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Sep 11, 2023

The National Football League is back in full swing, and what better way to celebrate than with a deep dig into the primordial ooze from which it and the broader endeavor of professional football evolved - with Gregg Ficery, author of the new and immediately essential tome "Gridiron Legacy: Pro Football's Missing Origin Story."

From the revelatory new book's dust jacket:


Professional football's backstory was lost, until now. In the beginning, in 1892, pro football was born. Then it effectively died in infamy in 1906. It was resurrected nearly a decade later and soon became the American Professional Football Association in 1920 (renamed the National Football League in 1922). Few are even familiar with the basics of the historical narrative: the star players, the rivalries, and the game's brutality.

After its infancy in Pennsylvania, fanatic passion and media hype started exploding around the country for the greatest teams ever assembled in what became known as the Ohio League. More suddenly, the league died because of a gambling scandal. Nobody has ever been sure who was behind it or who were the heroes who saved the game. Careers and lives were ruined, and the game's legacy was left suspended in time without resolution. As of the NFL's 100th anniversary, nobody knows the true narrative that led up to its founding. Gridiron Legacy brings the story to light for the first time with a treasure trove of new research and never-before-published photographs from the career of one of the game's early champions. It is the greatest sports story never told.


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