You may not have heard of him, but Bert Bell was a visionary in NFL history who made a lasting impact on the league during his tenure as commissioner from 1946 to 1959. He was instrumental in shaping the NFL into the league it is today. And he’s a guy who should be recognized by BetOnline patrons on Super Bowl Sunday because he got the ball rolling for one of the franchises.
And that franchise is favored in the Big Game, as you can see in the Super Bowl odds:
Philadelphia Eagles -1
Kansas City Chiefs +1
Over 51 Points -110
Under 51 Points -110
Bell was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, in 1895 and was a standout football player at the University of Pennsylvania. He then went on to play professional football for the Frankford Yellow Jackets and the Pottsville Maroons.
Bell’s contributions to the NFL started when he co-founded the Philadelphia Eagles in 1933. He later sold his team ownership but continued playing a major role in the league by serving as the NFL commissioner from 1946 to 1959.
During his time as commissioner, Bell introduced several key innovations to the NFL, which helped to popularize the sport and lay the foundation for its future success. One of his most important contributions was implementing the NFL draft in 1936. Bell recognized the importance of parity in the league and believed that the draft was a way to ensure that all teams had an equal opportunity to build a competitive roster.
Bell was also a strong advocate for player safety and helped to develop the first NFL rule book, which laid the foundation for the sport’s current rules and regulations. He also worked tirelessly to promote the league and attract new fans, traveling across the country to meet with local groups and speaking to the media about the NFL.
Another important contribution made by Bell was the creation of the NFL Championship Game, which was first held in 1933. The championship game was an important step in establishing the NFL as the premier professional football league in the country, and it helped to increase the league’s popularity and visibility both nationally and internationally. And not to forget its fandom in the NFL betting industry.
Bell also worked to expand the NFL’s reach beyond its traditional markets and was instrumental in bringing professional football to new cities. He was involved with expansion in the form of the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys. He was instrumental in bringing professional football to the West Coast as the San Francisco 49ers came over from the All-America Football Conference and the Los Angeles Rams moved from Cleveland.
In addition to his contributions to the NFL, Bell was also a strong advocate for social justice and equality. He was a vocal opponent of segregation and was instrumental in breaking down racial barriers in the NFL. He helped to integrate the league by signing African American players, including Kenny Washington and Woody Strode, and he was a strong advocate for equal pay and opportunities for all players.
Bell’s impact on the NFL cannot be overstated. He was a visionary who helped to shape the league into what it is today, and his contributions continue to be felt more than 60 years after his death.
In recognition of his contributions to the NFL, Bell was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963, and he continues to be remembered as one of the most important figures in the history of the sport.
In conclusion, Bert Bell’s legacy in NFL history is indelible. He was a true pioneer who helped to popularize the sport, promote player safety, and establish the NFL as the premier professional football league in the country. His contributions continue to be celebrated and remembered by fans, players, and historians, and his impact on the NFL will be felt for generations to come.
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