Books Published by PFRA Football Publications:
The Early History of Professional Football - by
Professional Football Researchers Association. One volume edition of the Early
History of Professional Football. Starting with the origins of American Football
from ancient times to the development of the sport in Western Pennsylvania
(1890-1903) and all the way through the 1919 pro football season, a year before
the the NFL was formed, the Early History of Professional Football is a very
detailed look back at the beginnings of America's favorite sport. Written and
edited by the members of the Professional Football Researchers Association.
A Minor Masterpiece - by Bob Gill.
A one-volume edition
of the original two-volume PFRA publication, this book tells the story of the
longest-running minor league of its era: the American Association, which existed
from 1936-41, closed for the duration of World War II, then returned in 1946
renamed the American Football League. The season-by-season history also includes
1942, when several of the league’s teams kept playing as part of an independent
circuit in the Northeast. The account of each season includes text, standings,
statistical leaders, line scores for all games, rosters for each team, and a new
feature in this edition, game-by-game lineups.
We are putting a temporary halt to the sale of existing PFRA books. We are in
the process of revising them and will offer new selections in the near future.
Books About Pro Football's Beginnings:
THE JOURNEY TO CAMP - The origins of American Football from ancient times to 1889, by Bob Braunwart and Bob Carroll. A sometimes lighthearted 53 pages of basic history.
PRO FOOTBALL: FROM AAA TO '03 - The origin and development of professional football in western Pennsylvania 1890-1903, by Bob Carroll and Bob Braunwart.
THE TIGERS ROAR - Professional football in Ohio 1903-09, by Bob Carroll. Canton vs. Massillon.
THE OHIO LEAGUE, 1910-1919 - Pro football develops in the midwest, by Bob Carroll and PFRA Research.
BULLDOGS ON SUNDAY: 1919 - Season before the NFL was formed. Text, game accounts, rosters, etc.
BULLDOGS ON SUNDAY: 1920 - NFL's disappointing first season. Text, game accounts, rosters, etc.
SOLD OUT BULLDOGS ON SUNDAY: 1921 - The league tries to turn it around. Text, game accounts, rosters, etc.
BULLDOGS ON SUNDAY: 1922 - The league changes its name but still struggles. Text, game accounts, rosters, etc.
BULLDOGS ON SUNDAY: 1923 - Another season in the early history of the NFL. Text, game accounts, rosters, etc.
BULLDOGS ON SUNDAY: 1930 - The Depression affects football, too. Text, line scores and scoring, rosters.
Books about Minor and Defunct Leagues:
DOWN IN THE VALLEY - The true story of the Ohio Valley League in the 1920s, by Bob Gill. Ironton, Portsmouth and others. Includes game text, scores, rosters, stats.
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE - The saga of football's Dixie League (minor league) 1936-47, by Bob Gill. Text, scores, rosters.
THE OUTSIDERS - The three American Football Leagues (two claimed major league status) of 1936-41, by Bob Gill and Tod Maher. Text, scores, rosters, etc.
SOLD OUT A MINOR MASTERPIECE: VOL. I - The American Association (minor league) 1936-41, by Bob Gill. Text, scores, rosters, etc.
SOLD OUT A MINOR MASTERPIECE: VOL. II - The American Football League (minor) 1946-50, by Bob Gill. Text, scores, rosters, etc.
BEST IN THE WEST - The rise and fall of the Pacific Coast Football League (minor) 1940-48, by Bob Gill. Text, scores, rosters, etc.
SOLD OUT WIFFLE - The World Football League chronicle by Tod Maher. Text, scores, rosters, etc.
SOLD OUT THE ALL-TIME UNITED STATES FOOTBALL LEAGUE REGISTER - by Tod Maher. Lists 1,533 USFL players with positions, colleges, teams, birthdates.
SOLD OUT THE USFL CHRONICLE - by Paul Reeths. Text, rosters, game scores, all statistics, draft. A must for USFL fans. NOTE: Special Price - $10 for members, $12.50 non-members.
Books about Specialized Subjects:
GREEN GRIDIRONS - Football fields where major pro league football games have been played, by Philip J. Lowry. (Available in 8.5" X 11" format only.)
ALL-PROS: THE FIRST 40 YEARS - by John Hogrogian, et.al. All the teams 1920-59.
ALL-PROS: THE MODERN YEARS - by John Turney. 1960-98. (Large book; add $1 extra for postage)
PFRA Annuals: ALSO AVAILABLE AT THE SAME PRICE
PFRA ANNUAL 1983 (#4) - Includes history of Greensburg (PA) pro football in the 1890s and story of St. Louis Gunners of early 1930s.
PFRA ANNUAL 1985 (#6) - Includes Ontario Rugby Union 1883-1906 and listing of early black pros.
PFRA ANNUAL 1986 (#7) - Includes famous "Nelson Ross" manuscript.
PFRA ANNUAL 1987 (#8) - Includes Jack Cusack's "Pioneer in Pro Football" 1911-17.
PFRA ANNUAL 1988 (#9) - Includes articles on early NFL blacks, Louisville Brecks, & USFL lawsuit.
PFRA ANNUAL 1989 (#10) - Includes 50-page history of pro football 1892-1920.
The Coffin Corner Collections: AVAILABLE FOR $10 EACH (soft-cover, bound with plastic rings)
THE COFFIN CORNER: VOLUME ONE - Includes all major articles (20) from the first year of
The Coffin Corner (1979). Some have been updated.
THE COFFIN CORNER: VOLUME TWO - All major CC articles from 1980.
THE COFFIN CORNER: VOLUME THREE - All major CC articles from 1981.
THE COFFIN CORNER: VOLUME FOUR - All major CC articles from 1982.
Other books by PFRA members:
The 50 Greatest Plays in Pittsburgh Steelers Football History - by Steve
Hickoff. This book includes logic-defying Steelers comebacks, tough losses,
dramatic interceptions, crucial tackles, fumble recoveries, game-winning field
goals, touchdowns, and even one safety, the first in Super Bowl history.
The 1954 Montreal Alouettes: Big Four Champions and Almost Grey Cup Champions
- by Brian Marshall with Forewards by Mark Cohon, Larry Smith, Doug McNichol,
Joe Pal and Jerry Hogan. The story of the 1954 Montreal Alouettes is an
interesting one, it is the story of a team that achieved so much yet fell short
of the ultimate prize but it is also the story of a great team, with many great
players, that played in a great city during arguably the greatest time to be a
Montreal sports fan. The Larks were the 800 pound gorilla that stomped through
the Big Four jungle, leaving a path of destruction throughout the 14 game
regular season in the form of clear superiority and domination. It was the
smash-mouth, in your face brand of football that Coach Peahead Walker was
looking for since he came to the Montreal Alouettes in 1952 but unfortunately
didn't have enough of the pieces in place at the time and the team had a dismal
America's Passion: How a Coal Miner's Game Became the NFL in the 20th Century - by
Evan Weiner. The National Football League is the premier sport in the United
States. But it always wasn't that way. Author Evan Weiner takes us back to the
days when the NFL was a mom and pop store operation with the players and others
who witnessed the league's growth first hand. The game started in the coal mines
in western Pennsylvania and is a multi-billion dollar business today.
...and a dollar short: The Empty Promises, Broken Dreams, and
Somewhat-Less-Than-Comic Misadventures of the 1974 Florida Blazers - by
Mark Speck. It's a great unwritten story that has finally been written! It's an
unforgettable story that shouldn't be forgotten!! It's a story of triumph,
loyalty, sacrifice and just plain old stubbornness. It's a story of men
overcoming almost overwhelming odds and a laundry-list of hardships, problems,
and distractions that never turned them from their ultimate goal, the league
championship. The Blazers went through two owners, four cities, and seven
nicknames before the team even played its first game. Their owners squabbled
between themselves and ultimately sued each other. A city that didn't seem to
want them and fans that didn't seem to care. They were a collection of men who
trusted each other led by a head coach who trusted them all. Through it all, the
Blazers won more games and a division title that no one predicted they'd win.
The story of the 1974 Florida Blazers of the ill-fated World Football League is
one that has almost been lost to the passage of time. But once you read this
almost-forgotten tale, you will never forget it.
The Best Show in Football: The 1946-1955 Cleveland Browns - by Andy Piascik. In-Depth analysis of the 1946-1955 Cleveland Browns and why they should be considered football's greatest dynasty.
The Canadian Pro Football Encyclopedia: Every Player, Coach and Game, 1946-2010 - by
Tod Maher and Bob Gill. The
Canadian Pro Football Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive reference source
ever published on the game of Canadian football. This book is teeming with
information and statistics for each of the 8,310 players who have played in the
modern-era of the Canadian Football League. The Canadian Pro Football
Encyclopedia goes beyond the players with game scores, historical highlights,
standings, team statistics and the records of the game’s head coaches.
The Cookie That Did Not Crumble - by
Cookie Gilchrist and Chris Garbarino. The Biography of Canadian Football League
and American Football League superstar Cookie Gilchrist. The book covers his
triumphs on the gridiron with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts of
the CFL, as well as his record setting days with the Buffalo Bills of the AFL.
Cookie's football prowess also brought him a front row seat to many historic
events during the 1960s, which are chronicled within the book. In addition to
covering Cookie's exploits on the field the book highlights his battles off the
field for civil rights and player health benefits, while giving insight into his
personal fight with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE as it is commonly
A Cowboy's Life - by Bob Lilly and Kristine Setting Clark. Bob Lilly is
Mr. Cowboy. The humble man from Throckmorton, Texas, often called "the greatest
defensive tackle in NFL history," shares his life's journey for the first time
in A Cowboy's Life. Lilly recounts his humble beginnings in Texas, being the
first player ever drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1961, his induction into the
Ring of Honor, and his passion for photography. It's all here: Lilly's
innumerable successes, his injuries, the stories of what he did after he retired
from the Cowboys, and what he is doing today. Well supplemented with many
never-before-published photographs taken by Lilly himself, A Cowboy's Life is
the real story of Mr. Cowboy, straight from the man who lived it all.
ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia - by Pete Palmer, Ken Pullis, et. al.. Weighing in at a whopping 1,536 pages, this updated edition of the best football encyclopedia available features lists of all players ever drafted by the NFL and AFL in the amateur drafts since 1920, expanded defense and specialists registers, all-time leaders in single-game performances, and all-time rankings of players by Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections. A special essay on the history of the NFL on television is sure to delight fans of the gridiron. And, of course it includes all of the resources, fact listings, and records true devotees expect: comprehensive year-by-year and team-by-team rushing, passing, receiving, kicking, punting, sacks, and returns statistics for all players in NFL history; far-reaching details on football history, award recipients, draft picks, and loads more stats on teams, coaches, and stadiums.
Game Changers: 50 Greatest Plays in Buffalo Bills Football History (50 Greatest
Plays in Football History) - by Marv Levy and Jeff Miller.
Jeffrey Miller has teamed up
with Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy for his latest book, “Game
Changers: The Greatest Plays in Buffalo Bills Football History” (Triumph). From
“The Hit Heard ‘round the World” and “Big Ben” through “Wide Right” and “The
Music City Miracle,” Miller and Levy relive the most unforgettable on-the-field
moments in Bills history. The authors provide fascinating context for each of
the plays, the back story, all the relevant circumstances, and the thoughts of
many of those directly involved. Lushly illustrated with color and b&w photos
that help you follow the play as it unfolds, “Game Changers” reanimates many of
the most thrilling and heart-stopping moments in football.
Gridiron Gauntlet: The Story of the Men Who Integrated Pro Football, in Their
Own Words - by Andy Piascik. One year before Jackie Robinson broke the
color line in major league baseball, four black players joined the Cleveland
Browns and Los Angeles Rams to become the first African-American pro football
players in the modern era. Players who began their careers from 1946 to 1955
reminisce about the violence they faced on and off the field, the world of
segregation and the violence it brought, but also of white players and coaches
who assisted and supported their careers.
Gridiron Gladiators: Italian-Americans in College, Semipro & Pro Football - by Fausto Batella. An examination of Italian-American college, semi-pro and professional football players from 1920 through 1949.
The Hidden Game of Football: The Next Edition - by Bob Carroll, Pete Palmer, John Thorn, David Pietrusza. A new way of looking at football statistics.
The Man Who Built the National Football League: Joe F. Carr - by Chris
Willis. Founded in 1920, the National Football League chose famed athlete Jim
Thorpe as its first president, a position he held briefly until a successor was
elected. From 1921 to 1939, Joe F. Carr guided the sport of professional
football with intelligence, hard work, and a passion that built the foundation
of what the NFL has become: the number one sports organization in the world.
During his 18-year tenure as NFL President, Carr created the organization's
first Constitution & By-Laws; implemented the standard player's contract; wrote
the NFL's first-ever Record and Fact Book; helped split the NFL into two
divisions and establish the NFL's World Championship Game; started keeping
league statistics; and developed the NFL Draft. But Carr's greatest achievement
was creating a vision for the NFL as a big-city sport. By skillfully recruiting
financially capable owners to operate NFL franchises in big market cities, he
created the solid foundation for the league's successful future. While the sport
has grown to unheard of heights, Carr's name and accomplishments have been lost
and forgotten. The Man Who Built the National Football League: Joe F. Carr
captures the life and career of this pivotal figure in professional sports,
chronicling the many achievements of a man whose vision helped shaped what the
NFL is today. With unlimited access and complete cooperation from the Carr
family, including family interviews, personal letters, and family photos, as
well as NFL League Minutes, Willis recounts the fascinating life and career of a
man dedicated to the game.
Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe - by
Kate Buford. A detailed biography of Jim Thorpe, one of the founders of the
National Football League.
Last Team Standing: How the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles--'The Steagles'--Saved Pro Football During World War II - by Matthew Algeo. The history surrounding the temporary merger between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Legends of the Hall 1950s - by Kristine Setting Clark. Legends of the
Hall: 1950s captures a period of time when playing professional football was for
tough, honest men who played solely for the love of the game. The 1950s was an
era of crew cuts and nicknames like Crazylegs, Hopalong, and Night Train. The
decade began with Sammy Baugh throwing his last passes and ended with the death
of Bert Bell. This era also produced some of the greatest quarterbacks ever to
play the game. They were known as the glamour boys of the league Otto Graham,
Bob Waterfield, Bobby Layne, Y. A. Tittle, and Bart Starr, to name a few. The
incomparable, individual brilliance and unique team chemistry that marked this
era have transcended this specific time and place to make Legends of the Hall:
1950s an unforgettable part of the magic and myth of professional football.
McKay's Men: 1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers The Story of Worst to First - by Denis Crawford. As the 1979 season opened, Tampa Bay head coach John McKay led a team that many believed to be among the worst in the NFL. Experts from around the country stated that McKay was a college coach out of his element who was depending on a second-year quarterback, an injury-prone tailback, an unproven offensive line and a solid but young defense. John McKay had everybody right where he wanted. This is the story of how John McKay led a team to the most improbable championship in NFL history and the men who made it possible. The players fought harder than they were expected to, succeeded more than could be believed and had a great time in the process. More importantly the players had one thing in common. They were McKay's Men.
Nothing Comes Easy: My Life in Football - by Y.A. Tittle and Kristine
Setting Clark. Tittle's autobiography covers his life beginning with his
Marshall, Texas, schoolboy heroics, continues through his time at Louisiana
State University, and includes his many years in the professional ranks. His
football story culminates with the Giants climactic playoff loss to the Chicago
Bears in 1963. This loss, Tittle's last chance at a championship, is captured in
the Sports Illustrated Photo of the Century, showing Tittle kneeling on the
field, bleeding from the head. As he describes the glorious and not so glorious
games, players, life on the road, and his path after football, Tittle delivers
the kind of awe-inspiring story that can only come from the man who has lived
this incredible life. With a foreword written by his good friend and former
teammate, Frank Gifford, Y.A.'s lively account of his life and Hall of Fame
career will appeal to fans of all ages.
On Any Given Sunday: A Life of Bert Bell - by Bob Lyons. Bert Bell, a
native of Philadelphia, has been called the most powerful executive figure in
the history of professional football. He was responsible for helping to
transform the game from a circus sideshow into what has become the most popular
spectator sport in America. In On Any Given Sunday, the first biography of this
important sports figure, historian Robert Lyons recounts the remarkable story of
how de Benneville “Bert” Bell rejected the gentility of a high society lifestyle
in favor of the tougher gridiron, and rose to become the founder of the
Philadelphia Eagles and Commissioner of the National Football League.
The Original Buffalo Bills: A History of the All-America Football Conference
Team - by Kenneth R. Crippen. The Buffalo Bills of the National Football
League are known for having a fervent fan base, but the city's love affair with
their football team dates back more than half a century. As members of the
fledgling All-America Football Conference, the Buffalo Bills were one of the
strongest teams in the league in 1948 and 1949, their final years of play. The
team had such an impact on the city and on professional football that current
franchise owner Ralph Wilson, when searching for a home for his American
Football League team, settled in Buffalo and named the team in honor of the
Outsiders: Minor League and Independent Football, 1923-1950 - by Bob
Gill and Tod Maher. Minor league and independent football from 1923 through
Outsiders II: Minor League and Independent Football 1951-1985 - by Bob
Gill, Steve Brainerd and Tod Maher. Following the pattern set with Outsiders I
(which covered 1923-1950), this volume covers the independent minor leagues of
professional football from 1951 through 1985. Only semipro leagues existed after
1985, and so the two volumes of Outsiders cover the complete history of 20th
century football below the National Football League. Many players in these
leagues played in the hope that they might get a chance to move up to the NFL
and many achieved that dream. This volume contains histories and yearly
statistical summaries for the top minor leagues of the period, plus the World
Football League, which has a claim to major league status, and the United States
Football League, which was clearly a major league. It also includes yearly
summaries for the best of the lesser leagues, which featured a good number of
interesting players in their own right.
Pro Football Championships Before the Super Bowl - by Joe Page. While
the NFL Super Bowl has become a worldwide cultural event, the annual league
championship games had a long history even before the first Super Bowl in
January, 1967. From the first American Football League's attempt to settle the
league title on the gridiron in 1926 to the separate NFL and AFL championships
of the 1965 season, this history offers a narrative of each game, including
line-ups, box scores, and team statistics.
The Pro Football Encyclopedia - by Tod Maher and Bob Gill. A detailed history of pro football, including scores and statistics.
Pro Football's Most Passionate Fans: Profiles of Fans Honored at the Pro
Football Hall of Fame With the Visa Hall of Fans Award - by
Harvey Aronson. Professional football is the most popular sport in the United
States today. With so many famous players from the past and present, some of
whom achieved notoriety because of a persona they created, there are fans who
have also made a name for themselves by either their work and loyalty for their
team, or by creating an "alter ego" with respect to how they cheer or support
their team. In 1998, Visa sponsored a national contest to find the wildest, most
loyal, and most intriguing fans for each team in the league. The award was
entitled, "The Visa Hall of Fans" Award as fans were chosen from each team based
on their submitted essays and photos.
The Pro Football Playoff Encyclopedia - by
Tod Maher and Bob Gill. The Pro Football Playoff Encyclopedia is the
ultimate guide to the history of the National Football League playoffs . From
the landmark first NFL championship game in 1933 to Super Bowl XLV, The Pro
Football Playoff Encyclopedia gives you unprecedented details of every
playoff game. No other source — in print or online — can match The Pro
Football Playoff Encyclopedia.
Pro Football Trivia - by Bob Gill. Hundreds of questions on NFL.
Quarterback Abstract - by John Maxymuk. Each quarterback's statistical
information is presented here, from his scoring totals to his draft status and
personal information. Author John Maxymuk has devised a sophisticated rating
system that compares the quarterbacks across the decades. Who were they? What
were their playing styles? How good were they? A full spectrum of numerical data
is presented, from passing and rushing data to fourth-quarter game-winning-drive
totals and won-lost records. Maxymuk also provides incisive analysis and
interesting anecdotes, fleshing out each field general's personality.
Rockin' the Rockpile: The Buffalo Bills of the American Football League - by Jeffrey Miller. The complete history of the 1960-1969 Buffalo Bills of the American Football League. Foreward by Hall of Famer Billy Shaw.
St. Clair: I'll Take It Raw - by Kristine Setting Clark. At 6'9", 265
pounds St. Clair's violence, strength and power left a trail of broken bones
throughout the NFL. He wasn't just good, he was mean - a quality that led
players to salute him in a less than flattering manner. But it would be his
'flamboyant' lifestyle and love of raw meat that made many stand and take
notice. Written in quarters, the book begins with A Hooligan From the City
- Bob's early days as a tough kid, gang violence and run-ins with the law.
Luckily football captured him before the cops did.
Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League - by Bob Carroll and Total Sports. Includes not only scores and statistics, but essays and opinions like the 300 best football players ever.
Turmoil vs. Triumph - by Ken Crippen. A detailed look at the 1890-1900 Syracuse Athletic Association football team. The S.A.A. was the first and strongest independent team in the Syracuse area, winning multiple championships.
Undefeated, Untied, and Uninvited - by Kristine Setting Clark. In 1951
the University of San Francisco football team (the Dons) went undefeated and
untied. Yet, despite being among the best college football teams of all time,
the squad was not invited to play in a post season bowl game because two of its
players were African-American. The team was offered the chance to compete
without the players, but they unanimously refused on principle. “The story of
the 1951 University of San Francisco football team is a remarkable tale. I heard
Pete Rozelle talk about it many times. It is a story that transcends football
into the realm of the human spirit. I know it made a lasting impression on Pete,
and the team clearly had a major impact on the NFL.” -Paul Tagliabue - NFL
When Football Was Football: The Chicago Cardinals and the Birth of the NFL - by
Joe Ziemba. Containing over ten years of extensive research and accompanied by
original archival photographs, When Football was Football delves into this rich
football past. The Cardinals, now in Arizona and the sport's oldest franchise,
were born in Chicago in 1899. We follow their history, from the early days, when
casualty lists were reported after each game, through the inception of the NFL
in 1920, the growing pains of the league, the rivalry between the Cardinals and
the Bears, two world wars, and finally a resurrection in the late 1940s which
resulted in a Cardinal's victory in the 1947 championship.
Any PFRA member who would like to add their book to this section should contact Ken Crippen.