Longtime local sports writer and current KCChiefs.com columnist Jonathan Rand discusses his new book The Year That Changed the Game on Wednesday, January 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Many sports historians believe that the emergence of professional football as America’s premier sport was the result of a slow and steady evolution that began with the 1920 formation of a 14-team circuit that became the National Football League.
In The Year That Changed the Game, Rand argues instead that a “Big Bang” set off a chain of events, propelling professional football from a fringe sport to a fan favorite rivaling America’s pastime, baseball.
In the 13 months following the Baltimore Colts’ dramatic 23-17 victory over the New York Giants on December 28, 1958: the Green Bay Packers would hire Vince Lombardi as head coach; Lamar Hunt and other businessmen would establish the competing AFL, leading the NFL to respond with expansion, the Super Bowl, and eventually unification; and Commissioner Bert Bell would die, bringing the legendary Pete Rozelle into office.
Copies of The Year That Changed the Game will be available for sale and Rand will sign copies purchased during the event.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Click here  or call 816.701.3407 to RSVP.