War Football: World War I and the Birth of the NFL



by Chris Serb

During World War I, American army camps, navy stations and marine barracks formed football's first true all-star teams, competing against each other and top colleges while raising millions of dollars for the war effort. More than fifty college football hall-of-famers, dozens of future generals, and two Medal of Honor winners would play for, coach, or promote military teams during the war, including Dwight Eisenhower, Walter Camp, and George Halas.

In War Football: World War I and the Birth of the NFL, Chris Serb recounts a fascinating chapter of military and sports history. He details three of the best but long-forgotten seasons of American football, when college amateurs mixed with blue-collar pros on the field of play. These games showed investors a lucrative market for teams of post-collegiate stars and made players realize that their football careers didn’t have to end after college. Soon the barriers to professionalism began to fall, and within two years of the Armistice the National Football League was born.

War Football explores for the first time this lost chapter of sports history and makes a direct connection between World War I and the founding of the NFL. Seven future Hall-of-Famers led the charge of more than 200 military veterans who played in, coached for, and shaped the character of the young league. Football fans, sports historians, and military historians alike will find this book a fascinating read.


6.2 x 1.1 x 9.35 inches

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