The More Things Change


We’ve all heard the saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same,” or something close to that. Well, a few days ago, I found myself referencing that age-old adage to make a point about the National Football League. It was during a panel discussion on which I participated following a sneak peek at a soon to be released documentary “Before the League.”

The six-part documentary is a look at pro football, its early years, the challenges, successes, its early stars, and its transition from rural small-town America to the big city. From the edited half-hour compilation that I saw, it looks like a real winner. I look forward to seeing the whole thing when it’s released later this month.

In any case, joining me on the panel discussion were three others, who like myself, are featured in the film; Chris Willis, the Head of the Research Library at NFL Films, Kate Buford, a Jim Thorpe biographer and Hall of Fame Gold Jacket, Floyd Little.


In a role reversal, Floyd, who is usually an interviewee, served as the interviewer for the discussion. Together we had a great back-and-forth exchange on the NFL’s early years, during which I made my “the more things change” observation.

My point was that when the NFL was founded on September 17, 1920 in Canton, Ohio, although it had profound results, it really wasn’t big news. In fact there was only a brief note on the meeting in just a couple newspapers, mostly from Ohio. But, each made reference to the need for a league and the three reasons why. And that was, as I pointed out, why the old adage “the more they stay the same” applied.  


You see, the brief news coverage of the meeting reported that the NFL – or the American Professional Football Association as it was known until it changed its name in 1922 – was organized for three primary reasons: one, to combat players’ high salary demands, which were in the $75 to $150 per game range; two, to keep players from jumping from team to team – which they would do for an extra few bucks, and three, to protect college eligibility. “Ninety-five years later,” I queried, and I ask again now, “how we doin?” It seems like we’re still struggling with the same problems today – salary cap, free agency and college eligibility – as those that existed almost one hundred years ago.

So, I guess the answer is, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Super Bowl Rematch Update

Each week in my blog, I update the results of the Super Bowl rematches taken place throughout the season leading up to Super Bowl 50. Here they are through Week 8.

1 Sept. 13 Miami at Washington SB VII - Miami 14, Washington 7; XVII - Washington 27, Miami 17 Miami, 17 at Washington, 10
2 Sept. 21 New York Jets at Indianapolis SB III - New York Jets 16, Baltimore 7 New York Jets, 20 at Indianapolis, 7
3 Sept. 27 Pittsburgh at St. Louis SB XIV - Pittsburgh 31, Los Angeles 19 Pittsburgh, 12 at St. Louis Rams, 6
3 Sept. 28 Kansas City at Green Bay SB I - Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10 Kansas City, 28 at Green Bay, 38
4 Oct. 4 New York Giants at Buffalo SB XXV - New York Giants 20, Buffalo 19 New York Giants, 24 at Buffalo, 10
6 Oct. 18 Baltimore at San Francisco SB XLVII - Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31 Baltimore, 20 at San Francisco, 25
6 Oct. 18 Arizona at Pittsburgh SB XLIII - Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23 Arizona, 13 at Pittsburgh, 25
6 Oct. 18 Kansas City at Minnesota SB IV - Kansas City 23, Minnesota 7 Kansas City, 10 at Minnesota, 16
7 Oct. 25 New Orleans at Indianapolis SB XLIV - New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17 New Orleans, 27 at Indianapolis, 21
8 Nov. 1 Green Bay at Denver SB XXXII - Denver 31, Green Bay 24 Green Bay, 10 at Denver, 29
10 Nov. 15 Minnesota at Oakland SB XI - Oakland 32, Minnesota 14 TBD
10 Nov. 15 New England at New York Giants SB XLII - New York Giants 17, New England 14; XLVI - New York Giants 21, New England 17 TBD
11 Nov. 22 Dallas at Miami SB VI - Dallas 24, Miami 3 TBD
12 Nov. 29 Pittsburgh at Seattle SB XL - Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10 TBD
13 Dec. 6 Philadelphia at New England SB XXXIX - New England 24, Philadelphia 21 TBD
15 Dec. 20 Buffalo at Washington SB XXVI - Washington 37, Buffalo 24 TBD
15 Dec. 20 Green Bay at Oakland SB II - Green Bay 33, Oakland 14 TBD
15 Dec. 20 Cincinnati at San Francisco SB XVI - San Francisco 26, Cincinnati 21; XXIII - San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16 TBD
16 Dec. 27 Dallas at Buffalo SB XXVII - Dallas 52, Buffalo 17; XXVIII - Dallas 30, Buffalo 13 TBD

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Written by: Joe Horrigan