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Read the new book by Dr. Mark Bowles

          Like the iconic Roman numerals of the Super Bowl, American football is a sport in which many games and seasons are branded into fan memories. Perhaps the most significant of them all--the founding of the league in 1920--is ironically the most obscure and least well known. 

          Despite the passion for football and its history, few people have inquired about what happened during the first year of the league’s existence.
          Complicating this story is the fact that there are no films of its games to transport us visually to that time. Radio was also an emerging technology, and there are no play-by-play broadcasts for us to hear. Furthermore, there is no one alive today who remembers watching these first teams battle in the mud and snow. As we now approach the 100th year of the NFL’s existence in 2020, it is time to unveil the mystery of its first season. 
          Certainly, some of the legacies of this era remain prominent today. Jim Thorpe is remembered as the "greatest athlete of the first half of the 20th century." His team's city, Canton, Ohio, is honored as the birthplace of professional football and is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, along with Thorpe and his Canton Bulldog legends, there is a great deal more to the story of the first season of the NFL. This forgotten year is about to emerge from obscurity as every football player will wear a patch for the 2019-2020 season with the logo "100NFL" on his jersey. 
          The year 1920 is about to get its spotlight. The centennial of the most popular American sport is upon us. It is time to find out what happened in year one. 

Dr. Mark Bowles is Professor of History at American Public University. He earned his Ph.D. in history from Case Western Reserve University and is the author of fifteen books.


You are visitor:

"If you're an NFL fan, you'll love this book.  If you're a history buff, you'll love this book.  But if you're an NFL fan and you love history, this is an absolute must read!!!  It gives us an incredible and unique perspective on the beginnings of the National Football League."  

--Jeff Phelps,

Cleveland Sports Broadcaster 


Nearly 300 pages...

Photos from  games...

8.5"x 11" large format.