Upton Bell Interview (Part 3) – Owning a WFL Team and Broadcasting

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The World Football League was a short-lived professional football league, and Upton Bell was the owner of one of the teams, the Charlotte Hornets.  In this episode, we pick right back up with the last part of the Upton Bell episode.  This time we fire up that DeLorean and head back to November 22, 1959.  The reason for this is because this is the day the Boston Patriots officially became a member of the American Football League.

Upton didn't know on this date he would end up working for the Boston Patriots in the future, let alone the fact he would make the suggestion to rename them the New England Patriots.  He also was not aware of his father passing away a month and a half before the Patriots were born would ultimately lead to him owning a team in the WFL.

Life is crazy, and you never know what's going to happen.  Upton passes this message to listeners of the show throughout the interview.  Note - if you have not listened to the first 2 parts of the interview, then I suggest you do so first.  It's a chronological kind of deal for Upton's life.

Part 1 - Growing Up With Bert Bell

Part 2 - Learning From Don Shula and Johnny Unitas


Here you can find the dedicated Upton Bell page.

Upton is the son of the First Great Commissioner of the NFL - Bert Bell.  He joins us to share stories from his book: Present at the Creation - My Life in the NFL and the Rise of America's Game.  Upton's book walks you through a journey in the history of the NFL unlike anyone else can.

He had a first-hand glimpse of the beginning of the NFL when he was the son of Bert Bell, the first Great Commissioner.  Upton was at a crossroads when his father passed away and ended up working for the Baltimore Colts and the Great Don Shula.  He was the youngest GM in the NFL at the time when he took over for the then, Boston Patriots.  He later owned the Charlotte Hornets, a World Football League organization.  And as if that wasn’t enough of a diverse background, he worked his way into the media as a sportscaster.

Oh, by the way, he interviewed some of the greatest people in the nation at the time.  Some include George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, and Stephen Hawking.  This is the 10,000 Eagle Eye View of Upton’s life, and there’s no way I could do it justice, so let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.  So without further ado, I present to you, Upton Bell.  So, strap on your seat belt, and let’s get ready to take this baby up to 88mph.

Note - As an affiliate, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  There was never a dull moment, and I highly suggest you pick it up.  The interview is a 3-part series, but it would take triple that to cover everything in this book (maybe more).  It's mostly a chronology of Upton's life.  The book starts at the beginning, giving you an inside look into why Bert Bell was considered the First Great Commissioner.  Then it walks you through his days with the Baltimore Colts, on to the craziness of the disorganized "Boston" Patriots, up to his time as an owner in the WFL, and then as a broadcaster.  Of course, there's plenty more in between.

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About the author, Arnie Chapman

My name is Arnie Chapman, and I am the host of The Football History Dude, a podcast dedicated to teaching fans about the rich history of the NFL. The show officially launched on 4/15/18, and I have not looked back. I have always been passionate about football, and learning about the history of the game has intrigued me, as well. I'm asking you to come along with me on my DeLorean to travel back in time and learn about the yesteryear of the gridiron. To get started, you can go to my website for more details.

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