, Bell was in the city to watch spring practice at Memphis State, and an assistant coach told him he’d better go home. Bell flew back to Baltimore, and heard the news of the King assassination when he landed.

Present at the Creation is on my night table, and should be on yours if you’re a football history buff...


I have a copy, but have not read it yet. Has anyone read this yet?
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Re: Present at the Creation:...

Postby John Maxymuk » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:13 pm

I reviewed it back in July for Library Journal. A very good read. One thing that's been mentioned on the forum a while back was the first televised draft in 1976(?). This book gives the full story on that since Bell set it up with the Boston PBS station he was working for at the time. Lots of good stuff about Bert Bell, the Colts organization and the dysfunctional Patriots of the time.
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Re: Present at the Creation:...

Postby Bryan » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:54 am

John Maxymuk wrote:I reviewed it back in July for Library Journal. A very good read. One thing that's been mentioned on the forum a while back was the first televised draft in 1976(?). This book gives the full story on that since Bell set it up with the Boston PBS station he was working for at the time. Lots of good stuff about Bert Bell, the Colts organization and the dysfunctional Patriots of the time.


My favorite book about dysfunctional Patriots is Larry Fox's 1977 book called The New England Patriots: Tragedy & Triumph...

https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/the-new-e ... iq=8785356
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