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NFL Merry-Go-Round: Relocation Roundelay

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24 minutes ago, B-Rich said:

Correct and true, but a little out of order, chronologically.  

 

The NFL first decided to expand to Dallas, and offered the franchise to Hunt, who, to his credit, didn't leave the other AFL owners in the lurch (as Max WInter did when he took the NFL's offer to switch his Minnesota franchise from the AFL to the NFL).  After that, the NFL decided to go head to head in Dallas and awarded the Dallas franchise to Murchison.

 

The NFL had also announced it was expanding into Dallas to slug it out with Hunt himself. Before doing so, they had offered Lamar the opportunity to defect. Had he, Ralph Wilson noted, the AFL 'would have been stillborn'... When Hunt refused, the NFL awarded the Dallas Cowboys to Clint Murchison and the war was on.

-- The League: The Rise and Decline of the NFL by David Harris, p. 104. 

 

Mac, if you don't have a copy of this, you should get one. I know you would enjoy it.?

 

Well, the chronology may be off, but yeah, the story's pretty straight.  And FWIW, I'd never have blamed Max Winter for what he did (though had I been Winter, I'd surely have been more "straight up" about it).  There are a few things regarding the story I hadn't been aware of - for example, that Hunt and Murchison were actually pretty close friends, and looked at the Texans-Cowboys rivalry as little more than friendly competition with no truly significant consequence (at least, as far as their wallets were concerned).  They were both loaded as all get out, and any losses they sustained were mere drops in their buckets.

 

I've heard another permutation of this that Hunt and Bud Adams were offered expansion teams, but by the time the NFL had realized Hunt & Co. were serious, Lamar had felt a need to keep his word to the others in "The Foolish Club."  An admirable trait in a man I always viewed as admirable.  He also, like Art Rooney Sr., was really soft-spoken, humble, and genuinely nice.  I had the privilege of meeting both of them (Mr. Rooney on several different occasions, Mr. Hunt but once) in my late teens/early 20's, and they impressed me with their mere demeanor.  That's not something most people do for me.

 

As for the book recommendation, I appreciate it, but it's gonna hafta taka place at the bottom of a pile that's currently five deep (and one of which, oddly, is a bio of Lamar Hunt)... which at the rate I'm going, means I'll get around to reading it sometime in, oh, mid-2019...  :)

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